There was a community of writers, and publications, that were an incredible support to this journey, working as archivists of the work, helping to get the word out about events through preview articles and such.  I am profoundly grateful for the great beauty and much happiness these publications brought and the inspiration they helped engender. While it is true, I never won any major international awards.

 I often combed through old newspaper articles, for information about my Hawaiian grandfather, and his travelling exploits, and I thought, perhaps one day, in the family line there will be another person who devotes their life to theater.

 I want you to know, I will be with you, and all lovers of dance, as my performing grandfather and other ancestors were with me. I will be in the little nudge, and the little prompts, and the little miracles along the way. You are loved, you are supported, and I believe in you. Just be you! Nobody else, just you. Work hard, pursue excellence, and be the change you wish for the world. With so much love! 

photo by Am Wu, in my SonneBlauma days.

Misa Miele Mandigo Kelly 

Press & Audience Quotes 


“Perfect dance poetics with sophisticated movement vocabulary” 

Parada Plesa, Slovenia’s dance magazine 

“She has a wonderful sense of composition and comedic timing, combined with a clarity of statement. Kelly’s work has the feel of performance art, but it is more than that. If I had to put a label on Kelly’s work, it would be dance/performance art.” 

Jeff Slayton, SEE Dance 

“Kelly is an experienced performance artist and a seasoned performer who brings life to Karlin through her acting and being comfortable working with props. She is Alma Karlin in one scene and then beautifully performs musically on brass bowls, a gourd, rocks in a jar and with her own vocals as Trina Mannino dances....the choreography by Stephen Kelly, Misa Kelly and Trina Mannino is beautifully structured” 

Jeff Slayton, SEE Dance 

“Kelly, a woman slight in stature, proved an overwhelming and formidable presence on stage in her work which used her own vocalizations in a psychological journey.” 

Steven Woodruff- Dance Plug 

“Kelly’s pieces – especially Nadar Sabe Mi Llama el Agua Fria – explored the coexistence of athletic genius and disability in the same body, while maintaining an insistence on aesthetic appeal.” 

Rebecca Joley - L.A. Yoga Magazine 

“Under No Certain Circumstance” by SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre of Santa Barbara, danced by Misa Kelly and Weslie Ching, was an audience favorite. There was no accompanying music and the grunts and sounds of the two dancers offered a comedic air to a dance that expressed anger, frustration, and cooperation.” 

Barbara Ransom Life in L.A.


“At once tragic and heroic, innocent and all-knowing, the persona Kelly presented here was as fascinating as the piece was gorgeously multilayered” 

Justine Sutton - Noozhawk 

“The work “stood out for” for its “deep & honest exploration of what it is to be human...a gutsy searching solo” 

Elizabeth Schwyzer - Santa Barbara Independent 

Surprisingly subtle choreography against feats of athleticism” 

Elizabeth Schwyzer - Santa Barbara Independent 

“Striking and surreal in most places, it was as playful as the fun of its cut-up music... The evening was like a good mixed tape made by a friend who wants to turn you on to the newest in new. Consider that mission accomplished." 

Ted Mills - Santa Barbara News Press 

“Astonishingly gifted” 

Santa Barbara News Press 

“The result was electric” 

Elizabeth Schwyzer - Santa Barbara Independent 

“A witty piece by Kelly set on a larger group that involved dancers of all ages. Against a dramatic soundscape created by the choreographer, dancers interacted playfully with chairs, the audience, and each other, filling the black-box space with teasing humor and a sense of freedom.” 

Charles Donelan - Santa Barbara Independent 

"Misa Kelly and Joanna Nobbe’s vulnerable and riotously funny “Unzipped," 

Elizabeth Schwyzer, The Independent 


“You have what the rest of us are hoping to find.” 

Peggy Baker, Choreographer 

“Your performance was riveting. It held me from the beginning until the end” BeBe Miller, Choreographer

 "Profound” – Delila Mosley, Director UCSB Student Company, Owner Montecito School of Ballet

“Epic” – Valerie Huston, Ballet Faculty, UCSB

“Cathartic” – Karsen Gould, Artistic Director, Arts for Humanity 

"Fresh, authentic & wild" – Elaine Nakashima, Massage Therapist & Dancer

“You have become a master of the non-sequiter” – E. Bonnie Lewis, Drama Dogs, a Theater Company 

“What I love about your work, is how you continue to evolve. What I see others doing tonight, you were doing twenty years ago, you are on an entirely new trajectory right now.” – Christine Boesch 

“Crazy wicked genius” – Steven Soria, Make SmithTM Leather 

“That was the bravest work I’ve witnessed in a long time” – Kathee Miller, Professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Photographer 

Press 2011-2014 - for 2014 ODG.docx
2011 Press - Future Traditions Foundation.pdf
2015 Press Collated.pdf
Foundation Press-2003-2010.pdf


Onstage: Dance Scene Buzz

The Hive Premieres 12 New Dance Works

La Dance Review




ArtBarker Mojca Majcen discusses the La Combadura Residency and the Alma Karlin Project

East Coast

New York Times Listing - BAAD Boogie Down Dance Series

New York Times Preview - in the context of BAAD 

West Coast

Review: Kinesis at Center Stage Theater

S.B.’s Annual Contemporary Dance Showcase Took Place Friday, February 21

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Preview: Kinesis Sets Out to Stimulate 

Contemporary Dance Show at Center Stage 

Thursday, February 20, 2014 


NECTAR and the Art of Healing

Quarterly Arts Salon Gives Back

Thursday, March 6, 2014




East Coast

Dance Listings for May 24-30

Published: May 23, 2013

New York Times Listing 

The Brooklyn Paper

Published: May 24th, 2013

Titanic Steps


Print Publication 

A preview for the opening event of the ADaPT Festival 2013

West Coast

Santa Barbara Independent

Art Bark International Presents Minty

Fresh Dance and Physical Theater Come to Yoga Soup

Published: Thursday October 31, 2013


A Review of ADaPT Fest 2013 

Dance and Physical Theater Festival at Center Stage

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Santa Barbara Independent

Dance, Physical Theater, and More

ADaPT Fest Back

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Blogs & Online Publications

East Coast

The Dance Enthusiast

A Postcard from ArtBark International and Friends

West Coast

Dancing Poetess: Blog

Review: ADaPT Festival 2013, Program Jules

Published: July 28, 2013


Dancing Poetess: Blog

Review: ADaPT Festival 2013, Program Arthur

Published: July 28, 2013


L.A. Weekly

Five Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week

Published: Thu., Jul. 25 2013


Categories: Dance, Dance Shows to See

Dancing Poetess: Blog

Review: 7th Annual MixMatch Festival rundown

Published: August 25th, 2013




GIFT Magazine, Austrian Theater Magazine 

Austria meets California at Raw Matters Adapt Special - pages 34-35

Article pertaining to the second in the ADaPT Fest series which sprouted in Vienna, Austria. We are presented as a part of the "alternative scene" next to an article about ImPulsTantz


Cal Arts Alumni Magazine Artist Profile of Misa Kelly By Freddie Sharmini


Santa Barbara Independent

Dance Festival of the Week: Affinity III 

Annual Event Promotes Artistic Collaboration

preview by Elizabeth Schwyzer

Santa Barbara Independent

Affinity III, at Various Locations 

Mini Dance Festival Brought Artists Together from Across U.S.

Review by Elizabeth Schwyzer


Review: NECTAR Collaboration Exhibits ‘Affinity’ for Dance

Review by Justine Sutton

Santa Barbara News Press

ON STAGE: The Lab of Collaboration - Art Bark's Affinity Fest Is the Soul of Artistic Sharing 

Preview by Ted Mills

Link to pay per view article


Santa Barbara News Press

Affinity: SB-ADaPT Fest Sprouts

ONSTAGE: Sayonara SonneBlauma, Hello ArtBark - Co-Artistic Directors Misa and Stephen Kelly are mellowing a little, but don't expect them to retire from a life in the arts anytime soon

By Dan Kepl

Link to pay per view article

"Last year, SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre co-founders Misa and Stephen Kelly, had an idea: send an email to the world, inviting dance and physical theater artists to come to Santa Barbara — at their own expense — for what was dubbed A Dance and Physical Theatre (ADaPT) Festival. Never underestimate the power of the internet, or the nearly indefatigable energy of the Kellys, nor the impression our little paradise on the Pacific has on the outside world. Last year's ADaPT Fest was huge, drawing artists from throughout the U.S. and Europe to Santa Barbara for several shows at various venues around town"

Santa Barbara Independent

A Review of SonneBlauma’s Final Show 

Review by Elizabeth Schwyzer

Santa Barbara Independent

Affinity: SB-ADaPT Fest Sprouts

Preview by Elizabeth Schwyzer



Santa Barbara Independent

SB-ADaPT Festival at Center Stage Theater 

Dance Meets Physical Theater from All Over on Sunday, June 19

Review by Charles Donelon

"The inaugural SB-ADaPT Festival took over Center Stage Theater last weekend with two full programs—Alpha and Omega—that brought together dance and physical theater companies from as far away as Istanbul and as close by as Long Beach to create a magical atmosphere of excitement and aesthetic adventure. Organized in a thoroughly grassroots manner by dancer/choreographer Misa Kelly, SB-ADaPT contributed not only a beautifully executed set of programs to the community but also an example of how much can be accomplished on a small budget by like-minded artists willing to take chances and engage in genuine international exchange."

Santa Barbara Independent 

Experimental Artists Converge on Santa Barbara

Preview by Elizabeth Schwyzer!

Santa Barbara News Press 

DANCE REVIEW: Making art, making community at the ADaPT festival : Upstart festival's showcase event featured daring emerging genres Saturday at Center Stage Theater 

Review by Daniel Kepl

pay per view article

Santa Barbara News-Press

Cover of Scene Magazine

ART and its ADaPTations


pay per view article

Santa Barbara News-Press

ONSTAGE: The Surfacing of the S.B. Artistic Underground - The first bi-annual festival of dance and physical theater has found a soul mate in the Fishbon Artists Collaborative 

Preview by Daniel Kepl 

pay per view article

Santa Barbara News Press

ONSTAGE : Meeting at the Center - SB-ADaPT Festival celebrates movement and emerging genres in its second weekend and emerging genres in its second weekend 

Preview by Daniel Kepl 

pay per view article

3 Cities: 3 Choreographers Project 

Three California Choreographers Collaborate, Strength in Numbers - by Elizabeth Schwyzer (Independent)

Getting three for one: Delightful selection of choreographer's recent works 


"The evening was like a good mixed tape made by a friend who wants to turn you on to the newest in new. Consider that mission accomplished."

3 Cities: 3 Choreographers - by Rebecca Joley (LA Yoga) 

"Kelly’s pieces – especially Nadar Sabe Mi Llama el Agua Fria – explored the coexistence of athletic genius and disability in the same body, while maintaining an insistence on aesthetic appeal." 


Up Close With Misa Kelly: A Choreographer with a Mission - by Elizabeth Schwyzer (Independent)

Art Unframed - by Felicia Tomasko (Independent) 


Audience Participation Encouraged - by Elizabeth Schwyzer (Independent) 

New Works in Dance at Center Stage - by Charles Donelan (Independent) 

Kinesis at Center Stage - by Elizabeth Schwyzer (Santa Barbara Independent)

"Beneath the hot stage lights, 11 dancers march in unison. They wear knee pads and bike shorts. One girl sports a short kilt. A boy wears a white dress shirt unbuttoned; a skinny red tie hangs from his bare neck. Bright paint streaks their faces, and as they march, they confront the audience, chanting: “Taka taka taka taka!”

A slender young man breaks away from the group. In a lacy blouse and white gloves, he’s gorgeous and ghostly, his poses suggesting feminine seduction. A moment later, he’s whisked back into the tribe.

The dance is “Flint,” created by Misa Kelly for a group of Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) dance students, and it represents a shift for the Dance Alliance’s annual showcase. In its new incarnation asKinesis, the showcase formerly known as New Works aims to include a broader swath of the community’s dancers and choreographers. This year marks the first time SBCC students have been able to take part, as well as the first time Kelly has set work on them, and the result was electric."

The Fourth Annual Mix-Match Festival - by Steven Woodruff (Dance Plug) 

"Here are some of the (festival) highlights...Kelly, a woman slight in stature, proved an overwhelming and formidable presence on stage in her work which used her own vocalizations in a psychological journey. In the end she retreats into blackness with a series of looming balances. It was slightly terrifying." 

Dancing Out Loud - by Justine Sutton (Noozhawk) 

"Misa Kelly choreographed and performed “Ranunculus,” a solo set to a mix of eclectic music and vocalizations. 

Kelly is clearly a highly-trained and accomplished dancer, and yet unlike many, she is also capable of projecting great expression. Between frenzied moments of leaping and tossing her body about wildly while making guttural sounds in her throat, she would pause and give the audience such an arch look over her shoulder that the texture of the piece immediately deepened.  Some dance tells a story, some is abstract. This piece seems to present an abstract story, dreamlike — but one of those odd dreams where lots of strange, disjointed things happen and you’re afraid if you tell anyone about it, you might sound kind of crazy. Perhaps it is an embodiment of the subconscious mind, with all its twists and turns. At once tragic and heroic, innocent and all-knowing, the persona Kelly presented here was as fascinating as the piece was gorgeously multilayered."

MixMatch Festiva1 2011 

Under No Certain Circumstances

"An Audience Favorite"

Barbara Ransom