Michèle Steinwald has an impressive assortment of curatorial, institutional, artistic and educational bona fides. (If you’d like, you can skip to the end of all this and find them listed handily below.) But the fact is, she’d much rather talk to you about Deborah Hay, about Rosas’ Bartok or maybe Jan Fabre. Maybe you’d like to hear about the punk and dance convergences that shaped her young career, or her thoughts on dance as practice rather than product? She could also tell you a story about this one time, when she was 19, a controversial shot of her in Jana Sterbak’s meat dress got front page play on all Arts’ sections of Canadian newspapers, the same day that they were covering Martha Graham’s death.
Since retiring as a dancer and choreographer, Steinwald has managed performing arts projects and professional development programs for On the Boards (Seattle), New England Foundation for the Arts/National Dance Project (Boston), DanceUSA (DC), and the Deborah Hay Dance Company (Austin). She joined the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) in October of 2006 as Assistant Curator for the Performing Arts and remained in that role until summer of 2013. She is on the boards of the National Performance Network (New Orleans) and Movement Research (NYC). She has served on panels for the NEA, MANCC, NPN, McKnight Foundation, USA Fellows, and been an artist mentor for Creative Capital’s retreat and Arts Midwest’s ArtsLab. She graduated from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University in 2013 and will be presenting her thesis at Envisioning the Practice: Montréal International Symposium on Performing Arts Curation this April. She is currently an independent curator and dance producer living in Minneapolis with her wife.