MIchelle's Story| 28mins
Director: Meryl Tankard | Producer: Kate Croser and Meryl Tankard
Focus Years: 2015 | Country: Australia
This award-winning documentary is an intimate portrait of acclaimed dancer Michelle Ryan whose passion and courage has enabled her to overcome life-shattering personal adversity after her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis.
At the peak of her career, Michelle Ryan was one of Australia's leading artists, dancing under the direction of Meryl Tankard at the Australian Dance Theatre. From there she toured the world until she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Betrayed by her body she lost her career, mobility and marriage. Despite her damaged confidence and physical impairment, in a chance moment, she is drawn back to dance, eventually becoming artistic director at the Restless Dance Theatre, an Adelaide-based company working with young people with disabilities.
“Michelle's Story” is an uplifting story that offers insight into the world of dance and disability and the liberating power of art.
Director Meryl Tankard has known and worked with Michelle extensively - from their time at the ADT to a West End musical in London. As a dancer and choreographer who has had an intimate relationship with Michelle, she is ideally placed to make this documentary, which features archival footage shot over ten years of Michelle performing in many of Meryl Tankard's major works created for Australian Dance Theatre and The Meryl tankard Company in Canberra.