The Kellys

About Misa
PRESS KIT- available upon request

Misa Kelly is an interdisciplinary creativity specialist based in Santa Barbara, California working in the mediums of dance, physical theater,  visual art, installation, film, photography & experimental and exploratory genres.  In 1996 she founded SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre and its associated non-profit The Future Traditions Foundation. In 2012 the company, embracing change, evolved into ArtBark with a mission to spread love and light through the power of creative expression.  Kelly is also Co-Founder & Director of the international SB-ADaPT (A Dance and Physical Theater) Festival. 

Misa has completed over 120 projects ranging from creating for conventional and not so conventional venues, guerilla style movement art explorations, producing an international dance, physical theater and emerging genre festival as well as participating in many festivals, producing master class series, & producing dance and music concerts.

Her critically acclaimed work has been shown abroad at the AFL Kultur Merzkezi in Istanbul, has toured California as a part of the 3 Cities: 3 Choreographers project and has also toured to participate in other California Festivals including MAX10, the MixMatch Festival, the Monterey Dance Festival and the SpectorDance Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase.  Kelly has also toured to New York presenting work in Green Space Studios “Take Root” & “Fertile Ground” series as well as the COOL New York Dance Festival.  As an educator Kelly opened up her company class to the community to provide free professional training to low-income artists and has taught master classes at Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College, Moorpark College. Additionally Kelly led a week long workshop at in Istanbul at the Çatı movement arts center.  Her work has also been shown in many venues in Santa Barbara including Fishbon, Center Stage Theater, Yoga Soup, Montecito School of Ballet, Faulkner Gallery, UCSB Women’s Center, the Contemporary Arts Forum, and Guerilla style at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 

In addition to her own creative expression Misa has worked with  Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, Mark Parisian Mime Troupe, James Donlon, Motion Dance Theatre, Smudges Performance Group, Christine Loizeaux, Christina McCarthy, Christopher Pilafian, Stephen Kelly, and Tonia Shimin.   

Kelly has also participated in DANCEWorks Santa Barbara projects as a community dancer in Keigwin + Co., Doug Elkins’ and Brian Brooks.

About Stephen

Stephen Kelly is a classically trained pianist who has performed solo concerts in France, Spain, and Costa Rica, as well as across the United States.  He received his primary training from Galina Michniuk and Erno Daniel.  Locally, he has presented numerous recitals at the Music Academy of the West, as well as three solo performances at the Lobero Theatre, including one presented by the Santa Barbara Symphony.  His studies of classical Indian music have been with Krishna Govinda and Hom Nath Upadhyaya of Nepal, as well as with Montino Bourbon of the Ali Akbar Khan gharana.  As a dancer, he trained for two years in the majors program at UCSB, and continued his work under the great jazz dancer Matt Maddox in Paris, and later, with the flamenco master Pepe Mancilla in Spain.  In Europe, he played for the classes of Josette Amiel (Paris Opera Ballet) and company class of Ballets Blaska.  He has been invited to witness the choreographic process of Lucas Hoving, Felix Blaska, and Remy Charlip.   He has collaborated with a number of choreographers and dance companies, performing live onstage, as well as serving as music director and composer.  His performance at the Luckman Auditorium in Los Angeles with Nancy Colahan was termed “superb” by the Los Angeles Times. 

As a choreographer, he has been privileged to work with some of the finest professional dancers from the Colorado Ballet, State Street Ballet, and Santa Barbara Dance Theater. Together with Juliana Bertelson, he served as co-producer for two seasons of the “Endangered Species” dance collective at Center Stage Theater.

His recent choreographic work is Atesh, Bayan, created for the 2011 SB ADaPT Festival.  Reviews in the Santa Barbara News-Press praised Atesh as “a brilliant trio” and also declared “Kelly’s original music was amazingly imaginative.”