J Michael Winward

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My solo performance is a mixture of movement and memoir. Part personal essay, part contemporary dance, the work often weaves back and forth between linear and nonlinear expression. By interpreting culturally significant texts (e.g. the prayers of the rosary, or the Star-Spangled Banner), I reframe iconic language in the context of my personal experience. It is through the lens of this experience that I process the world around me, acknowledging specific facets of my identity: gay, cisgender, caucasian, Irish-American, lapsed-Catholic. And in so processing, I aim to make performance that speaks to a broad audience about universal topics: coming of age, institutional injustice, the politics of being oneself.


This work is supported by The Boston Foundation through grants from Live Arts Boston (in partnership with the Barr Foundation), and Next Steps for Boston Dance (in partnership with the Aliad Fund). Full-length videos of the following performances are available upon request. For more information about presenting this repertory or commissioning new work, please contact me.


Spangled is a reinterpretation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key.

Debut: Tiny & Short: A Drop in The Bucket, The Dance Complex, 2018. 

Lighting by Elmer Martinez

Video by Bill Parsons

Photo by Olivia Blaisdell Photography / halfasianlens

Program Note: It is worth noting that the last line of the first verse of The Star-Spangled Banner (the last line sung in most modern renditions) is asked as a question.


Hail Mary, Cha cha cha! is a solo dance theater piece based on the structure and content of the Catholic Rosary.

Debut: Dancing Queerly, The Dance Complex, 2018.

Work Cited: Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922.

Lighting by Paul Marr.

Video by Linden Tree Productions.

Photo by Olivia Blaisdell Photography / halfasianlens, courtesy of Dancing Queerly, 2018

This performance was made possible, in part, thanks to a Live Arts Boston grant from The Boston Foundation.


You Heard the Man is a solo dance theater piece that deals with the tension between prescriptive gender stereotypes.

Performance: A Queer Time & Place, The Dance Complex, Cambridge, MA, 2017

Debut: New Faces, New Dances, Salzburg, Austria, 2008

Work Cited:

  • Glen or Glenda, Ed Wood, 1953

  • Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller, 1949

  • Evita, Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice, 1978


Lighting by Matt Cost.

Video by William Parsons.

Photo by Short Photo Co.


SOLO is a compilation of solo dance theater vignettes, created by J Michael Winward, in collaboration with the dancers of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Plymouth, Massachusetts.



Performance: The Spire Center for the Performing Arts, Plymouth, MA, 2015


Featured Performers:

  • Mary Good

  • Jazz Good-Stone

  • Angel Fox

Work Cited: J.S. Bach, Cello Suite #1 in G Major, BWV

1007: II. Allemande


Video by Brewster Productions.

Image by Allison DiMaggio.