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Michelle Manzanales

MICHELLE MANZANALES (Choreographer), originally from Houston, TX, is a choreographer, dedicated dance educator of 30 years, and co-founder of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance. The Director of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance since December of 2016, Michelle previously led the organization’s professional company as Rehearsal Director and Artistic Associate for seven seasons.

Her choreography “…isn’t just about one girl’s experience; it applies to everyone, of any gender, and of any culture,” said CriticalDance. Michelle’s work for Ballet Hispánico, Con Brazos Abiertos, described as a “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican American background” (Marina Harss, New York Times), premiered in 2017 and has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its feature at New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival.

Another acclaimed work by Manzanales is If by Chance… which “unspooled dreamily atop and between the tables” of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine), and was created and performed for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division 75th anniversary gala in December 2019. Her homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, 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.” Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda), was also applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as “a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work.”

Photo by Eric Young Smith.