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Dancer VIP: Judith Jamison – Alvin Ailey former Artistic Director

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The Calling – Column by Mia Michaels

Submitted by on 18 Oct 2009 – 10:32 AM Comments

The calling in one’s life to be a creator is a huge responsibility to the world. There is no backing down once this realization of artistic destiny takes place. It is the commitment of one’s life, the artistic version of the monk. We are being used by God to affect and change the universe, shift the planet, and hopefully leave it forever altered. Once our calling takes place, it is our duty to respect, nurture, and dig into it so deeply that there is no other way of living. It becomes our life and our every breath. Everything we experience transforms into art.

Mia Michaels: The Calling - first published in movmnt magazine "Got Fame?" Issue - Fall 2007

Mia Michaels is a world-renowned choreographer. She was recently awarded her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for Calling You, created in 2006 for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance. Mia has been collaborating creatively and as a regular columnist for movmnt since its inception. Mia Michaels: The Calling - first published in movmnt magazine "Got Fame?" Issue - Fall 2007

Then there are those who choose but have not been chosen. They make it a career (a business if you will) and have a different take on it. It’s a different way of life. They do it for the love of recognition, money, and fame. These people operate in a thing called the entertainment business.

So many in this business have been successful without caring about creating their own voice or vocabulary, but just copying the great ones that have come before them. They constantly continue to repeat themselves without ever considering the reinvention of oneself, and without guilt or apologies. There is truth in both these worlds, they just have different heartbeats.We are now in a time of reality TV and instant celebrity.

It’s a time of mediocrity, not too much dignity or integrity on screens all over America. I am one of those so-called instant celebrities in the world’s eyes. It just happened over night. I dropped out of the sky and became a big-name choreographer with a face. The funny thing is I am just Mia doing what I have been doing for the last 25 years, but now I am MIA! Very funny and very strange.

The fame will pass. The show will close. The trends will change. What will remain constant are the true artists, visionaries, and creators, the ones that are called. They will stand as they are until they are gone.

I hope and pray to always stay true to my calling. A creator of beauty, ugliness, and worldly art of movement. I hope to be a constant because I am called.

Mia Michaels*

First published in movmnt magazine “Got Fame?” Issue – Fall 2007


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  2. Crimefightah says:

    You’re only an “instant celebrity” to those who’ve just recently been introduced to your work. I look at SYTYCD as a vessel, and you, along with your colleagues, its fuel. I feel as though that vessel brought you into our homes, our thoughts and our hearts for a reason. I wouldn’t have known the difference between each style of dance…or each choreographer without stumbling upon the show.
    Like listening to a song that touches you, you go and seek out the artists CD, and it takes you somewhere. So, you listen to it again, and again. You memorize lyrics and each word reminds you of something. Each note moves you. And if they’re”lucky”, they land in your favorite music section on your “MySpace”, “Facebook” or in a play list on your “Ipod”. But they’re always there…to brighten a darkened sky or make it even more dark given your mood.
    You do the exact same thing with your movement. You reached out of the TV and grabbed the collar of my already wrinkled shirt. You pulled me in with a force incomparable to anything. All the while smirking, knowing you had a firm grip and there was nothing I could do.
    You’ve made me sit on this computer looking up every piece I could find that you’ve choreographed. I feel as though I’ve watched it all 100 times. I watch SYTYCD weekly and it’s like Christmas when I get to see a piece from you. Just like finding that CD and playing it over and over, and not being able to get enough, so goes the same with you, and your talent.
    I’ve never danced…
    I never will dance…
    (OK, you can’t call what I attempt to accomplish on a Saturday night at a club, dancing.)
    But I feel inspired by what you do.

    And you make me want to watch more.

    And you make me not want to blink.

    You may have been an “instant celebrity” at first, but now that you’ve roped me in, I plan on keeping you around a while to brighten or darken my everyday sky when I need it.