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i sleep in the womb of earth... cradled by water's pulse...

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Underwater Photos by: Rodrigo Salsas


“I enter this liminal space- an in-between the unfamiliar and known. Between daily life and the invisible voicings - as well a wish to touch and be touched. I hold this all as I am moved and surprised. I explore myself as both sophisticated alien and subtle body - an evolution of landscapes, textures, & sounds. I am that strange sensation, unknown and twinkling. A wish to enter this space alone. A wish to enter this space with you, altogether.”

Michelle Shiu-lin Lai is a Los Angeles based interdisciplinary performance artist/poet, practicing architectural designer, and Alexander Technique Teacher. She received her BA in Architecture from USC in 2007. Lai is interested in coming in touch with and expanding her awareness of the potential of the body/mind and to challenge her sense of what dance could be through a culmination of various practices.


Lai investigates the primal poetics of space through a process-based extraction of text through body memory/history, & butoh influenced sensitivity training. She presented her solo work “Tidals” as part of Flower of the Season 2021 residency.  Lai shared her Subtle Body Workshop in Friday Harbor, WA, 2020. She traveled to Merida, Mexico January 2018 writing and presenting new poetry works at MEL as part of the USPIM conference. She is ever in awe working (2009-present) with Oguri & Roxanne Steinberg’s Body Weather Laboratory- witnessing the deepening change and curiosity in her body experience year after year while witnessing the change in body, presence, and expression of those whom she practices with. She has performed with Lightning Shadow in works: "Caddy, Caddy, Caddy!" - Hammer 2016, Grand Performances: "Mare Imbrium"- CA Plaza 2015, "Kalpa" - Getty 2012,  "Falling Water" Indianapolis museum of Art 2011 and many more.


She performed her poetry work in the debut of band Linear Ghost at the Bluewhale, Downtown LA- a collaboration with artist musicians Robert Jacobson, Breeze Smith, Darryl Tewes, & Tim Maher. Lai performed solo work “This Mouth and the Space of Nothing” at A+D Museum downtown LA (2016) and frequently collaborates with a range of artists across different media including film/ video, visual, sculpture, & sound. Lai has created works in performance art trio PO1 with Heyward Bracey and Kio Griffith, presenting a series of multi-media explorations of body, self, time, & identity.


Lai is an Alexander Technique Teacher in Santa Monica, CA She has taken her dance practice underwater- traveling to Sicily & the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula where she combines her love of freediving and dance through projectLimb a workshop led by Gabrielle Forestieri.

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Santa Monica, CA

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