° New York, 5th of June 1973

 † Zarlardinge, 20th of August 2020

Wife of Jan Van Gijsel

Michel will be laid to rest amongst an intimate circle of loving friends and family.

Michel Yang, mother, artist and an incredibly strong woman,
born 5th June 1973 in Brooklyn New York,
died on the morning of 20th of August 2020 on the farm in Zarlardinge.
After a long illness, she found rest.
She leaves behind her partner Jan and daughter Nika.

The most important moment is Now.
Does this give me joy Now, care Now
Let go of what has past
Let go of what may come ….
Let go of what is happening now
Don’t try to figure anything out
Don’t try to make anything happen
Relax, right now, and rest

A special thanks to Sarah Gevaert and her family of ZarlarSwing Boerderie
for letting us spend these last days with Michel in this beautiful environment.

Uw rouwbetuiging


    My condolences to her family and loved ones.
     I had the honour of working with Michel only twice
     but I can only remember her as a sincere and strong artist
     and above all a warm personality
    . I wasn’t in contact with her in recent years so this news comes as a shock.
    I can only share some silence and respect.
    (Tom Bonte)

    I’m very sorry for your loss.
    Michel was defintly part of the brussels’s dance scene, she’s gonna be missed.
    We didn’t know each other so well but she is was always so friendly when we met,
    always smiling and taking the time to have a small conversation.
     I’m very sad to know she is gone.
    I hope she’s in peace. She’ll be remenbered, for sure.
    All my condoleances to her family and friends.
    A friendly face is now missing in Brussels.
    (Ondine Cloez)

    Geen woorden, diep getroffen door dit verschrikkelijk nieuws.
    Veel moed voor degene die ze achterlaat …
    You left us too early!!!
    (Karin Vyncke)

    Wat een pracht mens is Michel .
    Ik wens jullie , die haar zo dierbaar zijn ,
    vooral een gevuld hart , tijd om te missen en te zijn met wat is .
    Ik ben blij haar in de dans te hebben ontmoet .
    Alle goeds ..
    (Wietse Vendrig)

    I am saddened to hear of your loss
    and send my warmest thoughts to you all, Michel’s near and dear.
    I had the pleasure of randomly working and bumping into Michel
     and remember her as a very generous and lovely person,
    always with a smile on her face and an ear open to her surroundings.
    The Brussels dance field has lost a great spirit and she will be sorely missed.
    May she rest in peace and pirouettes.
    (Nada Gambier)

    « Michel est belle sont deux mots qui vont très bien ensemble, très bien ensemble »…
     thanx the beatles for that song and thank you Michel for all those beautiful shared moments…
    kisses ..
    (Gaëtan Bulourde)

    Mijn oprechte deelneming.
    Achter elke traan van verdriet zit een glimlach van herinneringen. YX
    (Yasemin Kandemir)

    Dear Jan, dear Nika,
    We’re deeply saddened by your loss and our thoughts are with you.
    Michel has been and will always remain an inspiration for me.
    Not only as an artist, dancer and performer but also as a teacher,
     a mentorand as the beautiful, kind person sh e was.
     She fought so hard, we hope she can find peace now and rest.
    Remembering her wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts.
    Our heartfelt condolences to you and Michel’s family.
    (Bouche Iris, Kobe, Lili and Maya)

    Dear Michelle, I remember our first meeting, at Hybrid studio, with Bud.
    Your smile was welcoming and warm and intense just like the woman you are.
    We shared classes, performances, thoughts…
     and each encounter was as good as the previous one.
     I wish you all the dancing in the skies,
    all the thoughts of freedom,
    all thé smiles you deserve.
    Farewel beautiful lady.
    (Julie Bougard)

    Michel Yang was one of my teacher in the conservatory of Antwerp.
    I have very good memories of her energy and her learning.
    She inspired me a lot, as an artist, as a woman, and as a human being.
    I feel very grateful to have cross her way and to have had the chance to learn from her.
    Lot of love and support to her family and friends.
    I wish Michel you are resting in piece, still somewhere in the universe to guide people with art and life.
    (Aurore Allo)

    I’m so sad to hear of this news today,
    I will always remember Michel as a beautiful, generous and gentle person. 
     She was also a talented dancer, dance maker and teacher.
     I remember her taking my classes at La Raffinery, so full of light and joy!
    I loved seeing her turn up for class.
    Her presence will be missed.
    Michel was one of those people that made a difference,
    and she lives on within us all and the dance community she was part of.
    My heartfelt condolences to her family, and to her friends.
    (Joanne Leighton)

    Dear Michel, I’m going to miss you very much.
    We’ve been able to work together several times at the Antwerp Conservatoire,
    and each time I was enchanted by your positivity and fresh perspective.
    I wish the family a lot of strength.
    With all my heart,
    (Kevin Voets)

    Lieve lieve Jan
    Wat spijt het me om dit te moeten lezen en schrijven.
     Ik wens je heel veel moed en liefde om dit verlies een plaats te geven.
    (Ilse Vandesande)

    Followed is work but never actually saw her perform life in Belgium.
    We loose a great artist and a woman with a vision and a deep feeling for humanity.
    Such people never go, they remain in our hearts.
    Much support for the people she loved and who loved her.
    (Jacques De Bock)

    Dear Michel, you are such a bright light.
    Every image I have of you in my mind is with a smile, a gentle voice, and wise eyes.
    I am so blessed I got to know you.
    My condolences to Jan and Nika.
    (Albert Quesada)

    Mijn deelneming met dit verschrikkelijke nieuws
    dat toch weer sneller kwam dan verwacht.
    Ik herinner me Michel als een zeer positieve en fijne collega,
    een sterke drang om inventief te improviseren
    en een enorme passie voor haar vak,
    zelfs tijdens haar fysiek zware ziekte.
    Rust nu zacht Michel xxx
    (Geert Van Impe)

    Whenever I met Michelle,
    she was this kind of person that could listen with all her body cells
    and she would reply with a lot of curiosity and smart questions.
    She was generous. And she had a huge bodily wisdom as well.
    My condoleances go to Jan and Nika and to all who were close to her.
    (Sofie Saller)

    I was a student of Michel in Antwerp
     and she influenced me a lot with her spirit,
    her way of thinking and dancing,
    her laughter and her heart that was open to us
    as if she was our mother.
    she transmitted us her full inspiration
    and fascination for life and dance
    and I feel a deep admiration for her being.
    Michel, I feel so grateful to have been your student,
    to have met you,
    to have danced with you!
    Rest well, your sparkles will remain around through all of us!
    (Maja Zimmerlin)

    Dear Mmm, it’s been a while since we really talked,
    but we did pass many years in deep discussion
    about life, the universe, sewing & our relationships.
    I wish I had been in your life more in the last years,
    Alex & Lila still love the dog you & Nika gave them when they were born.
    You were so strong, and soft.
    I loved dancing with you- again, it’s been a while.
    I’m at least happy to have seen you during lockdown,
    and shared in your last Sit & Hum.
    Your rest is well deserved.
    My heart is full of your humming.
    Jan & Nika – I send you all the strength I have.
    Thank you Caroline & Justine, Rasa & Heike
    and I’m sure others for making Michel’s last moments so special & peaceful.
    May you rest easy too.
    All my love, Xx Sus
    (Susanne Bentley)

    Lieve Michel,
    Wat een droevig nieuws.
    Helaas hebben onze wegen elkaar maar kort gekruist
    maar ik herinner me je nog levendig.
    Wat een serene lieve kalmte straalde jij altijd uit.
    Jouw aanwezigheid was altijd fijn.
    Jouw zachte aard is een deugd die niet veel mensen bezitten.
    Als ik aan je denk dan moet ik glimlachen
    en meteen ook overvalt me de droefheid van het verlies.
    Je bent een pracht mens.
    De wereld is een stuk minder mooi zonder jou erbij.
    Ik gun je je rust en hoop dat je familie deze vreselijke gebeurtenis een plekje kunnen geven.
    Het blijft iets vreselijk, je vrouw, je moeder, je zus, je grootmoeder, je tante, je… verliezen.
    Veel sterkte aan de nabestaanden.
    (Manon Avermaete)

    Michel was zo’n mooi mens….
    Afscheid is altijd moeilijk.
    Ik wens Jan en Nika (en alle dichte vrienden en familie)
    een omgeving waar ze met dit verdriet terecht kunnen.
    (Linda Suy)

    Michel was such an inspiration as a teacher.
    She was always in such a good mood,
    and made all of us feel like we belonged exactly where we were.
    Not once did she make me feel as if she was superior to me,
    she treated us as an equal,
    a skill that I am still trying to achieve in my own carreer as a teacher.
    Her smile will always stay with me.
    My condoleances to Michels family,
    may that amazing smile live on in all of you, forever.
    (Arne Schögler)

    Dear Michel,
    Many beautiful moments and talks with you come up in my mind,
    and a lot of admiration for your generosity and sensitivity in your work.
    Thank you very much for all you shared.
    You leave a beautiful trace.
    Love and peace to you and your loved ones.
    (Sonia Si Ahmed)

    Dear Michel,
    Thank you for the conversations.
    Thank you for leading me to dance when without you I would not have.
    Thank you for the resonance.
    Thank you for the intention of that coffee that we never had.
    Thank you for your inherent love and wisdom.
    Love and warmth to all who are close to her.
    (Brick de Bois)

    Dear Michel,
    We knew this day would come.
    But trying to be ready for it, we are not.
    Michel Yang was a member of honour of the artistic board of p l a y g r o u n d s,
    a working space in Lede.
    Her contributions to the vision behind p l a y g r o u n d s are crucial and irreplacable.
    The board is left with a big loss of spirit, person and friend.
    During the meeting last summer talked about being
    was inspired by Tara Brach, Marie Kondo and Tilopa
    Does this bring you joy now?
    Does this bring you Happiness now?
    Does this bring you care now?
     And if not, just don’t do it.
    Learning to say no.
    Taking care.
    Letting go.
    I will try my lady.
     I will try.
    You did it. With love.
    From the whole board.
    To your family and friends close as ever.
    (Io Cooman – Staf Vos – Dirk Van Hauwermeiren- Sabrina Decroock – Caroline D’Haese and you)

    Although I have not known Michel very well,
    we met long ago in Brussels and there was immediately a connection.
    She has taught some inspiring classes in my dance studio in Leuven.
    I will always remember her bright smile and happy appearance when we would meet.
    We are the same age and you left too early. Rest in peace, Michel!
    My condolences for the family
    (Jennifer Regidor)

    Dear family and friends,
    Michel Yang and I were colleagues in the Conservatoire of Antwerp for 10 years.
    These were the most inspiring year in my dance teaching career.
    Doing the auditions together were a bliss,
    forming the visions behind the Master programme
    were the summum of our collective working.
    Complementing each other in words, tasks, remarks, contrasting,
    supportive, taking over when the other was tired.
    Even in these last years you still took over from me when I was pregnant during the auditions.
    You were the most inspiring and warmhearted person I have met in the Belgian Dance scene.
    I am sad it has ended now already.
    People like you can not be replaced…
    The way you walked alongside your illness is unbelievably strong and beautiful.
    I love you Michel Yang.
    I hope it is a great world for you after this.
    And that we meet again. x
    (Caroline D’Haese)

    Dear Jan, Nika and friends,
    Dit bericht maakt me even woordeloos.
    Veel sterkte om Michel los te laten in de vorm dat jullie haar kende.
    opdat de liefde mag verder leven in jullie hart.
    Ik voel me dankbaar dat ik haar pad heb mogen kruisen.
    De dansante, vocale en hartelijke uitwisselingen die we hadden, resoneren verder op mijn pad.
    In gedachten bij jullie !
    (N e l l e  Hens)

    Michel, you are one of the most pure and beautiful being I ever met.
    Wherever you are now, you will make it a better place.
    Just like you did here.
    I send you all my love to you and your dear family.
    Because it is the only thing that really matter.
    (Doriane Dubost Dessertine – an old student among all the one that she generously inspired)

    Michel was one of the first people I met when I moved to Brussels.
    A colleague and friend in Chicago put the two of us in touch,
    and I’m grateful that I met Michel.
    She was a bright, beautiful, and encouraging light who gave from her heart.
    I’m sad, and I’m sorry to know that she’s gone,
    and I send my love and deepest condolences to Jan, Nika, and all their family and friends.
    (Kevin Fay)

    We hebben allen zo’n mooie herinneringen aan Michel
    liefdevolle herinneringen
    die zacht dwarrelen door ons hoofd
    en landen in ons hart.
    Rust zacht lieve Michel xxx
    (Ann Jehaes)

    Dear Michel,
    Thank you for your kindness, generosity and intelligence.
    Thank you for your inspiring, challenging and enriching teaching.
    My most beautiful memory will always remain that extraordinary course at the Antwerp Conservatory
    during which, thanks to the laughter, you transformed our sad hearts
    and cluttered minds into a magnificent moment of joy, creativity and sharing.
    My condolences to Jan, Nika and her loved ones.
    Rest in peace.
    (Julie Querre)

    My most heartfelt condolences to Jan, Nika and family and loved ones of Michel.
    I am deeply moved — silence — letting this news ripple through my system.
    I was honoured to work with Michel on a few projects
     yet lost touch over the past years and so this message is a shocking wave.
    Its soothing to read that she had been in such a loving and caring environment
    – held and nurtured for this big passing.
    Dear Michel may you journey onwards in beauty and light.
    Sending much love and gentle embraces for the ones feeling her leaving this realm strongly.
    (Luea Ritter)

    Michel laat goede herinneringen achter.
    Elke ontmoeting was fijn, altijd goede gesprekken.
    Ze is zeker één van de sterkste mensen die ik ken, met een fijn gevoel voor humor.
    Ze heeft zo hard gestreden, ze was zich zo bewonderenswaardig bewust van de dingen.
    We kunnen allemaal van haar leren.
    We wensen Jan, Nika en familie, vrienden, alle sterkte toe.
    Kris & A Two Dogs Company
    When a person dies he only appears to die.
    All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.
    You can look at all the different moments
    just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance.
    You can see how permanent all the moments are.
     It is just an illusion we have here on Earth
    that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string,
    and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
    ” When you see a lifeless body, you can think that the person is in a bad condition in this particular moment,
    but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments.
    Now, when I hear that somebody is dead,
    I simply shrug and say “and so it goes”
    (Kurt Vonnegut)

    What a woman.
    A woman who could literally see through me during my dance training at the conservatory.
    She was the one who understood that dancing alone was not enough for me.
    I can still remember a beautiful clear moment during my training with her.
    2013. It was winter. It was cold and snowing outside.
    The last class of the day we got dance improvisation from Michel.
    Tired fysically and emotionally
    I stepped down the bridge of the conservatory,
    careful because it was slippery due to the snow.
    In the distance I hear someone shouting at me ‘Olympe, Olympe wait!’.
    I turned and saw how imprudent Michel was running down from the bridge to me.
    She just wanted me to know how much she believed in me.
     She was convinced that it wouldn’t stop here for me.
    You are a maker, she said and by that she did not necessarily meant a choreographer
    but someone who makes things, whatever discipline it may be.
    That I had to see what I had in my hands.
    That I had to look at it.
    She thanked me for the energy I’ve put in her class.
    She thought I should know this.
    We said goodbye and suddenly I could breathe again.
    Someone had told me what I couldn’t see myself at that time.
    It’s okay to do a lot of things, sometimes someone has to give you that confidence.
     I needed dance for my photography, for making music, for writing, for choreography, … and vice versa.
    And so Michel could steer people in the right direction.
    By just being herself and staying true to it.
    I already miss her, but I am so grateful for that moment that changed my whole perspective.
    Thank you Michel
    (Olympe Tits)

    Michel, whenever I met you, you inspired me in so many ways.
    you are you were vibrant.
    My thoughts and heart is with you, with Jan and Nika
    and all your wonderfull close friends. kisses, 
    (Gosie Vervloessem)

    In iedere traan van verdriet glinstert er een mooie herinnering!
    Koester deze herinneringen en geef ze een mooie plaats in jullie harten!
    Ik stuur jullie veel liefde in deze moeilijke tijd!
    (Leen Bonroy)

    Michel you leave us with so much.
     Our hearts of full of love for you and we are blessed
    to have shared the all too little time that was given to you…
    we cannot decide how much time we have,
    we can only use what is given to us.
    therefore we are thankful that our paths crossed,
    from that first moment in Bain Connective, cleaning pigeon poo!!!!
    anyone who knew you was touched by your tenderness, your humor, your positive spirit
    positive and strong, until the end!!
    and singing, humming and vibrating,
    shaking the frequencies and building them to spark and charge
    and ignite our hearts in this moment–this one, no other one!
    and again
    and again
    Knowing you, working with you, sharing and laughing with you….
    was a gift.
    we love you.
    (Domenico and Maria)

    Heel veel sterkte voor jou, Nika en jullie familie en vrienden.
    Michel is een prachtige vrouw met een zeer mooie zachte ziel,
    vol liefde en passie voor de dans van het leven.
    (Nathalie Douxfils)

    Dear Michel,
    I will miss you very much.
     I will remember the moments we discussed art and projects
    with a full table of delicious food, or just a simple cup of coffee.
    When I will have gyozas on my plate,
     I will think of you.
    Your ideas and creativity will continue to shine through.
    (Adilia Yip)

    What an honor to have known you, schemed with you, laughed with you,
    dreamed with you, analyzed with you, written with you, appreciated silence with you.
     It meant a lot to me to be a part of your life in so many different ways,
     as a fellow ex-pat, in your artistic vision, in our shared practices,
    in your family and home life, in our shared workspace…
    You will be very missed.
    Thank you for everything you gave
    and the curiosity and generosity you shared with everyone and every situation.
    It was inspiring, and will continue to inspire me.
    To Jan and Nika, I’m so sorry for your loss.
    My warmest condolences, again and again.
    (Maya Dalinski)

    Lieve Nika, Jan, familie en vrienden
    Wat een ontzettend verdrietig nieuws!
    Ik wens jullie enorm veel kracht, licht en liefde om dit grote verlies.
    Hou je vast aan de prachtige herinneringen.
    Woorden schieten me te kort, ik denk aan jullie
    Heel veel liefs en steun
    ((Juf) Frauke Leenhouwers)

    You were the very first person I met coming out of dance school in London
    in the very real professional world of dance here in Belgium.
    You were giving a workshop and I was one of the very few attendees.
     I was in awe and inspired by your spirit and joy.
     It wouldn’t be the last time we met.
     My life has taken me in a different direction for a while now,
    so when I saw your picture popping up in Caroline’s email,
     I was wondering what project you were immersing yourself into to this time.
    I had no idea you had been undertaking the final project.
    Or final for now, but now in view of Eternity itself.
     I wish you beautiful journeys in the worlds beyond.
     Let’s meet again.
    Let’s dance again.
    Much love.
    (Christie Di Perna)

    Sterkte aan de familie , ze was een heel goede, mooie persoon .
    Ik had heel veel medelijden met Michel .
    Nika ik ben heel erg triestig voor jou .
    Maak je geen zorgen Michel zal altijd voor je zorgen waar ze ook is .
    Ze was een prachtig persoon , veel moed en liefde ..
    (groetjes marly, mariam , aissatou)

    I wouldn’t have thought Michel could have been any more spectacular
    until I was able to witness (virtually) the most remarkable passage on the farm anyone could imagine.
    I’m humbled to be able to join together with so many dear people across the world
     far and wide to honor our dear friend’s transition.
    The incredible community, creativity and love only bounces back
    what she brought to all those she touched.
    May your sweet soul be free.
    To Jan and Nika and the Yang family especially,
    my deepest condolences go out to you.
    May your love continue to shine.
     Hmmmmmmmmmm xxx
    (Amy Mastersonin Chicago)

    May your light shine 4ever beautiful soul
    (Shelbatra Jashari)

    deep heartfelt condolences such a sad loss.
    I had the huge pleasure and great honor to choreograph on Michel
    at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts 2nd Avenue Dance Company
    when she was in her last year of getting her BFA.
    She was a pivotal cast member who was brilliant in the creation process and in performance.
    Her point work flawless, she ended up with the best and longest solo in my ballet ‘an extremely quiet party’.
     I’ve staged this piece many times her contribution everything a choreographer could want and more.
    Pure genius. Dance on dear Michel RIP.
    (Douglas Becker)

    Dear Michel, you were such an amazing performing partner
    and i feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with you,
     learn from you, and perform with you for so many years!
    When i close the eyes i remember a stream of energy moving through space.
    Your moving body was beyond everything tangible.
    I remember one of the first improvisation with you during the production of “Flowers”.
     It was an afternoon long improvisation and regularly I was asking loudly “michel where are you?”
    and you were responding “i am here yoann, where are you?” ” I am here michel”…
    and it became a kind of leitmotiv, our private joke that we played with for almost 10 years!
    and today this simple question come with such a strong resonnance: “Michel where are you?”
    Wherever you are, know that i will always remember your strenght,
    your humbleness, your openess, your grace, your humour, our shared movements,
    our shared discussions, our shared laughters, our joyfull disagreements and so more…
    I am sending you my love, respect and deep appreciation.
    I am sending to Jan and Nika all my condoleances,
    imagining all the courage and strength you must have had
    throughout those past years, this past week and the years to come
    (Yoann Boyer)

    Thank you, Michel, for being who you were.
    Thank you, Michel, for your smile, your calm, your sensitivity, and your intelligence.
    Thank you for all that you have brought us with your vision, your words, and your presence.
    Magnificent dancer, full of sensitivity towards others.
    Thank you great lady for being you.
    We’re gonna miss you…
    We wish you, Jan, Nika, and all your loved ones, a lot of courage, calm, and love.
    (Ubieta Silvia & Lucia)

    Dear Michel, I’m grateful to have met you as a
    warm, gentle, friendly, generous, artistic person.
    Having known nothing about your health problems,
    it is devastating to learn about your passing.
     Much love and warmth tot you and your loved ones.
    Rest in peace.
    (Anne Marie Honggokoesoemo)

    Heartfelt condolences to Nika and Jan, to family close and far away
    – and to all the friends in the extended family.
    Michel was a beautiful person, kind, generous, gentle, smart.
    With her passing away there is a void now never to be filled.
    That void will forever have a place here amongst us,
    with all the close family and friends, and all those who can feel it.
    Love and warm thoughts
    (Edvardsen Mette, Heiko, Iben)

    My very deepest condolences to you Jan and to all of your shared and extended family.
    Much love.
    (Gunstone Lisa & Joris)

    Recuerdo con placer haberme cruzado contigo
    y dejarme invadir de tu espíritu tan cristalino.
    Espero que hayas disfrutado de este mundo
    y que hayas sentido cómo un legado lleno de bondades
    ha trascendido a tantos de nosotros
    Remain in peace
    Condolences to the family
    (Iñaki Azpillaga)

    Michel ik ken je dankzij onze gemeenschappelijke passie voor onderzoek in dans.
    Ik herinner me jou als een warme, bescheiden, breeddenkende collega.
    (Annouk Van Moorsel)

    All our most sincere condolences to her loved ones.
    It is with sadness that we hear about your loss.
    Michel among us will always be remembered with care & love,
    with her beautiful smile, curious look and her gentleness.
    You will be missed.
    Rest in peace dear Michel.
    (Marcos Simoes & Jonas Chéreau)

    Dear family and friends of Michel Yang.
    Very sad news to see that so an inspiring teacher has passed so soon.
    Michel worked ,danced and taught on a very pure way in her mind and in her heart.
    She was kind, patient, passionate and filled our minds with a lot of creativity.
    Creativity we still use to fill our hearts with joy and passion for all the things we love and cherish.
    (Kirsten De Smet)

    Michel , dear!
    Your light is bright and the stars shine right now…..
    Be well, we love you !
    All our best love and a wish of courage in an amount of time for the Family Jan and Nika
    You stay amongst us as a beautiful woman, a great artist and a wonderful mother
    we love you Michel!
    Buen viaje
    (BARBARA PEREYRA – Van Dingenen Yanka, Alfonz, Vicente & Filip )

    Dear Michel, your honest, courageous, uncompromised, generous, questioning,
    giving, exploring, creative, loving, transforming being, has gently touched my heart
    and shaken my soul on moments I needed it most and I deeply thank you for that.
    I feel honored and grateful to have known you, may you rest in peace and freedom.
    Dear Jan and Nika, dear family and friends of Michel,
    My profound condolences to you all, I am so very sorry for your big loss.
    My heart goes out to you and I wish you to be sourounded
    with the love, support and care that is needed right now and after,
    (Nienke Reehorst)

    Deepest condolences to Michel’s loved ones.
    I didn’t know her extremely well but we crossed each other regularly
    in Brussels and always took the time for a chat.
    Talking with her didn’t ever involve trivia or small talk;
    she could, with delicacy, always hone in
    on the essential…about life, work… everything in fact.
    Once day I participated in her project Scar Stories.
     I still own and wear with pride the trousers on which she stitched my story.
     Making art, something beautiful, out of our’s
    and the world’s wounds seems to have been one of Michel’s many gifts.
     I feel very lucky to have met her:
    her positivity was sustaining and inspirational, and all that will stay.
    (Oonagh Duckworth)

    Michel was my teacher at the Conservatory of Antwerp.
    She guided me to places in my practice and ideas
    about art and dance that I didn’t know existed
    or that I was capable of and, like the best of guides,
    she supported me with her unconditional kindness and wisdom in that process.
    And always with her infectiously positive attitude 🙂
    I laughed lots and learnt lots with her and I’ll miss her dearly.
    I hope Jan and Nika and all those who were closest to her
     find strength in these times and my condolences go out to them.
    Farewell Michel, may you rest in peace x
    (Dan Mussett)

    Pensées to you Jan
    Michel si présente dans l’air d’aujourd’hui Dimanche dans la lumière ici et dans le vent
    Revus les films Light no light (Ludovica Riccardi)Et
    Flowers (Sima Khatamy)
    Michel heart full of Compassion
    House of Love
    (Pierre Droulers)

    Lieve Michel,
    In mijn dansopleiding toonde jij mij dat dansen vooral ging over plezier.
    Het luisteren naar en het ongegeneerd bewegen van je lichaam,
    zodat extase, amusement en genot ontstond. Dankjewel daarvoor.
    Ik zal me je altijd herinneren als een oh zo warm en oprecht iemand,
    waarbij je helemaal jezelf kon zijn, wat een enorme meerwaarde gaf aan mijn leerproces in het dansen.
    Veel liefs,
    (Jotka Bauwens)

    You could see through people with the most honest eyes & share with the kindest heart.
    A true gift for any students for whom you did not only became a teacher, but a mentor.
    You have helped me discovering & loving what I love.
    I guess you just had this natural talent to shake people’s spirits & spark joy in them.
    You have left this world but so much of you remains here.
    Wherever you are now, I wish you to see what you have left us
    being crystallized & inspire others as you have inspire us.
    (Androulakis Antoni)

    Dear Jan and Nika, Michel’s family and friends,
    I’m sorry to hear of your loss.
    Michel was such a generous, caring, creative person.
    Such an inspiration – her memory will be with us always.
    Much love,
    (Heidi Ehrhart)

    Michel was een geweldige docent waarvan ik en vele anderen enorm veel inspiratie kregen.
    Het was tijdens één van haar improvisatielessen dat ik een memorabel moment beleefde dat ik nooit zal vergeten.
    Hiervoor ben ik Michel enorm dankbaar!
    Veel sterkte aan de familie met dit grote verlies. X
    (Sandrine Wouters)

    Please, let me share my sincerest condolences about Michel’s passing.
    I am very sad and touched by her death, even thou it was not sudden,
     still her incredible strength and power, and her work, until so far into her disease made me,
    and I think many, believe that this really should not and could not happen.
    I have beautiful memories of her, from an early performance work of hers
    which completely stunned me at the time (it must be 10 or more years ago)
    and her big, generous gathering last year, which I joined still full of grief about my mom’s passing.
     It was a wonderful and I am still very grateful to her for this invitation.
    At one point in 2017, Michel was so generous to offer me an open conversation
    about the illness of my mum, even thou Michel was so sick herself.
    The way she approached this moment, without us having been very close,
    was a blessing at the time and I will never forget this.
    (David Helbich)

    I met Michel improvising in SoloConversations Dance Collective.
    She was part of this project for some years.
    I was always touched by her vision, her approach to the unimaginable,
    her new way of “seeing” what other could not, or at list not like her.
     I found Michel always positive and caring about others.
    I had spent time in her apartment with Jan,
    then when Nika was born she came to some birthday partys,
     at the beginning of our maternity.
    The way Michel went trough this illness,
    and the way very close friends and family deal with this loss is an amazing inspiration.
     Is extremely beautiful the way she ended, in nature, in acceptance, in peace and full of love.
    Dear Jan and Nika, and very close friends,
    may the memory of this strong and amazing woman be with you forever.
    All our love, Alexandre, Agostina, Joa & Arya
    (Agostina  D’Alessandro)

    Having you for a short time as a teacher ….
    But you gave me more pathways to take, to explore, to reach, to investigate, to…..
     I’m lucky that I have met you because knowing you felt like i have known you for years.
    My condelences to the family.
    (Hanne Van Driessche)

    Heel veel liefde, licht en kracht gewenst voor jullie allen.
     Michel is een heel bijzondere ziel …
    Dankbaar dat we haar op een heel speciaal weekend hebben leren kennen…
    We wensen haar een mooie reis toe terug naar Huis…
    (Maris Marieke en Hans)

    I am saddened that Michel has passed away.
     I only met her twice, briefly.
    But she was friend to many of my best friends in Belgium
    and so, I am very touched by her passing away.
    I would like to send my condolences to the ones who are
     now experiencing a much much greater loss than I do.
    Please, know that there are far-away people in this world
     who think of you and the loss you are experiencing right now.
    (Martin Nachbat)

    It has been some days…
    How to express the sadness about the loss of someone that I didn’t really know
     but had such a strong place into my dance path…
    Not knowing… Not knowing how to express how a teacher
    can affect your dance but not only… Your entire BEING actually.
    Not pretending. Being HERE. Right Now.
    With who you are today. Accept it, enjoy it, express it.
    What a wonderful woman, dancer, pédagogue, artist, mother
    Her lost resonate more than what I could imagine…
    Her beauty in any sens of what it means was IMMENSE.
    Michel Yang THANK YOU for who you were,
     are and always will be for me and so many people that cross your path.
    You are an inspiration.
    All my condolences to her dear family and friends…
    Sending you love through the days, the nights and the clouds…
    (Cécile Lassonde)

    Sending my deepest condolences to Jan, Nika, Michel’s family and closest friends.
    Michel was a true inspiration for all those that met her.
    I can only dream that I had met her when I was a student,
    as I see the strength of her work with so many students in the Conservatoire.
     She opens up worlds of possibilities and opportunities
     and is a truly unique inspiration as a teacher, colleague and friend.
    Michel brought wisdom, kindness, respect, generosity and openness to our world
    and will be truly missed by everyone who met her.
    Her serene calm strength in dealing with her illness was an inspiration.
    Michel will remain irreplaceable in our programme
    and I am indebted to everything that she brought to it.
    She was a wonderful person who I will greatly miss.
    Sending love and cherishing the memories,
    (Gordon Natalie, Filip, Mika and Kobi)

    Aan Nika, Jan,
    Veel sterkte met het verlies van Michel, bijzondere mama en partner.
    Michel, the moments we shared, have been always full of inspiration, joy and enthusiasm
    You will be always with us, forever!
    (Filip Van Dingenen – Barbara Pereyra, Yanka, Alfonz, Vicente)

    Dear Michel’s family and friends,
    We send you all our sincere condolences for your big loss.
    We feel an immense sadness since Michel past away
    but we know that she will remain present in our heart and spirit.
    We only have good memories of Michel
    and we keep discovering her talent, her personality by looking at her work.
    She was so sensitive, sincere, intelligent and able to empathy with others.
    Michel was a beautiful dancer and a very strong artist.
    She will keep on inspiring us all. Rest in peace Michel.
    We share your pain and we send you a lot of courage.
    Much love to all of you,
    (Claire Croizé and Etienne Guilloteau)

    Dag Jan,
    Daisy & ikzelf hebben Michel jammergenoeg nooit ontmoet, maar we delen in jullie verdriet.
    We willen jou & Nika veel sterkte toewensen om moed te vinden in de vele & mooie herinneringen.
    (Ischa Tallieu & Daisy Gelaude)

    Dear Michel. Even though we met only a few times and only in the last couple of years,
    it were highly intense encounters. Not intense in the meaning of drama,
    but rather the opposite: because of the atmosphere
    combining a relaxed mood with full attention that you were creating.
    It left a deep impression on me.
    It was with this impression in mind
     that I participated to the humming sessions Wednesday evening,
    on a dark and silent corner of the campsite of Cluny, France, with bats flying around me.
     I could feel you close to me despite the physical distance.
    It was a weird coincidence that I was exactly at this place,
     as it were the monks of Cluny that developed a millenium ago
    the catholic rituals to accompany the end of a human life.
    You and the people close to you showed how it can be done differently,
    combining the grief and pain with sense and beauty.
     Much love to all of you.
    (Bruno De Wachter)

    Dear Michel
    I’m so grateful to have met you
     and to be accompanied by your uniqueness
    and inspiration for three years as a mentor.
    In so many moments I feel the resonance of it.
    The work and the exchange with you is and remains valuable for me.
    You have given me so much support and encouraged me
     to explore my artistic-creative self further.
    You will continue dancing in the hearts of so many people.
    My condolences for the family and close friends.
    With love
    (Wibke Storkan)

    Dear Jan, Nika, friends and family,
    My condoleances for the loss of Michel.
    I know Michel from the education Stemwerk in Rotterdam.
    Michel was an amazing strong, loving and beautiful woman,
    who has a very big place in my heart.
    On the weekends we were in Rotterdam we spoke a lot about life,
    death and the process of transforming, conversations that were very precious to me.
    I heard the most amazing sounds of Michel, saw her vulnerabilty,
    her passion and her strength, sounds and moments t
    hat are deeply carved in my body and soul.
    It is with so much love and gratefulness
    I look back on Michel and all the sounds we shared.
     I learned so much from Michel and will carry that with me for always.
    Thank you all for the beautiful way you made us all part
     in saying fare well to Michel and being there for Michel, each other and us.
    For me it was incredible touching and comforting.
    I wish you all the love, light, strength and comfort f
    or now, tomorrow during the ceremony and in the future.
    Love from Jolanda
    (Jolanda van Echten)

    I was a student of Michel at the Conservatory of Antwerp.
    The work and the time spent together during her classes
    contributed to the way I now think and I developed in my life and work.
    Every time I would meet her she would suggest a perspective that I couldn’t imagine,
     every time enlarging the view point from where I stood.
    Her attitude, her presence and generosity in the work, in the sharing,
    just in the being, were unique and deeply influenced me.
    During the classes she was like a wind in the room
    guiding us through discoveries she already went through,
    and discoveries she was making with us.
    So the classes created a lot of wind that is still blowing in other places.
    We connected well and stayed in touch after my graduation,
    but our lives paths were different
    and we couldn’t meet as many times as we were proposing to each other.
    I am so glad and grateful I met you Michel.
    I love you. Thank you.
    (Bianca Zueneli)

    Nika, Jan:
    mijn diepst gemeende deelneming met het verlies van Michel.
    Moge jullie nog lang omringd zijn door de warmte van
    naaste familie en vrienden die haar goed gekend hebben,
    om samen te doorleven en een vorm van vrede te vinden te midden van het onbegrijpelijke.
    Michel heeft op mij in de omgang met haar ziekte een enorme indruk achtergelaten…:
    de generositeit, kracht, lichtheid, openheid en bovenal wijsheid die van haar uitgingen
    op de momenten dat ik met haar hierover mocht praten,
    zullen me bijblijven en – net als zoveel anderen –
     inspireren wanneer het het meest nodig is.
    Dankbaar ben ik haar gekend te hebben.
    Het ga jullie goed.
    Slaap zacht, Michel.
    (Elisabeth Borgermans)

    Michel has always and continues to leave an imprint ,
     with every breath, thought, idea and gesture, an intrigue ,
    and impression of beautiful, peaceful intensity, merging her humanity and artistry
     with all those she touched from both near and from a fare .
     My heart , warmth and respect go out to Jan, Nika
    and all her family and those close and dear to Michel.
    May time guide you through your continued journey of ineffable memories,
     cherished and forever carried deep in your hearts .
    Thank you Michel for who you will always be…
    the memory of Now….
    (Tijen Lawton)

    Jan, Nika,
    familie en vrienden,
    vandaag in stilte bij jullie.
    alleen maar mooie herinneringen aan een sterke ziel.
    Michel zal altijd bij jullie zijn.
    een groot hart onder de riem om
    het onverdraaglijke te verdragen.
    stevige sterkte,
    (Sumalin Gijsbrechts)

    Michel will be remembered as a vibrant spirit and adventurous player,
    whose inquisitive and thoughtful presence helped me
     to believe in the value of my own weirdo creative work
    at a time when I needed it most…
    Thank you for visiting me I’m this life precious soul!
    (Michael Helland)

    Deepest condolences to Michel’s loved onces.
    She was one of the most smiling persons I’ve ever met.
    Sending love and strength to Jan and Nika.
    (Manuela Rastaldi)

    Michel, Nika, Jan, family and close friends.
    Your courage, strength and unconditional love are beyond words inspiring to many of us.
    I remember vividly Michel’s smile and sincere words when we met by chance last time,
    and I truly wish we had been given more time and space to reconnect.
    Missing you, but telling myself hey, what an honour to have met
    the incredibly beautiful human being Michel Yang during this life time.
    Thank you for all the precious moments,
    laughs and inspiring talks that I’ll never forget.
    Rest now dear mmm,
    and Nika, Jan, my warm thoughts are with you.
    (Ana Cristina Velasquez)

    Liefste Nika, Jan en vrienden en familie van Michel,
    My deepest condolences to all of you for your loss.
    I wish you strength and courage.
    You are in my heart and thoughts.
    Rest in peace beautiful Michel.
    (Mariet Eyckmans)

    Dance is an elusive art but I will never forget you in Innui and Flowers of Pierre Droulers.
    For the lucky ones to have witnessed, your unique spirit and focus is alive forever.
    (Styliani Lamprinou)

    Tout d’abord un sourire, un regard rieur et une oreille attentive et concernée….
    beaucoup de simplicité, qualité que je ressentais dans ta danse, intelligente, claire, pleine de finesse….
    Je suis certaine que, sans trop point en faire, ton énergie agitera les étoiles….
    Bon voyage Michel! Des pensée chaleureuse à ta famille , ton compagnon et ta petite fille…..
    je t’embrasse, là où tu es et te laisse avec ces beaux mots qui ne sont pas de moi:
     Enfonce toi dans l’inconnu….oblige- toi à tournoyer !!!
    (Barbara Amat)

    Heel veel Licht en Liefde gewenst! Michel,
    moge jij in het Goddelijke Licht opgenomen worden
    voor een Hemelse kosmische dans.
    Aan de echtgenoot, familie en vrienden van Michel:
    mijn diepste medeleven.
    Ik wens jullie ontzettend veel rust en troost toe.
    Mogen jullie harten verlicht en verzacht worden.
    (Hans Luyten)

    Wow Michel. You have the ability to touch people.
    Thanks for your generosity.
    Mijn hart gaat uit naar de geliefden die je moest achterlaten.
    So long
    (Sophie Beyne)

    Lieve Michel mooie energie.
    Zachte glunder oogjes,
    open en innemend en luisterend en gevend,
     je zal gemist worden.
    Blijf niet te lang weg.
    Dank voor alles.
    (Nick Steur)

    Heel veel sterkte Jan.
    (Chris Gielis)

    Beste Jan en Nika,
    We wensen veel sterkte bij deze droevige moment bij jullie leven..
    Alleen de tijd zal jullie helpen jullie omgaan met deze gebeurtenis..
    We wensen jullie veel moed..
    (Rodrigues Eliane, Ernest en familie)

    In mijn herrinering ben jij groots in emoties
    groot in dans
    oprecht in vertrouwen
    Bedankt voor die mooie uitwisseling van jou humor,
    lichaamsfilosofie en tranen van emotie.
    Waar jij ook bent, ik drum onze duo ter ere van jou.
    (Rohal De Ridder)

    I learned that I cannot see you anymore.
    May your soul rest in peace
    and my condolences to
    your family, your friends and your colleagues.
    (Miyuki Inoue)

    Just those few short encounters were enough to know,
    what a lovely, impressive person you were.
    Thank you for the enduring and meaningful experience.
    My deepest condolences to her family and friends.
    (Georgia Kokot)

    Aan Nika
    We hebben de laatste tijd elkaar niet vaak gesproken op de muziekschool.
    Ik wist niet dat je mama overleden was.
    Dat heb ik pas enkele dagen geleden vernomen.
    Dat is nogal heftig.
     Tijdens de repetities van het orkest
    had je een paar keer verteld over jouw moeder.
    De pasta met pesto die ze voor je had klaar gemaakt,
    de bakkerij waar ze koffiekoeken kocht,
    haar vleugelpiano in Amerika.
    Ik weet nog dat ze tijdens de repetities je een berichtje gestuurd had.
     Voor de eerste keer met een emoji.
    Dat had ze voordien nog nooit gedaan…
    Je vertelde hoe lief je moeder wel niet was.
    Hou de herinneringen aan haar vast!
    (Joris – leerling trompet)

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