Michelle Heaven is an independent choreographer and dance performer whose work has been presented at Melbourne Festival, Beijing Dance Festival, Dance Massive and Castlemaine State Festival. Michelle is a recipient of The Australian Post Graduate Award (Industry) Scholarship and several Victorian Green Room Awards, she has also been nominated for Helpman and Australian Dance Awards.
Michelle will work with lighting designer Ben Cobham and a team to research and explore the possibilities for presenting performances in atypical and non-theatrical spaces such as hospitals and care facilities. Over three months, their research will involve meetings with staff and interviews with target audience members to better understand the parameters of working in new environments. They will explore the requirements for stage design, lighting and sound in these environments as well as how to ensure that content is suitable and offers maximum benefit to the audience.
What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?
Being awarded the Creators Fund is a huge honour. It is an awaited opportunity to have the time and resources to enter new terrain. For me, this is the beginning of an investigative process into less familiar territory, within the arts and health sector. This research combines existing skills with growing interests and aims to provide meaningful, positive experiences and benefits to those who are not normally able to access such experiences.
How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?
Time is crucial to imagine, investigate, explore, contemplate and create. It is an invisible key that opens the brain. Time provides space to digress, stumble, salvage, tunnel, compile, fossick and play. Time is quintessential to the process of discovery and creation.
What's the first thing you did when you found out you were awarded a Creators Fund grant?
I felt my heart accelerate to raise my chest through an avid inhalation - fingers squeezed into balls of energy cupping my smiling face, accompanied by fast dancing feet and muffled squeals of delight.
What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?
I am looking forward to collaborating, meeting new people, allowing the research to unfold, to see where we land and what we discover along the way.
Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?
I try not to over anticipate how certain activities will develop my career, because the truth is I don’t really know. The work is new, which is exciting, and I don’t want to limit or predict what it means before I get there in case I go somewhere completely unexpected - which I am completely open to - that is the beauty of it.