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Thursday, August 15 2019
5:00 PM TO 8:00 PM

SPACE, Portland Dance Month, and Ruckus Dance are proud to announce we are commissioning Michael Figueroa’s first-ever, evening-length show that will be choreographed and developed with Maine based dancers. SPACE is seeking to pilot this work as an annual initiative of bringing an outside choreographer to collaborate locally, creating a paid opportunity for local dancers and performance artists.


The audition (in the form of an open survey and a class) will take place Thursday, August 15th from 5-8 pm at SPACE on 538 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101. If there is any conflict with timing or questions, please contact

Ruckus Dance is looking for participants who:

  • are comfortable in both performing choreography and improvisation respectively
  • ​are cool with speaking/singing in performance (memorization skills are a plus)
  • feel good about accomplishing tasks
  • have experience with dance partnerships/have their own contact practice
  • people who have a theatrical sensibility
  • are just generally down to have a generative time
  • have a hidden talent that you’d like to share
  • have been a cheerleader at some point
  • have a sense of humor to balance their discipline

After this open workshop/audition, selected dancers will be asked to participate in a two-week intensive rehearsal period October 27 through November 7 at rehearsals with location/timing TBA with performances on November 7th & 8th at SPACE. The performance and rehearsal process will come with a paid stipend.

About the work, from the artist:

this is why we can’t have nice things will be an attention deficit, pseudo-cabaret with a healthy amount of audience interaction/soft interrogation, people lifting, and not so worked out references to great choreographers. Through making this work, I am trying to find the value in the ideas that I have thrown away or passed by or forgotten. My goal is to execute things I have deemed stupid, outlandish, not appropriate for a performance, or just generally a bad idea with the intention of doing them well. I am trying to understand how we impose order and arrange actions that don’t ‘belong’ together. Is there a logic to self-expression?”


MICHAEL FIGUEROA is a Boston-based (by way of South Florida) performance maker, teacher, dancer, and director of Ruckus Dance.  His dances deal with rulebreaking, rote memory, personal anecdotes, occasional audience participation, and improvised situations. In the year 2018, he presented three evening-length shows: Baby’s First Show at The Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA), Ruckus Dance: KnockOut at the Performance Garage (Philadelphia, PA), and all by myself at Arts at the Armory (Somerville, MA). The shows were a part of the Ruckus Dance: 2018 Tour & Performance Series, made possible with grant support from The Boston Foundation, Somerville Arts Council, and the New England Foundation of the Arts. Michael has premiered four solos in the Greater Boston area, and his work has been commissioned by SPACE Gallery (ME), Dance Now Boston, Outside the Box Festival, Mobius Artists Group (MA), and The Dance Complex. He attended The Boston Conservatory and graduated with a BFA in dance.


For the past three and a half years, Michael has taught weekly classes as a part of the Midday Movement Series, in addition to workshops at Boston Arts Academy, Moving Target Portland & Boston, College of the Holy Cross, and Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, and Access 8 at Gibney Studios. His teaching practice navigates the intersections between choreography and improvisation and encourages participants to investigate what they already know and determine how they learn best.


Figueroa has performed in projects by/with Alex Davis, Jimena Bermejo, smolnikova + williams, Yuri Yanowsky, Sarah Mae Gibbons, Nicole Pierce, Peter Dimuro, Joy Davis, Compagnie ADN Dialect, Prometheus Dance, Cathy Young, Dendy/Donovan Projects and Margot Gelber.