Misa (West Coast)

photo by Victor Vic - Ranunculus - 2013

Misa (Dylan) Kelly is an award winning, multi-disciplinary artist whose choreography, visual, performance & installation art has been exhibited across the USA & Europe her favorite adventure to date being installing herself and her art guerrilla style in the Lourve as a part of the museum project. Director of SonneBlauma Danscz for 15 years she co-founded ArtBark International in 2012 embracing a collaborative/co-creative platform. Passionate about community building her innovative program designs & organizational efforts have helped over 1,000 artists over the past 20 years. As an indie author she publishes under the pen name Ginger Freedom.  She lives on the west coast with her beloved of 23 years and Magnolia the piebald panther of a cat much adored by all who encounter her.

Press & Audience Quotes


"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

"riotously funny"
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


"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


Karsen Gould, Artistic Director, Arts for Humanity 

Misa Kelly is an award winning multi-disciplinary artist and producer with eclectic studies in dance, music, choreography, and the visual arts. She holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and graduated with highest honors earning a degree in dance and business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1996 she founded SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre which evolved into ArtBark International in 2012. She also co-founded it’s affiliated non-profit, The Future Traditions Foundation. Misa has been described as “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.” (Dance Plug) and “astonishingly gifted” (Santa Barbara News Press).   As a mid-career artist she has performed extensively on the West Coast, in New York, Connecticut, France, Austria and Turkey. She has completed over 150 projects including co-founding and co-producing the ADaPT Festival series with her husband Stephen Kelly and its affiliated Affinity project, supporting and nurturing the growth of other artists, completing over 40 works of dance, film, physical theater, installing solo shows as a visual artist in Vienna and New York, and through the Museum Project her work has been installed guerrilla style in the Belvedere Lourve, the, MOMA, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Norton Simon Museum. In addition to her own creative work she has performed in the choreography of New York artists Brian Brooks, Keigwin + Co. & Doug Elkins as a part of the DANCEWorks project. In addition to her present work with ArtBark International she is a core member of the Nicole McKenzie Improv group and is in creative collaboration with Los Angeles based artist Nancy Evans of Nancy Evans Dance Theater, New York based artist Barbara Mahler, and will soon begin work on a project with a French film maker based in Los Angeles. Misa's present area of interest is deepening collaborative and co-creative processes, stone carving, writing rap/spoken word for performance and living her life as a creative as an expression of mindfulness and meditation.