Michael Byrne

Michael Byrne

DLI Research Fellow

Biography: As a DLI Research Fellow at Cornell University's technology campus in New York City, Michael Byrne explores the ways in which mixed reality and dance can redress historical asymmetries in urban and rural environments. His core project unites leaders from the fields of performance, tech, museology, and architecture to illuminate the histories of marginalized communities through movement and computational design. Michael also investigates contextual disruptions through re-performance, addressing themes of ageism and intergenerational knowledge transmission (as modalities of embodied technology) within dance practices. Recent highlights for him involved collaborating with New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute (NYCI) to activate two commissions by Sophie Laplane and Alysa Pires on the Cornell Tech campus, as well as a cross-disciplinary partnership with Ballet Hispánico using dance, drones, and robotics.

Affiliations: In addition to being a proud member of the Digital Life Initiative (DLI), Michael is affiliated with the XR Collaboratory (XRC) in Cornell University's Department of Computer and Information Science (Cornell Tech). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership, an organization dedicated to illuminating Eleanor's legacy of social justice at her home in Hyde Park and beyond.

Education: Undergraduate Studies (South Africa) – Vega School of Design and Branding. Graduate Studies (United Kingdom) – Royal Academy of Music, King's College London, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and University of Cambridge.

Performance: In parallel with his studies, Michael acted within the following narrative repertoire of The Royal Ballet: Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote (USA Tour), The Firebird, The Winter's Tale (Australian Tour), Manon, Ondine, Mayerling, Anastasia, Prince of the Pagodas, Strapless, Sylvia, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Other credits: performing at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in King Lear, As You Like It, Anne Boleyn and The Merry Wives of Windsor (UK Tour); travelling to Tokyo and Yokohama in The Royal Opera's production of La Traviata; joining the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballet companies during their respective Covent Garden seasons; and singing as a Royal Academy of Music backing vocalist for Elton John at Wembley Stadium.

Design: Michael worked as an Art Director for Network BBDO (South Africa), as well as Citigroup Investment Bank and Kramer (United Kingdom).

Contact: mjb556@cornell.edu
Computational Histories Program: www.dli.tech.cornell.edu/computational-histories