A Q+A with Michael Mizerany
We sat down with choreographer/director Michael Mizerany to speak about his work for Hot Guys Dancing.
Tell us a little bit about your duet Let Me Into Your Skin?
Let Me Into Your Skin was commissioned by Diversionary Theatre in 2011 for their Dance/Theatre series. It is based on the play Beautiful Thing, a play the theater produced in 2006 directed by Rosina Reynolds.
Though the main thrust of the play is a coming out story, I decided to focus on the burgeoning romance between the two young men.
Did the “coming out” plotline not interest you?
I wouldn’t say it didn’t interest me, I just felt it had been done before. I wanted to tell a more universal story. This duet looks at first love: that first touch, getting lost in your partner’s eyes, a soft lingering kiss and all the apprehension, nervousness and excitement it entails. No matter what your orientation, everyone remembers their initial crush, the butterflies in your stomach and the joy in your heart. As they say, love is universal.
Tell us about your new solo called Via Dolorosa?
Via Dolorosa is Latin for “the sorrowful way”, which describes the more traditional version of The Stations of the Cross. This solo is based on the fifteen scenes from the time Christ is condemned to death, stripped, crucified, laid in the tomb and resurrected.
What inspired you to use The Stations of the Cross?
As a child, I went to parochial school and The Stations were placed along the sidewall of the nave. They were mini-sculptures carved in polished marble with a background of stained glass–an odd combination of visual beauty and tragic circumstance.
In Via Dolorosa, I echo this juxtaposition. There is an inherent beauty in the movement and dancer, though the journey itself is heartbreaking.
So, beyond the obvious biblical implications, I think The Stations encourage us to act selflessly; putting our own needs aside and continue thinking of the greater good. Selflessness – therein lays the beauty.
What other projects do you have in the works?
I’ll be traveling to the Midwest in February to premiere a new contemporary work
called UNCOUPLING. When I return, I start work on Three Penny Opera at
UCSD, West Side Story at J*Company and A New Brain at Diversionary Theatre.