Directing theatre to me is a process of listening and editing: I identify and layer the imagery, tones, and qualities that give a story depth and dimension, and I work with performers and designers to keep that story clear, exciting, and affecting.
Directing credits include:
Only Child Aerial Theatre's ASYLUM (The Muse Brooklyn, Burning Coal Theatre Raleigh NC, NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts), the New Victory LabWorks workshop of Story Hour, and Framework for the 2017 INSITU Site-Specific Dance Festival.
Only Child Aerial Theatre "ASYLUM" Teaser (2017)
asylum (noun) \əˈ-sīl-əm\ 1. a place of retreat and security: SANCTUARY, SHELTER, REFUGE 2. an institution for the care of the destitute or sick and especially the insane: MADHOUSE, BEDLAM, INSTITUTION
Described as "extremely imaginative" (Raleigh News & Observer) and "haunting" (Independent Weekly), Only Child Aerial Theatre's ASYLUM unearths the forgotten lives of patients and employees in a state mental institution that was shuttered in the 1970s. Six multi-skilled performers balance poetic storytelling with aerial acrobatics, live music, projection, and shadow work. An original song written for the show by Grammy nominee Sophie B. Hawkins echoes throughout this heightened theatrical world.
Story by Kendall Rileigh and Nicki Miller Director: Nicole Valerie Miller Choreographed by the performers Primary Composer: Walken Schweigert Original Song: Sophie B. Hawkins Costumes: Jan Chambers Lighting: John Wilder Sound: Laura Sisskin Fernandez Projections: Jesse Garrison Production Stage Manager: William Vann Carlton Creative Collaborators: Craig Whitehouse, Rowen Haigh, Mikaela Saccoccio
ASYLUM had its New York premiere in the 2017 Circus Now: International Circus Exposure Festival at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts. The regional premiere in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2015. The production has been made possible by Brooklyn Arts Council, Burning Coal Theatre, Circus Warehouse, The Muse Brooklyn, Constellation Moving Company, The Hybrid Movement Creative Lab and the support of individual donors.
I am co-founding Artistic Director of Only Child Aerial Theatre (with Kendall Rileigh). We create original, devised aerial theatre productions and consult with theatre and dance companies seeking seamless integration of aerial into their work.
How we tells stories is what makes us unique . Our work prioritizes the integration of movement and aerial arts with creative design and music to create expansive environments for heightened and energized storytelling.
Story Hour performance teaser
A journey of childhood, old age, imagination and nostalgia.
Story Hour is an original, devised aerial theatre production by Only Child Aerial Theatre.
Video from the 2016 workshop performance at the Muse Brooklyn Co-director: Rowen Haigh Featuring: Sloan Bradford, Angela Butch, Danielle Butler, Julia Halpin, Yoni Kallai, Nicole Valerie Miller, Kendall Rileigh, Ayla Weisz and Laura Sisskin-Fernandez Music written and performed by Dan Dauchy Additional music by Heather Christian & the Arbornauts
Story Hour has been supported by Brooklyn Arts Council, The Muse Brooklyn and the 2016/2017 New Victory LabWorks Program in New York City.
Other creator credits include:
ASYLUM (with Kendall Rileigh, Only Child Aerial Theatre) Framework (Only Child Aerial Theatre) Mama Said (solo aerial theatre piece, rope/chair) Lantern (solo aerial theatre piece, rope/lantern) The Cry (solo aerial theatre piece, silks/leaves)
I perform throughout the U.S. and internationally as an actress and aerialist. Some recent notable credits include:
2017 Frantic Assembly Advanced Training Programme Performance, London UK
2017 Framework INSITU Site Specific Dance Festival
20-15 2017 ASYLUM. Only Child Aerial Theatre, NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts (New York, NY), Burning Coal Theatre (Raleigh, NC)
2016 Circus Sessions, Femmes du Feu, Harbourfront Centre Toronto, ON
2016 Floor to Air Festival, Santa Barbara Centre for Aerial Dance, Santa Barbara, CA
"Chameleon" Music by Heather Christian & the Arbornauts Performed in "Blunderland" April 13, 2018 at House of Yes NYC Produced by Eric Schmalenberger Video by Mike Shane Act concept and imagery copyright Nicki Miller 2018.
"Mama Said" (credited as Nicki Miller)
FEATURED: "Mama Said" at "No Holds Barred" Dixon Place New York, NY 2016 Music by Heather Christian & the Arbornauts
My aerial choreography focuses on the intentional and seamless integration of aerial work into Theatre and Dance productions.
Some press for my work with RipeTime's The World is Round at the BAM Fisher Space:
“Nicki Miller‘s aerial choreography gives this short play a hint of circus, which Stein so loved.”- The New York Times
“The challenging aerial movement, choreographed by Nicki Miller, is visually strong. It is a great moment when Rose ascends with a small blue chair on her back and climbs a rope ladder, singing high from the ceiling of the theatre.”-Theatre Pizzazz
The World is Round excerpts
Credited as Nicki Miller:
Excerpts from Ripe Time's Obie-winning THE WORLD IS ROUND at BAM. Based on the book by Gertrude Stein. Music and Lyrics by Heather Christian. Conceived and Directed by Rachel Dickstein. Created in collaboration with Hannah Heller, Blake DeLong, Kristen Sieh and Grace McLean. Live Music performed by Heather Christian & the Arbornauts. Set design by Mimi Lien. Lighting Design by Jiyoun Chang, Sound design by Jane Shaw, Costume Design by Ilona Somogyi, and Projection Design by Hannah Wasileski, Aerial Choreography by Nicki Miller.
Other Aerial Choreography credits include:
Holland America Cruise Lines “Starry Night” Symphony of Shadows (Rachel Klein Productions, Dixon Place) NYC Devil In The Hole (dir. Jen Wineman, Dixon Place, House of Yes) NYC
I am available to come into any creative process and bring tools from theatre and physical storytelling to help artists clarify the best expression of their visions. I offer support in poetic composition, creative problem solving, and devising methods to support projects at any phase of development.
"Nicki Miller brings a broad selection of tools as a dramaturge. Her work with Acrobatic Conundrum was useful in forcing us to answer key questions about the underpinnings of our work. She is truly a contemporary circus director, cannily drawing out the games inherent in acrobatic performance. She is personable and knowledgeable, and flexible in her approaches." - Terry Crane, Artistic Director of Acrobatic Conundrum
Teaser: Acrobatic Conundrum presents Love & Gravity
Artistic Coaching from Jenn Cohen, Jaron Hollander, Elizabeth Klob, and Nicole Valerie Miller
Featuring Carey Cramer, Terry Crane, Scotty Dont, Erica Rubinstein, Xochitl Sosa, Ty Vennewitz, Alex Allen and guest performers. Videography: Alex Allen, Leah Jones, & Witty Pixel Photography Editing: Terry Crane Equipment provided by Danny Boulet and Witty Pixel Photography
Personal Trainer and Movement Educator
I am a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms). Combined with a decade of independent movement study in dance and circus training, I teach clients and students of all levels how to keep up their mobility, strength and endurance over time for physical longevity. This work is integrated into my training sessions as well as my work as an aerial theatre teaching artists.
"With all the right blends of safety awareness, patience, professionalism and downright fun, Miller brought us a week of learning that we'll never forget." - Leighann Kowalsky, Director of Dance, Millbrook School
"I love Nicki's gentle approach and attention to form. She will asses you and help you get strong and flexible with her vast knowledge of the mechanics of the body... I learned so much from her that now whenever I take a class I know the correct form to get the most out of the exercises and not get injured. "- Maria, graphic designer and mother of two, Brooklyn (training client)