Koch Theater

Michelle Manzanales



photo: Courtesy of Ballet Hispánico

Michelle Manzanales is a choreographer and dance educator originally from Houston, TX. Her choreography “…isn’t just about one girl’s experience; it applies to everyone, of any gender, and of any culture,” said CriticalDance. Her most recent work, If by Chance… which “unspooled dreamily atop and between the tables” (-Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine), was created and performed for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 75th anniversary Gala in December 2019. Manzanales created Con Brazos Abiertos for Ballet Hispánico and premiered in the 2017 spring season at the Joyce Theater. This “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican-American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its inclusion in New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. Other acclaimed works by Manzanales include her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, which was hailed a “visual masterpiece” by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Michelle was invited to the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 2008 as co-choreographer for the site-specific work entitled Muscle and Mortar: Animating Architecture at the National Building Museum for the Capital Fringe Festival. Her 2007 choreography for Luna Negra Dance Theater, entitled Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda), was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as “a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work.” Before being named Director of the School of Dance in December of 2016, Ms. Manzanales was in the midst of her seventh season as the Ballet Hispánico Company Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate.