Mimmo Miccolis, an Italian born dancer and choreographer, will be debuting his newest piece at the Smithsonian American Art Museum this weekend. The past few years have been a whirlwind for Miccolis. His audience has quickly expanded, particularly after winning the BBC Performing Arts Fund grant in 2011. Since then he has created epic pieces with choreography that oozes passion while always having a strong element of conscious thought. His recent works include RIGHTS(?) and GROWTH (presented at the Kennedy Center in July 2014). Miccolis currently works and resides in Washington, DC and will be debuting his new piece, 'White' in partnership with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute this weekend. The performances will be during the Italian Holiday Festival this Saturday, December 13th at 12:20pm and 2:45pm. See below for a candid look into Mimmo's creative, playful and acrobatic process.
Could you give me some background on your career? How did you become interested in dance?
I started dancing when I was 5 years old, because I watched my sister dancing in a dance studio so I decided to ask directly to the teacher, even before asking to my parents. I was attracted by the freedom to move with the music, I felt uncontrollable feelings, I think that I started dancing with the rhythm inside me before than physically. Since than I danced and never stop, and I soon discovered that choreographing makes me even happier. I graduated in ballet and contemporary in the Academy of Balletto di Toscana in Florence and then I worked for the last 10 years across Europe, US and Oman.
What landed you in DC?
America has always been a dream that from the other side of the Ocean may seem unreachable. I was working in London and I had some time off between one job and another, so I decided to visit DC to take a break from the bustle of big cities. I loved DC from the first moment because there is the right balance between life and art. I think Washington is perfect for those who need to not be distracted during the creative process. This convinced me to put down roots here.
How has the dance world been in DC?
I am very happy, because in just a year and a half since I moved here, I did a lot of works and experiences that I did not expect to be able to do in such a short time.
Washington has a lot of theaters and many exciting dance companies. I danced in many events and festivals, and last July I presented as a choreographer two premieres at the Kennedy Center. Also I joined the dance faculty of The Washington Ballet as a contemporary teacher and now I am working on a new Premiere that will be presented at the Smithsonian Art Museum and on three choreographies for the Youth America Grand Prix. I am happy because my work has been appreciated so far and this is contributing to make my American dream come true.
You have a new piece debuting this weekend called White. Tell us a bit about what inspired you to create this piece?
Yes, on Saturday 13th at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, WHITE will be premiered. This piece will be danced by ten fantastic dancers from the Washington Ballet, while the music has been composed specifically for WHITE by the amazing Francesco Germini. WHITE is a short piece that I wrote for the Italian Holiday Festival organized by The Smithsonian American Art Museum in partnership with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute.
I am fascinated by the mix of art with everyday life because I believe that these two together can suggest answers to some of the problems that we regularly face in our lives. White is definitely the color that refers to Christmas. But it also recalls Newton’s theory according to which the white light creates a rainbow with a full range of colors when it passes through a prism of glass. In other words, the white color is formed by the combination of other colors. Similarly, I believe that White is the color that today can give peace to the different colors in the world.
I hope that those who will come to the Smithsonian Art Museum to see WHITE will have a moment of reflection and peace, necessary before Christmas time.
What's next for Mimmo Miccolis?
After this, I am surely going to enjoy Christmas. Then, in January I will start the new adventure with the three dancers that will be competing at the Youth America Grand Prix. Fingers crossed!
My head is exploding with new ideas, and I hope you are going to see soon the results of the next creations on stage.
This interview was done through email and are direct quotes from Mimmo Miccolis.
Pictures 2 through 6 were provided by Morgan Marinoni from Mimmo Miccolis' piece RIGHTS(?).