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44 Arts Productive

A consultancy founded by Michèle Steinwald in 2004

focused on curation, education, organization,

and advocacy for the performing arts,

with a focus on dance.

PC: Rino Pizzi (in audience at An Uncanny Beauty: A Celebration of Deborah Hay symposium, 2010)
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Michèle Steinwald

I am a feminist, DIY, artist-centered, pseudo-forensic, embodied, community-driven, cultural organizer marked by five major influences:
  • At age 14, I saw Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in Rosas’ Bartok and fell in love with experimental dance (1986).

  • At age 15, I produced my friend’s post-punk band Pestilence's gig at the all-ages music venue One Step Beyond in Ottawa, Canada (1987). Seven people came. I knew all but one.

  • At age 21, I studied with American choreographer Deborah Hay and was forever changed (1994).

  • At age 25, I attended Easter service with pastor Cecil Williams preaching at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco and saw/felt true inclusion (1998).

  • Since my teen years, I have deliberately watched the New York-based TV series Law & Order, noting human behavior and gut instincts through problem solving.

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My full bio here.

PC: unknown Sears photographer (1973)

“What is a dramaturg, or a dramaturg for dance? In Michèle’s hands, the role means attending to the project's cultural dimension. She set out to build a culture of care and consent that would travel with our project, reversing the typical extractive model of touring (arrive in a new place, absorb resources, fly away). This revolutionary redefinition equates dramaturgy with responsibility. It locates storytelling everywhere around a project, designing a sort of protective force-field of integrity that directs actions, exchanges, and even contracts and tech riders through the clear communication of shared values.”

- Sylvan Oswald, playwright,
professor and head of playwriting,
UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television

“I was profoundly changed by hearing you consistently naming the oppression in our midst - I heard you call out capitalism, racism, the patriarchy, homophobia, abuse... I have never had a facilitator/teacher name these things as a means to rise above limiting systems (usually it’s to intellectually examine and disparage them). I am deeply grateful to learn from your powerful leadership.”

- Jessica Roseman, dance artist

“Michèle Steinwald is a change maker who makes things happen. And such good things! She is a maverick who nevertheless knows how to proceed prudently, efficiently, and effectively, with ultimate respect for her collaborators and clients, and their best interests. I have had the honour of knowing Michèle since she presented my work as the producer of a successful off-site event during the Canada Dance Festival several years ago. I have been continually impressed by her creative and transformative support of the performing arts and the artists who make it.”

- Cori Caulfield, choreographer

More clients and partners here.

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