Being an artist requires me to be intimate with mobility, resourcefulness, adaptability, and acceptance that genuine work often hides in places that demand discomfort. Creating something out of nothing is no small feat, and moving that creation toward articulation and meaning, requires attention, research, risk of failure, patience, and care. My work is an activation of my artistic practices, stretching beyond simplistic modes of productivity with a movement towards viewing the world from within these practices, thus creating meaning and meaningful life.
In addition to my training in the tradition of Butoh, my creative practice draws from Indigenous spiritual knowledge systems, ceremonial dance, and Latinx culture while embracing the Zen Buddhist philosophy that we live from moment to moment. My artistic endeavors seek to reflect the complexity of this human Spirit experience while unabashedly mining from the creation processes around us, the beauty, the richness, the devastation, the longing, and the belonging.
My mission as a choreographer is cultivating presence in the body and developing a deeper relationship to moving with, into, and alongside the unknown. If we linger long enough, intuition, inspiration, and the body’s intelligence flourish. I am interested in decentering myself as the all-important Artist, as a means to illuminate the already present unfolding. This approach to choreography is the way that I confront colonialism and white supremacy within the patriarchal designs that are inherited through Western dance methodologies and are amplified through collective cultural trauma.
Fostering radical attentiveness is required to investigate presence throughout the entire body, which creates possibilities to arise. I shed conventional ideas of what dance should be, shifting energy toward what dance has not yet become. Through the rigor of practice, patience, and kindness toward self, trust in embodiment grows, allowing connections with instinct, creativity, and clarity to resound. The result is a dancer who moves with adaptability to the present moment and dance infused with curiosity and palpable presence.
Meshi Chavez is currently Artist In Residence at Middlebury College. His career has spanned two decades allowing him to teach, present and perform nationally and internationally. His work is predicated on the concept that creativity is our birthright. Through the discipline of training the mind, body, and spirit, we learn to claim this creative force and build from there. He has taught at Schumacher College and Middlebury College where he choreographed Dance Company Middlebury 2019-2020. His choreography has been presented at The Joan Mitchell Foundation in New Orleans. Chavez is co-founder of Momentum Conscious Movement, where he has been creating in-person and online, ongoing adult movement education programs for more than 20 years. He works internationally with author, scholar, and theologian Matthew Fox, teaching Movement as Meditation, with a recent online course through The Shift Network. His mentors include choreographers Denise Fujiwara and Natsu Nakajima & Donna Faye Burchfield. He believes that cultivating creativity, strengthening curiosity, and embracing the unknown, is the secret to making an artful life.
“Meshi is an extraordinary teacher who teaches with heart and head and body and from a deep place where Spirit moves and awakens and heals. Students of course love him!” Matthew Fox