Michael Montanaro is a trans-disciplinary artist who is best known for his work in the field of contemporary dance and mixed media. A graduate of the Hartford Conservatory, he has performed with the Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and Le Groupe de la Place Royale where he also served for 5 years as co-artistic director. In 1985 he founded Montanaro Dance, developing a reputation for using cutting edge technology to create theatrical environments for his choreography. Over its ten-year history Montanaro Dance toured both nationally and internationally.
Since 1996 Michael has worked as a choreographer, director and collaborator on numerous projects including the Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai”, Opéra de Montréal`s multi-media version of “Carmina Burana”, the documentary “Montanaro In Time”, a full length theatrical work “Frankenstein’s Ghosts, and a series of short films entitled “Dances For Small Spaces”. He has also been deeply involved in the envisioning, design and creation of numerous research projects dedicated to evolving innovative ways in which new technologies are used to enhance the performative experience within responsive environments.
Michael has been chair of the Department of Contemporary Dance, Concordia University, for the past 15 years, is Associate Director of the Topological Media Lab and a founding member of Hexagram / Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts.
As Associate Director of the Topological Media Lab, which is under the direction of Canada Research Chair Dr. Sha Xin Wei, he is involved in working with many of the graduate students in the conception, development, creative direction and realization of many of the labs diverse research streams. Michael is currently overseeing the direction of “Einstein’s Dream”- a large scale interactive installation; and “WunderKammer” - a miniature interactive theatre that combines the mechanical tropes of Victorian science, (such as Pepper’s Ghost) with 21c live computational video and sound processing. In 2012-2013, Michael was invited by the Centre for Music Studies at Cambridge University as guest lecturer and spent two separate periods of time at the University of Chicago as a visiting artist.
Besides his work with the Topological Media Lab, Montanaro is in the final stages of producing a full-length film version of Frankenstein’s Ghosts, which should be released to the public in June 2014. He is also involved in producing the innovative lecture series entitled “Physical Lectures” (physicallectures.com)
Plans for 2015 include first stage creative work on “Krakatoa” - a new contemporary opera by Tim Brady and Inter Arts Matrix.