DLI Research Associate
Biography: Michael Byrne is the Creative Lead for Tech, Arts and Culture at Cornell University’s technology campus in New York City, Cornell Tech, and is passionate about the collisions between dance, history, and immersive applications. He is a proud Research Associate of the Digital Life Initiative, and also co-leads the Milstein Summer Program in Technology and Humanity. Michael completed his undergraduate design degree in South Africa, before continuing his performance studies at the Royal Academy of Music, King’s College London, RADA, and the University of Cambridge. For over a decade he appeared within the narrative works of The Royal Ballet, and in several touring productions for the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Ballet companies.
Creative highlights for Michael include 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. He was announced as a 2023-24 Dance Research Fellow by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and will be using his fellowship to ask: how can we vivify American dancer Martha Graham’s ongoing spirit of innovation through the intersection of technology, performance, and archival practice?
Affiliations: 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).
Computational Histories Program: www.dli.tech.cornell.edu/computational-histories