MICHAEL J. LOVE
INTERDISCIPLINARY TAP DANCE ARTIST
Select mentions and words of praise.
"...Ariel René Jackson’s video The Future Is a Constant Wake (2019) is a standout in a show whose sheer volume of provocative work made individual prominence difficult. Audible throughout the galleries, Jackson’s voiceover accompanies looping footage of two Black feet working dry soil back and forth, inscribing cryptic patterns: 'Gestures become technology, pushing back against the Age of Enlightenment that we insist on preserving.'..."
Art in America review (April 2021)
"...While remaining largely elusive about the upcoming exhibition, the duo shared a few intriguing details. The installation will include a three-channel video piece where the artists, as their alter-egos Confuserella and Babé, will illustrate “a futuristic location where Black America's history of agriculture and tap dance merges to create a transformative landscape.” The videos will later appear in the second and third iterations of the series, which will eventually include elements of live performance."
Austin Chronicle (April 2021)
"'We are two Black queer individuals who navigate space and time by going backwards. We pay homage to past eras in order to generate Black joy,' said Jackson in a recent phone call. 'We come from different studio practices, but together our work is about creating space for each other. I create a stage for Michael to perform in and Michael transforms that space and the material in it through his performances.'"
Sightlines Magazine (April 2021)
"Princeton Arts Fellows for 2021-23 Announced: Interdisciplinary tap dance artist Michael J. Love, filmmaker and visual artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden, and comedian, actress and disability advocate Maysoon Zayid have been named Princeton University Arts Fellows for 2021-23 by the Lewis Center for the Arts and will begin two years of teaching and community collaboration in September."
"Tell us something unique about your process: 'A lot of my process involves embodying ideas or larger questions, not just through movement but also through sound and rhythm. Sometimes, my movement is driven by rhythm / corporeal sound (i.e., the rhythms I want to make / create require specific postures or a specific sequence of actions, etc.) and vice versa. So, creating work means thinking simultaneously about look and sound. Additionally, a lot of my work involves live improvisation. In these instances, my process becomes much more about sort of curating specific moments or moods with music, projections, text, voice, etc.'"
Big Medium Artist Feature (December 2020)
"'Still to this day, when people (think of) tap dance, they expect certain things, and I’m interested in not meeting those expectations, and in fact, taking people other places. A lot of my work is about identity, race, gender, queerness. So, placing some of the onus on audience members to think about their own positionality to some of these issues.'
With that intention, Love sometimes chooses to face away from the audience when he dances, a practice of subversion that harkens back to Miles Davis, who would turn his back to the white audience as he played.
'It becomes more of a witnessing of something,' Love says, 'which calls for deeper introspection, both from me as the person who’s presenting the work and also the audience members.'"
Sightlines Magazine (January 2021)
"For pieces like DOPE FIT!, the second in a three-piece series, this feedback fosters growth and adaptation. 'This is just a point in the show’s life, and it’ll simply continue to grow from here,' says Michael Love..."
Austin Chronicle (April 2019)
"Phillip: I saw some clips of Michael J. Love’s rehearsals on Instagram in preparation for this performance, but his artistry blew my mind in person. Especially with the music that is so familiar to me–well, it’s of my sister’s generation, but it’s music that I grew up listening to. Hearing that music and seeing tap dance set to it was incredible for me. I grew up watching Savion Glover in the 90s, and prior to his work tap had always been set to like this like, jazzy, vaudeville type music, but this felt very fresh. The performance struck me and I was confronted with the dynamism of tap. I was reminded that tap is an evolutionary genre of dance, moving from minstrelsy, to vaudeville, and to jazz. Savion Glover brought it so hard with rise of R&B and Hip-Hop. But now, we’ve got something new, with Beyoncé, and pop music, and all these other contemporary references that came up during his performance..."
Fusebox Festival Blog (April 2019)
"After pouring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2015, and April 30, 2016, the members of the Austin Critics Table have agreed on the most outstanding work in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre...."
Austin Chronicle (May 2016)
Austin Chronicle Arts/ Dance Listings
April 2017: Love & Rhythm: An Evening of Tap Dance
"Michael J. Love presents his full-length tap dance work, Gon’ Head and Put Your Records On!, exploring race, orientation, and gender. Actors Delanté Keys and Rama Tchuente are featured, and this kinetic spectacle is partnered with Five 4 Five, the debut of the Austin Rhythm Tap Society – with Brenna Kuhn, Tony Merriwether, and Matthew Shields. Directed by that same Love, with some fine assistance by Rebecca Whitehurst. April 21-22. Fri.-Sat., 7:30pm (2017). $19."