Dorota Michalak is a dancer, choreographer & cultural worker of polish origins based in Berlin.

Her work is largely based on collective processes, mixing dance practice, new choreography, biology, theory, personal narratives, and fieldwork.

It revolves around tactility.

She zooms into the properties of matter, biological processes, sensory work, and sensuality to blur and augment habitual social phantasies and frameworks. She is interested in complex dependencies between bodies and infrastructures observed through the intimate somatic experience. Working with senses, imagination, and attention, she addresses poetic and transgressive potentials of everyday reality and problematizes human-environmental relations.

Within her dance practice, she uses such tools as impersonal affect, kinesthetic engagement, and deep listening to craft such qualities as drobiazgowość (fullness of details) and czułość (polish word associating responsivity, sensitivity and tenderness).

It is informed by an investigation of plant life and communication (an interest sparked within a workshop led by Jee-Ae Lim in HZT/2019). Plants direct attention towards life as immersion, enmeshing the presence of an organism with its surroundings, mixing cellular and cosmic, material, and energetic strata. Learning with plants is a labour of giving in to the sensations and pleasures, tangible conditions of ours, diving into the materiality and affects. It offers a prism to problematize human-environmental relations and practice alternative modes of communication and organizing. 

Choreography is investigated as political, poetic, and somatic work, engaging the power and sensitivity of collective attunement.
She creates staged and site-adaptive performances: 
Lush BlastA bee a unicornDoing thingsDivine smell of Paste;
co-creates collective projects: 
Draźnięta i CzaharyDoom Mood, Nudes & Conspiracies, Woods Won’t Vaporize
engages in research processes, collective actions, and experiments with educational formats:
 Exposure, Becoming plantBecoming body, Doing things/Montreal, Ataki Przestrzeni.

Combining her experience in dance, sociology, and intercultural communication, she investigates “meshwork choreography” as a tool to reflect on work organization and different modalities of collaboration that stretch towards more-than-human sociality. Inspired by lessons of disobedience with Public Movement, research-creation experiments with SenseLab, engaged pedagogy, and a prefigurative approach, she considers art as partisan social reproduction. She works between institutional contexts and bottom-up initiatives.

As a cultural studies scholar, she is influenced by comparative studies, focusing on decolonial movements and feminist materialisms digested through Eastern European heritage.

As a dancer, she has collaborated with i.a.: Isabelle Schad, Alice Chauchat, Moritz Majce & Sandra Man, Pauline Payen, Zufit Simon, Renae Shadler, Angela Schubot & Jared Gradinger, Magdalena Meindl, Forough Fami, Sheena McGrandles, Dalija Aćin Thelander, Krystyna Lama Szydłowska, Zofia Tomczyk.

She is a graduate of Tanz, Kontext, Choreographie (HZT/Berlin), Central European Studies and Intercultural Communication (UAM/Poznań).

Scholarship holder of DIS-TANZ-SOLO 2023, Tanzpraxis 2022-23, #takeheart Residenzförderung in collab. with Hellerau 2022, DIS-TANZ-SOLO 2021, Erasmus- Student Exchange Scholarship for the visit at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Communication and Media Studies) 2021, danceWEB 2020/21, PROMOS by DAAD 2019, Młoda Polska 2018 by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Alternative Dance Academy 2015 by Art Stations Foundation.

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︎ works                  ︎ dance