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Michelle Ryan



Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan has enjoyed a career in the arts spanning 25 years. After graduating from Queensland University of Technology. Michelle worked for the Queensland Arts Council before joining Meryl Tankard's Australian Dance Theatre in Canberra and Adelaide. For nearly eight years, Michelle toured extensively to world-renowned theatres in London, New York, Europe and Tokyo and across Australia. She also worked with Tankard on the Andrew Lloyd Webber's West End Production, The Beautiful Game and remounted productions for Tankard in Portugal and Sweden.

At the age on 30, at the pinnacle of her career, Michelle was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating and cruel disease, especially for one who relies so heavily on her body's refined movements on a daily basis. As a result, Michelle stopped performing immediately and returned to Australia. Facing immense personal challenges, self doubt and possibly a future that did not include dance, Michelle still managed to focus on the arts and became a founding member of Splintergroup, worked at Dancenorth and joined National Disability Services.

After a 10 year hiatus from performing, Michelle returned to the stage in 2011 as a guest artist for Alain Plattel Out of Context for Pina by Les Ballet C de la B for Brisbane Festival, followed by Take Up Thy Bed and Walk by Gaelle Mellis in 2012. These were acclaimed performances that reignited the passion and fortitude to once again take to the stage with renewed confidence.

Michelle was appointed Artist Director in 2013 of Restless Dance Theatre, a company who work with people with and without disability, and has created two works for the company, In The Balance and Touched. During this time she has performed in London at the Unlimited Festival, at the Melbourne Malthouse Theatre and the Adelaide Festival Centre in Torque Show's Intimacy. The production won the 2015 Australian Dance Award for independent Dance and Michelle was awarded the Adelaide Critics Circle Award for her performance.

"Michelle's Story" was screened on ABC TV as part of the Australian Story series in May 2016, to over 220 000 viewers.

Her inspirational story is one of beauty, sadness, personal challenges and ultimately of independence and success ,as she heads into the future from her wheelchair.

Michelle Ryan

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