Michael Galen is a professional dancer and musician, born and raised in Portland, OR. While his choreography and movement specialisms are rooted in hip hop and other club styles, his performance style has evolved in the intersections between dance, percussion, music and lights.
Having laid a solid musical foundation through drum set, piano and percussion, Michael is able to draw on the jazz, hip hop, soul, Cuban and Brazilian aesthetics to improvise and innovate. He has a proven track record of remaining versatile while producing high quality, forward-thinking work. Whether that’s on stage, on screen, or part of an art installation. As a choreographer, a performer or a teacher.
As a serious percussionist, he has been drawn to many highly rhythmic and social dances and cultures. His independent study has blessed him with a plethora of masterful music teachers on the west coast and in Ghana and Brazil [including Mel Brown, Gary Hobbs, Jorge Alabé, Miguel Bernal, Massamba Diop, Doglono]. His current work with Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater has provided a space for him to create contemporary folklore as a choreographer and performer. He is also a New Expressive Works residency alum.
Other recent notable work has been on NW tours, TEDxMtHood, What The Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as on TV and film with IFC’s Portlandia, a Comedy Central Special, commercials, and short films. He has studied with Ronald K Brown’s Evidence company, Rosangela Silvestre, Kemba Shannon, Eric Negron, Tony McGregor, and many more.
Michael is on the teaching faculty for numerous programs, including: Portland Community College, PHAME – adults with developmental disabilities, MAC, KCLC, and more. He is a founding member of Brazilian soul band POPgoji.