Dance Described

(a site-in-progress)

Michelle Mantione is…

A dancer

A dance educator

A choreographer

An arts administrator

An audio describer, specializing in dance and movement…

Michelle Mantione earned a B.S. in Physically Integrated Dance from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program.

As a disabled dancer, Mantione has performed with Heidi Latsky Dance, Infinity Dance Theater, Marked Dance Project, New York Deaf Theatre, Steve Paxton, and Susan Marshall. among others.

As an arts administrator and advocate, Mantione has previously served on the Dance/NYC Symposium Programming Committee, and contributor with the NYC Department of Education/Office of Arts and Special Projects: Arts and Students with Disabilities Online Resource Compendium.

As an undergraduate dance student, choreography class taught me the most about moving inside my disabled body. During my dance studies, I watched a live performance of “Strange Fruit” (1943) by Pearl Primus. This dance is set to Lewis Allan’s anti-lynching poem, also titled “Strange Fruit”. The use of text and movement to convey social and political commentary, continues to influence my choreographic process. The current work I’m creating explores poetics and narrative within the context of Audio Description, and how access can become integral to an artwork, instead of an afterthought. It’s been over 75 years since “Strange Fruit” was performed, yet so much discrimination, racism & ableism still exists in the United States. It is part of our roles as artists, to continue to be cultural change makers for future generations to come.

Michelle Mantione, 2020 AXIS Dance Company Choreo-Lab

described in caption
In a dance school photo, eight-year-old Michelle stands against a blue background, wearing a red and silver flapper style dance costume. Michelle’s arms are open wide above the head, with legs slightly bent while wearing articulated foot orthotic leg braces. Completing the ensemble is a red bow on top of Michelle’s head, and red ribbons tied around shiny black tap shoes.

Selected Media:

This Is What Accessibility Sounds Like — Brooklyn Rail (2019)

Michelle Mantione: NEW YORKERS FOR DANCE (2016)