Crossing all genres of music and dance, and all mediums, Michael Schwandt is one of the most dynamic creative directors and choreographers today contributing not only to movement, but the overall look of a project influencing style, wardrobe, LED content, lighting, musical arrangement and set design.
Michael has worked with an array of ARTISTS that include Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry, Kelly Rowland & David Guetta, Avril Lavigne, Flo Rida, Cobra Starship, Akon, Havana Brown, Tinie Tempah, John Legend, Timomatic, The Veronicas, Sean Kingston, Luciana, Train, Sheryl Crow, Trace Adkins, The Gypsy Kings, and Latinsuperstars Gloria Trevi, Juan Luis Guerra, Ninel Conde, Claudia Leitte and Ricky Martin. Highlights from the above list include helping to bring an unknown Lady Gaga to the world in 2008 when he staged her first ever network TV performance to “Just Dance,” ultimately seen by millions around the globe. In 2010, again keeping his eye ahead of the curve, Michael conceptualised a fully programmable electrical light wire costume for Katy Perry’s performances on David Letterman and her Teenage Dream promo tour, being the first to use iLuminate technology. In 2011, Michael had the humbling pleasure of being the first choreographer in 15 years to work with living legend, Betty White for her music video debut. Again ahead of the curve in 2015, Michael helped Kendrick Lamar create the most disruptive music performance in ages, a mobile concert moving through the streets of LA that amassed 5,000 people along the way.
Michael’s work has been seen on a variety of TELEVISION shows that include working on the 2014 season of American Idol on FOX, developing the new ABC Family series Dancing Fools, staging guest artists for the CW series Oh Sit!, creating and overseeing 60 performances for the CMT dance series Your Chance To Dance,guest appearing and creating 7 different music videos for America’s Next Top Model, guest judging and choreographing So You Think You Can Dance in both Europe & Asia, The Late Show with David Letterman, TheLate Late Show with James Corden, the MTV World Cup Concert in Rio, Isle of MTV in Malta, and from 2008-2012 tackling the massive job of stage director and choreographer for the NBC TV specials Miss Universe and Miss USA. Michael’s work on LIVE spectaculars has included a partnership with Nike where he has creatively directed and staged a series of high-profile PR events in the US, South America, Asia and Europe for the 2016 Summer Olympics Innovation Live Show feat. Carl Lewis and Shawn Johnson, 2014 World Cup feat. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, the 2012 Olympics and most notably, Michelle Obama’s “Lets Move” campaign which included Ms. Obama, Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, Bo Jackson, Bob Harper and 6,000 kids all moving in sync. Michael has most recently evolved one of America’s oldest performance traditions, as creative director for the 2015-2017 Ringling Brothers Circus Xtreme arena tour infusing new elements like free-running, parkour, slackline, BMX, bungee and a much more contemporary fresh take on the show, giving it a very new and progressive direction for the present day.
Michael has helped in Reebok’s new brand transformation creating intense,functional live fitness/crossfit/yoga/UFC shows unlike any other live sport show to date. No stranger to epic live spectaculars, Michael has also staged projects for Playboy, Beats 1Run, American Horror Story Hotel, Las Vegas hotel Mandalay Bay’s 2013 New Years Eve spectacular, choreographed a host of stadium bowl game half time shows that include the BCS Championship Bowl, Orange Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and choreographed productions for Norwegian Cruise Lines and Wyndham Hotels Bahamas.
Michael’s COMMERCIAL work includes choreography for UNICEF’s 2012 Anti-Violence campaign, AT&T andMGM Mirage with additional COPORATE work that has included live events for Reebok, Oakley, Fiat, DirecTV, Schechers, PUMA, Jafra Cosmetics, Charles Schwab and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
A graduate of the University of Texas Radio-TV-Film Dept, education is very important to Michael. He continues to give back to the dance community by mentoring and educating aspiring dancers via guest master classes all over the world. He has been on faculty at The EDGE Performing Arts Ctr. in Hollywood, Tremaine Dance Convention, Hollywood Vibe Convention and been a guest faculty at Debbie Allen Dance Academy,Broadway Dance Center Japan, Sydney Dance Company, Brent Street Studios Sydney, Ed5 InternationalSydney, Urban Dance Centre Sydney, Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance Melbourne, Western AustralianUniversity of Performing Arts Perth, Pineapple Studios London, Dance Academy Zurich, Harbour DanceVancouver, MBS Toronto and Manhattan Dance Project.