MICHAEL J. LOVE
INTERDISCIPLINARY TAP DANCE ARTIST
Select mentions and words of praise.
“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.”
"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.'"
"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: "Michael Love’s Gon’ Head And Put Your Records On: A Conversation" by Neon Queen Collective (Jessi DiTillio, Kaila Schedeen, and Phillip Townsend)
"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 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."
"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...."
Winners of the 2015-2016 Austin Critics’ Table Awards
The Austin-American Statesman and Austin Critics’ Table announces 2015-2016 award nominations
"Michael Love’s breezy quality was a pleasure to watch; he made everything seem effortless, even though his rhythms required such precision."
The Austin-American Statesman
"Love was more extroverted, allowing his long limbs to run wild before halting them with powerful stamps..."