Dancer to Dancer

The Lowdown on Martha Graham Dance Company's Marzia Memoli

Marzia Memoli (photo by Sean Martin, courtesy Martin)

Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.

Who's your dance role model?

No doubt Sylvie Guillem

What's the most-played song on your playlist?

"Understand," by Shawn Mendes, he says: "changing isn't a bad thing, it never was, but at the end of the day, you know, you're the same person."

What's your favorite dance movie?

A really sad movie, but always my favorite: "A Time For Dancing," based on a true story.

What's something no one knows about you?

I can wiggle my ears.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Desserts. I'm in love with any type of cake.

Who can always make you laugh?

My best friends! They're so far, but no matter how far apart we can be, they are able to make me laugh all the the time.

Have you had any embarrassing moments onstage?

Who hasn't? The best one was when I fainted onstage and when I woke up I thought I had danced the whole piece, but in reality not even the first 10 seconds.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?


What's your best advice for dancers?

Be yourself. Dance always for you and your audience. Don't think too much; Find your dance through the purity of the movement, and have fun, always!

What's the last thing you do before you go to bed?

Close my eyes and think of something beautiful.

What's your favorite book?

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Always a dancer. My first dream ever!

What would you be if you weren't a dancer?

A heart surgeon. That fascinates me and intrigues me so much.

If you could work with any choreographer, who would it be?

Martha Graham and Nacho Duato.

If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?

Flying. I always wondered what it would feel like to have wings!

Dance-wise, do you have any bad habits?

Looking at the mirror.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can stay underwater for more than two minutes.

What are your pre-performance habits?

Fifteen minutes before any performance I just lie down. I close my eyes and I breathe six times, as slowly as possible.

What's your most-watched TV show?

"How I Met Your Mother"

What's one food you can't live without?

Like any good Italian, of course pizza!

Do you have any pets?

A beautiful big black dog. His name is Pepe.

A version of this story appeared in the January 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "The Dirt with Marzia Memoli."

Show Comments ()
Dance News
American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin (courtesy ABT)

Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!

Keep reading... Show less
via @kyle_vanny on Instagram competing on World Of Dance

Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
What did I just hear you say? You think all dancers are weak and delicate? PLEASE SAUT DE CHAT OUT OF MY LIFE. (Giphy)

Sure, dancers definitely have some unique identifying characteristics. (We're all obsessed with Center Stage? FACT.) But we're also subjected to all kinds of annoying, inaccurate stereotyping. Here are 10 dancer stereotypes that we never want to hear again.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
University of Minnesota Dance Team (courtesy University of Minnesota)

They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.

Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.

These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Lol, same. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.

Keep reading... Show less
Ema Peter

The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is the 54,000 square foot home of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance on a private university campus. Designed for their innovative new curriculum, that supports a range of dance styles, the school's staff designated Harlequin to provide wall-to-wall flooring for the large 3,500 square foot Performance Studio as well as five dance studios in their new state-of-the-art building.

Keep reading... Show less
Editors’ List: The Goods
Marilyn knows what's up.

If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)

Keep reading... Show less

DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.

Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
And yes, they've still got the moves.

"Alright"? More like *AMAZING.*

Keep reading... Show less
Kevin Hart takes first position with members of L.A. Ballet (via YouTube)

You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.

Keep reading... Show less


Want to Be on Our Cover?





Get Dance Spirit in your inbox