Meet Michael Levine…dancer, teacher, app creator…yes, I said app creator…read on to find out more…
1. How did you become involved in dance?
My mother. Isn’t that what we all say? My Mother was a recreational ballet dancer and attended performances while living in San Francisco. When I was younger and jumping around from activity to activity, she put me in “ballet”. I took to it and progressed fairly quickly beyond the level that my small town could support. I was lucky to have two parents that were willing to drive me further afield to get better training.
I ultimately left school early to attend the San Francisco Ballet School as a full time scholarship student. I was never a dancer because of the pretty parts: tutus and tights, etc. I loved the physical, the theatrical, and the transformative. Interests that expressed themselves throughout my career.
2. Where did your career take you?
Artistically or Physically?
Artistically it took me far beyond what I dreamt possible for me. The roles that I have portrayed and the ballets that I have gotten to be a part of still amaze me. Part of what I loved about being at Joffrey during the time that I was there was the mix of contemporary and historic ballets that we were doing at the time. When I look back at the roles that really strike a cord with me they are all theatrical in nature. For example: Romeo from Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet; Death from Kurt Joos’s The Green Table; and the Lover from Tudor’s Lilac Garden. Romeo and Death because I saw both of those ballets as a kid and loved them, but I never thought I’d do them, much less the leads. The Lover because it was the first time that I was moved beyond myself in the role I was portraying.
Physically my career took me all over the world. I was lucky while I was in both Joffrey and ABT that both companies were traveling a fair amount. I always found it fascinating how people in different countries would react to performances. In the end I was fortunate to travel to the Mediterranean several times: Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. I was on multiple tours to Europe, Asia, Middle and South America. I was fortunate to work with my wife for most of my career and we took advantage of the travel. After one tour to Australia we stayed on in New Zealand for 10 extra days (we considered that our honeymoon even though it was years before we got married). It was a fabulous way to see the world and I feel very blessed to have all those memories.
3. What are you doing now? [Read more…]