Amy Chavasse


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Professional Title

Professor of Dance


School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD)


Amy Chavasse, choreographer, performer, educator, improviser, activist, and Artistic Director of Chavasse Dance & Performance is currently a Professor at the University of Michigan, located on Ashinaabe land. With a University of Michigan Office of Research grant, a creative research and performance project, working title “How to Stay in  a Dream (or) Ratas de los Patas”, was launched with Buenos Aires dance/ theater artists, Luciana Acüna and Luis Biasotto, Mexican dance artist, Paty Lorena Solorzano, and Brooklyn based dance artists, Austin Selden and Nola Smith, in December 2020. Recent projects include the creation of a new duet, Plunder Thunder with Nicole Reehorst and Emily Soong, for the Detroit Dance City Festival. The work was chosen to participate in The New Dance Festival in Daejon, South Korea in the summer of 2020. She was invited to participate as a guest artist at 201Urban Spaces Shanghai Festival from October 3-9, 2019,  presenting Plunder Thunder at The Shanghai Tower, teaching at The Shanghai International Dance Center, and The Children’s Palace in Shanghai. Her work has also been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Links Hall, Chicago, The Dance Complex- Boston and other venues. Internationally, she has taught and her work has been presented in Uppsala, Sweden, Cuba, Lithuania, Vienna, Colombia, Vancouver BC, Buenos Aires, the American Dance Festival/ Henan (China) and The Beijing Dance Festival. She premiered Low Winter Light, a duet for Donnell Oakley and Jessica Jolly at The Beijing Dance Festival in 2013. She has taught at Duncan 3.0 in Rome, and at ResExtensa’s Instituto Vittoria in  Giovinazzo, Italy. She is in an ongoing collaboration for a project called Calling the Goddess with Shanghai based vocalist/ choreographer/ performer, Jay Peng Zhang that premiered in Uppsala, Sweden, followed by performances in Brooklyn NY, and Ann Arbor. Working with Sarah Konner and Austin Selden, she contributed to the creation of an evening length work- Emi, Amy and Mimi, the Celebrated Love Partners and Their Bicycle Emi Nomo. She collaborated with Sarah Konner, Austin Selden and Beth Graczyk in the creation of a companion work to “Emi Nomo” called Manicula is a Revolver.  She presented improvisation workshops at the International Society of Improvised Music in Chateaux D’Oex, Switzerland in June 2015, and an alternative movement presentation at The University of Valetta, Malta as part of the Dance Studies Association conference in 2018. She has taught at and collaborated with members of Tanz Tangente in Berlin in 2015 and 2016, worked with members of  ResExtensa Danza Teatro Danza in Bari, Italy from 2009-2014. She has had the pleasure of collaborating with many ground breaking artists and makers. Frequent collaborators include, Sarah Konner, Xan Burley, Alex Springer, Austin Selden, Peter Schmitz, Lisa Gonzalez, Beth Graczyk, Donnell Oakley, Jessica Jolly, Aidan Feldman, Malcolm Tulip and many others. “Amy Chavasse is a continual surprise, solo or ensemble. Her dances are simultaneously absurd, smart and disturbing, and she chooses her collaborators well.” (Quinn Batson- OffOffOff). 

Touring throughout the US in 2015-16 with Sola, Dances by and for Women, she performed a solo Conspiracy Going, Amy Needs A Lot of Empathy,  prompted Melanie Wiesen of theTampa Art Breaker to write: “The most polarizing of the six pieces, Amy Chavasse’s (University of Michigan) “Conspiracy Going,” seemed to be a rejection of the easy, digestible portrayal of contemporary dance on television. A mix of spoken word and dance, Chavasse, with no musical accompaniment, performed the intensely personal piece with incredible athleticism and passion. Her verbal commentary on sadism and authority, matched by her powerful and aggressive physicality, was the most provocative piece of art I have seen in the past year.” and is planning a new project for summer and fall 2020 with Grupo Krapp, (Buenos Aires).  She was a guest teacher at The American Dance Festival’s WFFS series from 2014-2018.

Her work questions a broad range of incendiary topics, wrestles with assumptions about performance and representation, seeks to examine barriers and boundaries— both real and imaginary, and traverses pathways and processes that are vivid, brazen and sensuous.

She danced in the companies of Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians (NYC) and in many independent projects in NYC, Washington DC, San Diego, Seattle and beyond. BFA- University of NC School of the Arts; MFA- University of Washington.

Research Interests

social sciences
mixed methods