Biography

Michelle Koppl is a movement artist, filmmaker, and museum educator living in Washington D.C. They hold a BFA in Dance + Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Their creative works, both live performances and films, have been shown at the Richmond Dance Festival, the Small Plates Choreography Festival (Richmond, VA), the Ascending Choreographer's Showcase (Edgewood, MD), 1708 Gallery's InLght Exhibition (Richmond, VA), the Anderson Gallery (Richmond, VA), the VCU Dance NOW Concert, the VCU Dance Student Concert, and the Amendment Film Festival (Richmond, VA).

They have performed in work by VCU faculty Melanie Richards and guest artist Ching-I Bigelow, as well as student works presented at the 2015 Richmond Dance Festival, and at the 2017 American College Dance Association’s Mid-Atlantic South Conference. They also preformed as a company member of the RVA Dance Collective for the 2018/2019 season.

Michelle is currently the Education Assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Recently, they were the Lead Guide at the Smithsonian Institution's Arts + Industries Building. Their work as a museum educator began at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, where they were the Lead Tour Guide and Evaluation Assistant.

Michelle smiles in a wooded park, full of fall orange and green.

Photo courtesy of Zoe Wampler

Michelle Koppl in rehearsal

Artist Statement

Michelle Koppl’s creative works combine elements of film, projection, and live performance in unconventional spaces. They seek to create unexpected, sometimes immersive experiences that highlight the relationships between people and places. 

Michelle enjoys repetition, layering, experimentation, and collaboration.

Class Description

Contemporary Modern

In my class, we explore the relationship between gravity and the weight of the body, finding efficient movement through the use of momentum, release, and breath. Choreographed exercises invite a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of modern dance, which include: moving through the floor, articulating the spine, developing the head-tail connection, and suspending actions off the vertical and in multiple planes. In these exercises, we will play with cyclical movement that swings and swoops through the space, while allowing for individual exploration and expression. Balancing technique with self-generated movement, attention will be given to play and physical investigation that encourages students’ creative voices, which will be developed through structured improvisations that are woven throughout the class.

Photo of Michelle Koppl teaching in a large theater
Photo of Michelle teacing in a mirrored dance studio

Photos courtesy of Mike Keeling and Lew Lott