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We made it to new york!


In May...

I travelled to New York City to begin a creative relationship with master choreographer Doug Varone. His DEVICES program was created as a platform to offer mentorship support for professional, emerging choreographers as they continue to develop and hone their craft. A week-long intensive at the end of May left me fried in the best of ways. I was challenged to generate material faster than I ever have before, and I left understanding my approach to making in a deeper way, allowing me more freedom in my process. I can embrace my methods; I can break away from them. 

Over the following two months I created a new duet on two incredible dancers, Brian Gerke and Breeanne Saxton. We shared the work in progress at 12 Minutes Max and at VAULT! in Salt Lake City before heading to NYC for the work's premiere in front of warm, sold-old audiences.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this work happen, whether it was through a tax-deductible donation, coming to a show, or by offering your expertise as support. Stranger Kin is stronger for it and I cannot wait to see where it goes next. Plans are brewing!

There is still time to make a tax-deductible donation to help us offset the costs of traveling to NYC...

To donate by check (preferred): 

Please make a check out to my generous 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, loveDANCEmore.
List "VAULT!" or my name in the memo line so she knows who the donation is for.
Mail to: loveDANCEmore, 365 Center St., Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Or donate online:

Thank you for your support!






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, and before taking off for Utah last year, her work was presented by WAH! fest (Dance Mission Theater, SF), Shawl-Anderson Dance Center (East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond), and by SAFEhouse for the Arts (SF) as part of Resident Artist Workshop.

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 contest, Nichele was honored to receive the opportunity to create a new work for the company, set to premiere in their Spring showcase, Current, April 12-14, 2018. Nichele was also thrilled to spend the summer studying with Doug Varone through his DEVICES mentorship program in New York City, through which she premiered Stranger Kin in NYC August 10-12.

This Spring Nichele looks forward to assisting with the resetting of Doug Varone's work, Mass, on the U's Modern Students, as well as developing and sharing a new work for her thesis proposal at the U in April.

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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.

A central tenet to my personal manifesto is that everything in my dances should be connected. There may not be a narrative, but I am interested in the unfolding of a work so that structurally I am curating the audience’s experience. In this way the work is a gestalt, a holistic thing in which all parts are a support of the greater whole. I strive to create a world on stage that the audience can get lost in, enabled by creating an honest experience for the dancers that is informed by their lived—and live—physical exploration and interaction with and inside of the work.

Perhaps most importantly, I am interested in opening the creative space and process to collaborators whose voices will enrich the work, helping to create artworks that are more complex than what I could have envisaged alone. I believe in celebrating and using our differences to strengthen that which we create together. Why would I tackle the greatest mysteries in life alone? With the support of the right collaborators, we can all go further, beyond where we could have ever imagined going. This dive into the unknown can be uncomfortable, but it is in this discomfort where I believe the most profound and exciting discoveries are found.

Top Image by James Wirth Photography; Middle Image by Motion Vivid; Above image by Ching-I Chang Bigelow; Tiny Ballerina Image by Mom