After finishing studies at Cal Arts I moved back to my home county of Santa Barbara to settle in to sorting how to realize my dream of growing a boutique dance company to an international status. At this time, I was scrounging for free rehearsal space, in that I did not have much in the way of financial supporters, and little know how about the nature of fundraising, or about growing dance companies, in that, the educational programs I was in at the colleges I attended did not incorporate the entrepreneurial aspect of dance making.

As I worked with Santa Barbara Dance Theater at that time, I had access to free rehearsal space, and after that, working with my friends Mindy Nelson and Michelle Knudsen, they were able to procure space at the University for our projects. I had been working on a solo A Bao A Qu, and auditioned the work for a showcase in Los Angeles, and wasnʻt accepted, and realized, I would need to produce my own work.  

1998 also marked the first year of our non-profit coming into being, The Future Traditions Foundation, and program design was impacted by our trial period. 

As I look at the program I see we recieved a California Arts Counsil grant, and the artists that collaborated on the project were successful in selling 11 ads which appeared in the program, and there are financial sponsors listed as well. 

Truth be told, I have very little recollection about the entire process day to day, and I long for the type of memory my sister has, as an elephant so to speak.

The collaborative producers were the choregraphers, and our non-profit served as the umbrella for fiscally processing funds.

Dance Makers:

Danah Bella

Sarah L. Hardcastle

Misa M. M. Kelly

Sam Kenney

Tracy R. Kofford

Bradley R. Lundberg

David R. Miranda 

Melinda Nelson

For dance makers, there exists a window of time where one is connected to peers, and this web of support can carry your journey forward. Once this web of support dissipates as people move away from their college towns, and the grace period with your college ends,  then the real challenges begin. It is amazing to me, in hindsight, how, two years after finishing my MFA I not only managed a one year guest artist status with the resident dance company with the University, but enrolled in an entrepreneur class with Womenʻs Economic Ventures, bought a nolo self-help book from Chaucers book store, and launched a non-profit with my partner and my friend Sarah Wingren.

Performance of Hot Ice at Center Stage Theater

My personal creative offering was comprised of two components, an art installation, inspired by the death of Lady Diana, and a 40 minute work called Hot Ice.

I enrolled at a sculpture class at Santa Barbara City College in order to have access to space to work out the installation ideas. It wasnʻt very respectful of the teacher, in hindsight, to ignore the class assignments, and simply do my own thing, but, it was what it was. For myself, the death of Lady Diana represented a powerful crucifixtion of the Princess Myth, and as many did, I felt the loss quite deeply. The notion of the loss being a sort of sacrafice was conveyed by artist Shari Brookler, burning toast, in night clothes, and the sense of melting glass slippers were created by dipping high heeled shoes in resin. The princess chair was a director type seat that was covered in nails, and screws, and painted white. There was a styrofoam head with a crown of sorts fashioned from toothpicks stuck in its head, spray painted pink and white. There was another performance art figure, Gerry Marr, who was covered in bandaides that had wooden match sticks glued to them. As the audience entered, the melting glass slippers were moved forward through the theater, as I poured red wine into the shoes, layering metaphor. It is true, that this was some sort of taboo, and against regulations, and I regret the disrespect portion of that, and I donʻt understand why artists are sometimes to do that, break rules. In the foray was where the princess chair was displayed along with a series of paintings from my Closet M. Series. 

Hot Ice

I do remember on thing, distinctly, about the event. A ballet teacher, Valerie Huston, came back stage and said "Epic Misa, Epic" after the performance. This was such a good feeling, in that, I really admired her creative work, and it took many years to overcome this sense that I needed approval from mentors for the expression.

Creative Research for the Project


Creative Research for Hot Ice

We were working with improvisations from our dreams. I drew from elements of this improvisation for several projects moving foward.  Gosh, Iʻve been around through the entire evolution to date of recording dance, beginning with VHS cameras.

A Bao A Qu

Creative Research for Hot Ice

I recall, from my work at Cal Arts, I learned to piece longer works together by working on different sections at a time. 


I find, program notes can provide clues with regard to what an artist was doing, and thinking, and will also jog oneʻs memory about who the collaborators were. Amazing to think, that my partner provided live music for this and dancing to the sounds crafted by Stephen Kelly, Montino Bourbon, and Solmon Danoff.

I can see now, the name Hot Ice came from a dream. 

"A woman in my dream held out a curious drink to me, the color of a blood orange, it was both cold and hot. "Hot Ice" she said.

In lieu of an artist bio I submitted a drawing and some words.

"Are dances really about anything specific? That depends on the choregrapher. I find that the work that passes through me takes delight in making itself-to spite my intellecutalized I usually donʻt prepare much...but do pay close attention to signifiers in nature, my dreams, and the availability of dancers. Something like riding an untamed mustang - bridleless, sadleless, raw hands clutching a ragged mane, sweaty inner thighs gripping a girth I hang on t the creature that roams toward a sun that rises and falls unmetered...and it is usually six months later, or perhaps years later, that the one word essence of the expression bubbles forth from underneath all of it - from inbetween feather pillow vapors made by touseled dreaming heads wondering at how it all makes itself upright in the underside of G-dʻs she belly."

Further memory of what I was thinking about at that time was captured in a publicity flyer I made with Microsoft Publisher, wow, how that has changed!

ARCHIVES finalCollectiveReport.pdf

Above, a project report submitted for a grant consideration, and the program.