Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Preview: Malashock/RAW4

Choreographer Michael Mizerany Talks About Pushing Boundaries In Dance

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with choreographer Michael Mizerany about pushing the boundaries of dance with Malashock/RAW4.

KPBS arts reporter speaks with choreographer Michael Mizerany about pushing boundaries with his dance "Unspeakable" for Malashock/RAW4.


A trio of dynamic choreographers team up to shock and amaze audiences with the fourth installment of Malashock/RAW4. Guest choreographer Michael Mizerany talks about pushing the envelope in dance.

Michael Mizerany doesn’t like to be boxed in by conventional expectations about dance. That’s why he created RAW for Malashock Dance.

"It’s a series I conceived back in 2010 and it’s in its fourth year and we really wanted to approach dance in an edgier form, really address issues that aren’t normally addressed in dance, and so that’s what RAW4 is all about is to push boundaries, is to make people think about what dance can say and how we can say it," Mizerany said during a break during rehearsals.

At this particular rehearsal, Mizerany was focused on very specific details in the dance.

"It’s a very specific act that’s happening," Mizerany said, "It needs to not look a romantic act is happening but it needs to look like a violent act is happening so I am constantly making sure it is reading that way, so it doesn’t look like it’s a romance but that someone is being assaulted. So that’s why it takes so much time because I don’t want to do too much or too little, it has to be the right amount so it gets across but it’s not exploitive. So that’s why it takes me so long on those little bitty things, the big dance stuff is fine, but those little moments that are so intimate that I take most of the time on."

RAW4 features work by Mizerany as well as by Malashock Dance Artistic Director, John Malashock and guest choreographer Andy Noble. The contemporary dance piece Mizerany created is called “Unspeakable.”

"It addresses an unspeakable act within a family… it’s actually based on an article of a Texas man who found his daughter being assaulted… So it’s a dichotomy of a visceral reaction to an unspeakable act and then a moral dilemma about how you are actually going to react as a person," Mizerany explained.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Sue Brenner

"Unspeakable," the contemporary dance piece created by choreographer Michael Mizerany for Malashock/RAW4.

But getting people to come out to dance events can be a challenge.

"There is an audience for dance especially for RAW, which pushes the boundaries of what dance can say and how we can say it. But you really have to be ever present on social media and print ads and word of mouth, I never relax. I’m always like pushing, pushing, pushing because people have a short attention span and they just have to know that it’s always in front of their face all the time, yeah I want to see that, I forgot about it because people are just being inundated with so much information," Mizerany added.

Malashock RAW4 opens tonight at the Lyceum Stage in Horton Plaza. It is recommended for ages 16 and up. Watch for my video of the rehearsal process tomorrow on Evening Edition.

Dance films: "Pina," "Flamenco, Flamenco," "Mad Hot Ballroom"

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.