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Welcome!


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Welcome!


 

Please join us for

The End of Sisyphus

DECEMBER 7 + 8

This December will mark the choreographic culmination of my graduate studies at the University of Utah. The premiere of my first evening-length work will feature a stellar cast from the Salt Lake community and beyond. More info here.

 
 
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About


About


Bio

Nichele Van Portfleet is... 

a dance-artist currently living in Salt Lake City. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nichele worked as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in SF, Oakland, and the North Bay before relocating in 2016 to SLC for the University of Utah’s graduate program in Modern Dance. While in the Bay she had the honor of working with choreographers Christine Cali, Kristen Daley, Joe Goode, Nancy Lyons, Virginia Matthews & Mo Miner, among others.

Nichele has been focused on her choreographic practice since 2012. After a break from her undergraduate studies (which began at UC Irvine in 2003), she received her B.A. in Theater Arts & Dance from Sonoma State University in 2013. That year, her first full dance work, Parched (2012), traveled to Arizona for the ACDA Western Region conference, receiving the honor of Gala selection. Upon graduating she returned to SSU as a guest choreographer and Adjunct Professor of Dance. Nichele was a founding member of Hatch Performance Collective (2014-2016), and joined SoCo Dance Theater as a choreographer for the 2015-2016 season. In 2015 she won first place at Luna Dance Institute’s Choreofund 5 in Berkeley, CA.

Since her arrival to Salt Lake City, Nichele has been actively engaged in the community alongside her work at the U. The winner of Repertory Dance Theatre's 2017 Regalia competition, Nichele was honored to receive the opportunity to create a new work for the company's 2017-2018 season. Nichele was also thrilled to spend the summer of 2017 studying with Doug Varone through his DEVICES4 mentorship program in New York City, through which she premiered Stranger Kin at Gibney Dance Center (NYC) August 10-12. Stranger Kin was reset as a male duet for the ACDA Northwest Region conference where it was selected for the Gala concert and as the alternate selection for the National Conference.

Nichele is currently developing her MFA thesis work, set to premiere December 7-8, 2018.

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The Work


The Work


Dancer / choreographer

I have been dancing...

in some form or another, all of my life. When I took a break for a few years in my 20s I discovered that dancing, and creating dances, is a central vehicle for my ability to experience and understand life. I need to be invested in a full-bodied, creative expressivity to feel that I am reaching my fullest state of aliveness. It is through dance that I feel most connected to my community and to the world around me.

In my creative process I am interested in beginning with a conceptual impetus, a question, a point of friction. I use dance to explore this impetus physically, and it is often through this process that I discover answers, or at least come to understand why I was concerned with the question in the first place. Usually I am left with more questions.

My recent works have dealt with questions of power and vulnerability. I tend to partnerships—to the sharing of momentum, weight, and risk—that are grounded in the focus of an internal, present experience. I aim to create a space, a framework, in which the dancers can have an honest experience that is informed by their lived—and live—physical exploration and interaction with and inside of the work. My dances are a collaboration, a verbal and physical dialogue with the dancers. Together we wade through the unknown until we reach some unforeseeable, often transcended destination. The dive into this unknown can be uncomfortable/nauseating/angering/testing, but it is in this discomfort where I believe the most profound and exciting discoveries are found.

I am hooked. I am obsessed. I am in love.


Top Image by Sharon Kain, courtesy RDT; Middle Image by Motion Vivid; Above image by Ching-I Chang Bigelow; Tiny Ballerina Image by Mom