About Meshi

I am a dance maker, a movement facilitator, and a choreographer. I am a queer artist. I develop methods to fully inhabit the body, increasing sensitivity and awareness while creating a deeper engagement with the world. My practice is one of relationality. As a community builder, I bring people together through movement to experience being embodied together. I approach training through the cultivation of attention and curiosity. I work from the premise that all aspects of existence are inextricably linked and activated by the movement of a larger universal body. Engaging with this force strengthens self-understanding and allows artistic newness and possibilities to arise.

Butoh is my dance/performance practice, both improvisation and choreography. This dance form emerged from Japan at the time of the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In its creation, Butoh pushed against Western influence dominating the region and, with it, its dance ascetic, spreading across the globe; to this day, it still does. Instead of trying to fix dance into place, Butoh seeks to unfix it and show its wild and transformational nature. It values the development of presence, spaciousness, and stillness alongside movement. Butoh is taught worldwide yet remains a relatively niche dance expression. I am one of a handful of teachers of this work in North America. I have studied for twenty years with Denise Fujiwara and our master teacher, Natsu Nakajima. Nakajima was the first female butoh dancer and choreographer.

I am a third-generation American by blood, Mexican, and Spanish. I was adopted through ceremony into Lakota Sioux traditions in my early twenties. I have been participating in Sundance, one of the seven high ceremonies of the Lakota people, for twenty-five years. Traditionally, this is not something a Sundancer speaks about; however, as I navigate the complexities of the art world, I find myself in situations where I must divulge information that requires a certain level of opacity to maintain its integrity. My participation in ceremonial dance informs how I approach life, my understanding of movement, and my place in creation. My artistic expressions are translations of an ongoing conversation with the spirit world.

I dance to illuminate our entanglement with creation’s steady and present unfolding. I shed conventional ideas of what dance should be, shifting energy toward what it is moving toward and has yet to become. The cultivation of the moving body reveals relationships between objects, space, and time. Through the rigor of practice, patience, and kindness, trust in embodiment grows, allowing instinct, creativity, and clarity to resound. This approach to choreography is how I confront colonialism and white supremacy within the patriarchal designs inherited through Western dance methodologies and amplified through collective cultural trauma. This is how I move alongside the unknown, with adaptability to the present moment and movement infused with curiosity and palpable presence.

Meshi Chavez holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts.  Through 2021 – 2023, he was Artist In Residence at Middlebury College, where he taught full-time and created artistic works. 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, Natsu Nakajima,  Donna Faye Burchfield, and Thomas DeFrantz. He believes cultivating creativity, strengthening curiosity, and embracing the unknown is the secret to making an artful life.

Meshi Chavez – CV

“Meshi is an extraordinary teacher who teaches with heart, head, and body and from a deep place where Spirit moves, awakens, and heals.  Students, of course, love him!” Matthew Fox

Performance

Masked & Then We Were Three –
Masked – Choreography & Performance – Meshi Chavez.
Music –  A good day to live – Composed & Performed – Lisa DeGrace
Then We Were Three – Middlebury Student Work – Spring 2022
Choreography – Meshi Chavez & Kari Borni

Lorro: of wings and seas –
The 9th Asia pacific triennial of contemporary art, Brisbane Australia — 2019
Movement Choreography – Meshi Chavez
Spoken Word – Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner
Performed – Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Being Moved Performance Intensive Participants 2017 –
Choreography – Meshi Chavez
Music Composed & Performed – Lisa DeGrace
Artistic Consultant/Design – Yukiyo Kawano
Performers – Mara Steen, Teresa Vanderkin, Jen Gwirtz, Nicole Walters, and Joe Mclaughlin

Suspended Moment Performance – Hiroshima Remembrance Day 2017 Choreography & Performed – Meshi Chavez
Artistic Design & Sculptural Installation – Yukiyo Kawano
Music Composed & Performed – Lisa DeGrace
Spoken Word Creation – Alison Cobb
Video Installation – Stephen Miller

Artistic Collaboration – Meshi Chavez & Winky Wheeler
Portland Art Museum  – 2015

Classes

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
– Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

There are several opportunities to study with Meshi Chavez. He offers weekly drop-in online classes, Audio classes, Independent Study programs, and workshops throughout the year.

Weekly classes

Butoh Foundations

Butoh Foundations is an opportunity to delve deeper into our passion for dance, embracing self-discovery and creative exploration. Each week promises a unique experience, and I can’t wait to share this journey with you.

Spring Zoom Class Details: Tune-in & Tune-up

– Mondays

– Dates: TBA – Butoh Foundations is on a break. Stay tuned.

– Time: 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM Pacific Time

(For different time zones, please use this Time Zone Converter.)

Sliding Scale $25 – $15

Payments for Zoom Class or Audio can be made to:

Venmo Venmo @Meshi-Chavez or Paypal PayPal.Me/meshichavez

For Audio Sessions, please let me know if you’d like the Audio Link When you submit payment for the class.

If you have questions, email Meshi at meshichavez@icloud.com

Getting paid for what I create and provide is essential to me. Please do not share audio files with others who have not paid for the course. Providing you with accessibility and access is also important to me. I am an advocate for clear communication and honesty. Please speak with me if my pricing prevents you from joining.

Sunday Morning Dance

Sundays, 10a- 11:15a (PST)
$25 – $10 sliding scale

Zoom – Online class
Learn More 

Inquiry- Independent Study Program

Personalized Independent Movement Program
Deepen your practice and explore your creative desires.
Learn More 

Workshops

DANCING ON THE CUSP | MESHI CHAVEZ + CHLOE GOODWIN AUGUST 2nd – 4th | SANTA FE, NM

Cusp:  the point or interval of time just before something… 

Join Meshi Chavez and Chloe Goodwin for a weekend workshop of dance meditations engaged at the cusp between known and unknown.  Our embodiment practices and movement rituals will linger on the brink of the familiar and yet-to-be-discovered. From this interval, we ready ourselves for… something.  See Registration for more information + details.

Register Here


Summer Dance Camp 2024
In McMinnville, OR, with Meshi Chavez and Winky Wheeler
Friday, August 23 – 25, 2024 • $275
Don’t miss this fantastic, fun, connecting, joy-filled event!

Join us on this beautiful private property, a green, flower-filled paradise. We will camp on the lush, manicured lawn and dance under the big sky. Join us for a magical weekend of movement, connection, and fun. We’ll enjoy delicious food and hang out together. Every day, we will dance, part-led workshop, part dance party. It’s going to be a blast! 

Don’t miss it. Truly.

Register Here