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Miro Dance Theatre Holds Mash-Ups at Drexel University's Mandell Theatre


It was Benjamin Franklin who said “you may delay, but time will not.” He had something going. Preparation is brief and procrastination is not an option when Miro Dance Theater partners up with a rock band (Toy Soldiers) and a composer (Ronald Vigue) for an unconventional presentation prepared hurriedly in a 72-hour time frame. It’s round two of the “Miro Mash Up Series” (last month’s premiere performance was a hit) and Philly2Philly.com sits down with Miro’s Artistic Director and “Mash Up” dancer Amanda Miller days before rehearsals begin for Thursday’s show. It was also Big Ben who declared, “well done is better than well said,” but here are eight facts about this original, inventive experiment. 

Miro Dance Theater Mash Up1. There’s something so raw and so vulnerable about the Mash Up Series. You’re not going to know what to expect. We could fall flat on our faces and it can be a total disaster or it will be one of those moments where you say, “You had to be there. You just had to be there.” 

2. It’s not a long researched creative process. It’s the totally opposite. Instead of years, we have three days. What we discovered last month while doing the Mash-Up was quickly figuring out what the emotional connect would be between the elements and not just allowing it to be a study in structure and a study in combining, but trying to find something that every element is going to latch on to and explore. You have to go with your gut and go with your creations. 

3. Band Toy Soldiers are a perfect match for the series. We love them because they’re from Philly but they actually have talent. They have an amazing sound. Lead singer Ron Gallo is up for anything. They’re not afraid to experiment with different styles and different sounds. 

4. Generating a collaborative language is vital when a new partnership is involved. Ronald Vigue is working with us on a future project, so it’s a great first “getting to know you” type thing. This will be the first time working together and it’ll get us conversing quickly. 

5. Miro’s Mash Up is the creative experiment of all creative experiments. Based on last month’s Mash-Up, day one is figuring out how we’re going to work: who’s going to be in charge and when that person is put in charge, how are they going to interact with different elements. And by day three, we’ve decided on a structure that’s definitely going in Thursday’s show. Then we’re asking ourselves, “what more can we say?” and “how can we explain something deeper inside?” 

6. The dancers and the musicians have the same difficulty. It’s totally even. Last month, in phase one, the dancers were moving and doing what they wanted and by phase three, they all said, “can we please have something more specific because we’re not comfortable getting onstage on Thursday and completely winging it. Give us something to work towards.” And the musicians at that point are trying to figure out what key they are going to play in. They say, “We can’t just come together and make sounds.” They’re all working towards something together. 

7. As an artist, these are moments you life for, even if it only exists in your subconscious. The best part of working and creating in such a short time is the adrenaline. You just have to go for it. It’s nerve-wrecking and it’s scary but it’s exciting. Someone has an idea and we say, “Okay, let’s try it.” 

8. The Mash-Up is what they call “blurring the lines between creativity and chaos.” And this is why. The worst part of the experience is that YOU HAVE TO CREATE SOMETHING IN THREE DAYS! You feel every of a moment of a break. You take a break and you can’t afford to take a break. You’re asking yourself “Is it working?” It’s fear setting in. To me as an artist, it’s the best reminder to not over think it. 


Miro Mash-Up #2

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: The Mandell Theatre, Drexel University

Featuring: Miro Dance Theatre, Toy Soldiers, Ronald G. Vigue

Tickets: Free!


Miro Mash-Up #3

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: TBA

Featuring: Miro Dance Theatre, Toy Soldiers, Van Steifel

Tickets: Free


Miro Mash-Up Best-Of

Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010

Time: TBA

Location: Kimmel Center

Featuring: A celebration of the best of the Miro Mash-Ups at the annual Solstice Celebration at the Kimmel Center.

Tickets: TBA