Michael Helland is a Brussels-based dance artist working with Christian Bakalov, Thomas Proksch, Isabel Lewis, Tino Sehgal, Daniel Linehan, and Heather Kravas. Previous projects include performances and exhibitions with Maria Hassabi, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche, Xavier Le Roy, Katy Pyle, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Karl Van Welden, Eleanor Bauer, Faye Driscoll, Marina Abramović, robbinschilds, Big Art Group, RoseAnne Spradlin, and Sam Kim, among others.
Working at the crossroads of theatrical presentation, exhibition-based contexts, and public art modalities, Helland makes creative interventions aimed to foster social connectivity and help communities face the dark uncertainty of the future. His current research-in-action RECESS (Ritual Experience Concept Event Spa Show) has resulted in RECESS: Dance of Light (2016) – a one-hour theatrical intervention at Abrons Arts Center in New York, and RECESS: ZSenne Salon (2017) – a two-week pop-up urban sanctuary at ZSenne art lab in Brussels. RECESS was awarded a 2017 Flemish Research Grant and is looking forward to a 2019 Workspacebrussels residency.
Prior to relocating from New York to Brussels in 2010, Helland received a 2009 New York Dance and Performance ‘Bessie’ Award for his performance in Faye Driscoll’s 837 Venice Boulevard. He received a 2010 Jardin d’Europe danceWEB scholarship to ImPulsTanz in Vienna and was a 2012 Jardin d’Europe Wild Card resident at ex.e.r.ce. in Montpellier. In 2013 Helland was invited by Chrysa Parkinson to participate in the Dancer as Agent conference at DOCH in Stockholm, resulting in the publication of their Curating Your Moves conversation in the 2014 Dancer as Agent Collection.
In 2007 Helland presented the immersive dance theater production The Dress Up Show at the Chocolate Factory, followed by the 2008 Dress Up Party in SCOPE New York at Lincoln Center. His work has been showcased at Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and Movement Research at Judson Church, among other venues, shown in Brussels at Volksroom and Artpotheek, and supported by creative residencies at Summer Studios, Villa Empain, wpZimmer, and ZSenne art lab.
Helland frequently works as performance advisor and in an array of creative collaborations. His choreography for Yan Duyvendak’s 2015 Sound of Music was presented across Switzerland, France, and Italy. His 2013 Vita Activa, created in partnership with Daniel Linehan, has been presented in Belgium at deSingel, Vooruit, and STUK, and in France by Opéra de Lille at the Maison Folie Wazemmes. From 2011 to 2013 he also worked as the technical assistant for Ivo Dimchev.
From 2007 to 2010 Helland curated the quarterly Brink performance series at Dixon Place and was part of the artist-based staff at The Field in New York. He has curated and served upon artist-based panels for the American Dance Festival, Brooklyn Arts Council, Dance Theater Workshop, and New Dance Alliance, among other organizations.
Helland holds degrees in Dance and in Community, Environment, and Planning from the University of Washington in Seattle.