Despondent Diva

Choreographer Sarah Michelson's in the dark before Daylight


Daylight's other commissioner is Philip Bither of Minneapolis's Walker Art Center, a strong supporter of Michelson's work who advocated with other funders to help secure money for the project.

"The Walker is building a 300-seat theater with the technical capacity of a 1,000-seat theater," Michelson says, "and we were invited to recontextualize the new building. Parker and I went to meet the architects: Herzog & de Meuron, based in Basil, Switzerland. I wanted to connect the two projects; Herzog & de Meuron had intricate concepts that can be revealed in an interesting way when applied to the significantly less glamorous theater at P.S.122.

Glum goddess: Michelson (foreground) rehearsing with Greg Zuccolo and Parker Lutz
photo: Richard Termine
Glum goddess: Michelson (foreground) rehearsing with Greg Zuccolo and Parker Lutz

"I have big ideas; I'm interested in something that's expensive. I'm actually thinking of quitting in order to change disciplines. Is there something else I could do where I'd be as engaged as I am in this form, but not so beaten down? After the Next Wave I think maybe I'm done. I have to figure out something else to do with my life; I don't know how long I can sustain this passion before the reason I started doing it dies with the struggle I face. I want to set aside time to experiment with film . . . with the same people. I'd be interested in the cinematography and the editing. I want to make a blockbuster.

"I turned 40; I thought something came if you worked really hard and got lucky. I'm so lucky, I'm so grateful, but I thought some other part of my life would get fixed, and it didn't. In fact, it's kind of worse. I'm so excited about the project, and my dancers and I love working together, but it's hard to imagine that we'll be able to sustain it."


Due to an inury to Michelson's foot, her PS122 season has been cancelled.

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