Who We Are
~mignolo dance~ is a nonprofit contemporary dance company based in New York and New Jersey founded by sisters, Charly and Eriel Santagado, in 2017. They have been dancing and creating together for more than ten years and use this experience to continue to collaborate with each other and other dancers and artists to create new work that explores elements of various artistic mediums through movement.
Artistic Director/Co-Founder - Charly Santagado (left)
Co-Director/Co-Founder - Eriel Santagado (right)
A note from Charly and Eriel:
People often ask us if “mignolo” means anything; it is the Italian word for pinky finger, but to us it is so much more than that.
Growing up, along with being dancers, we were competitive gymnasts. At a gymnastics meet when were young, we were sitting with our Uncle Charlie, telling him how we were nervous. He replied in a dramatic Italian accent holding up his pinky finger: “You two have more talent in your pinky fingers than all those competitors have in their entire bodies.” After that, to calm our nerves at meets, we told each other to Remember The Pinky, even making signs to hold up at larger competitions.
At some point in high school, we decided that we would eventually start our own professional dance company. We knew early on that we wanted to incorporate the pinky into our company name, and after our uncle died in March of 2017 at only 53, we officially decided on it, performing for the first time as a company only a few months later. After that shocking day in March, we knew that we had an even more important reason to name our company mignolo.
So, when we think of mignolo, we think of strength, of all of the difficult experiences that we’ve been through to arrive where we are today, and of our uncle and how our work can serve as a tribute to not just his life, but to the beauty of life and art in general. If ever you are out there questioning your own value, whether it be in relation to another person, society at large, or yourself, we hope that you will “remember the pinky”, the one that we all have in one aspect of life or another, and feel a surge of worth and love for yourself and the world surrounding you.