Or to 1991, when the 6-year-old and 4-year-old saw their reflections in a mirror and, as the story goes, spontaneously choreographed their first dance routine.
The process wasn't formalized until 2009 but Curio Dance -- which will present "Let the Sole Shine" this weekend at the Cowles Center as part of their "Drop the Mic" series -- is, in many ways, a lifelong project of the Mejias.
"We've been seeking our entire life those shows and performers that have the extra spark to be seen on stage," Dario says. "My sister and I are always asking, 'What is the magic in this situation? What if we move like this?' Our real talent exists in our collaboration with each other and with others who have backgrounds from street dancing to Native American dance to Chinese marital artist to hip-hop to tap dancers -- to reveal how beautiful our city is."
"Let the Sole Shine" includes pieces by the brother-sister duo, who placed third on "America's Got Talent" in 2011 and who have danced around the country but always seem to come back to the state they love (Dario, 31, and Giselle, 30, grew up in
In the middle of all of that, of course, there will be lots of dancers, performing to music that ranges from
"The show really is about bringing this community of diverse dancers together," Dario says. "
As Dario's answers to our nine questions reveal, he has big ideas for how to keep making that magic happen.
Q. What would you do if you had a million dollars?
A. I would hopefully renovate downtown
Q. What is your favorite place to be?
A. In the dance studio, in a big, open space. Most of all, you're able to let your imagination fly there.
Q. Who would play you in a movie?
Q. What is the scariest thing you've ever done?
A. Being alone, facing my fears. In the dance studio, if you're alone, it's a lot harder to change your mood. But, being able to do that, to look in the mirror and figure out how to tell the truth, is the most difficult. That's why having another person -- my sister, my closest person in the studio -- is so helpful because we can have a positive influence on each on the days when it's tough going.
Q. What are you thinking as you are about to launch a project?
A. You're thinking about the other performers and the costumes and the lighting. You're taking all those elements and thinking, "What are we trying to give our audience? Are we ready?"
Q. When did you know you wanted to be a dancer?
A. I would have to take a quote from Benjamin Harkarvy (former director of the dance program at Juilliard, where Dario earned a bachelor of fine arts degree), who passed away after my first year of college. He said that dance is not something you choose to do; it is something that chooses you. The dance culture in America is something that finds you, explores your talent and invites you into this world.
Q. What is the best thing about your job?
A. The majority of people are sitting, stagnantly, at work, and it's like my grandfather used to say that it's too bad more people didn't continue farming because you get to use your body when you farm. Being able to make contact with other people as part of your work is so essential to human needs.
Q. What's your motto?
A. Curio believes diversity is strength. In the last couple of years, I've been traveling internationally and what continually comes back about why I love
Q. Whom do you admire most in the world?
A. Let's say
What: "Drop the Mic: Let the Sole Shine"
Where: Cowles Center,
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