Dancing Together Forever
by LINDA MARGISON
photography by LISA BERRY PHOTOGRAPHY
After attending a Pilobolus dance theater workshop in Connecticut in 2015 and spending time with the group’s artistic associate Jun Kuribayashi, Mia Dalglish’s life changed significantly.
Jun offered to rent her a room so she could stay an extra week, and a year later, they were moving in together. “We knew from the start it was something big,” Mia says. “The first time we snuggled, we knew we were in trouble. We joke that we’re both black belts in snuggling, and we had found our match.”
When Jun’s 40th birthday rolled around three years after they met, Mia surprised him with a trip to Roatan, a Caribbean island off the coast of Honduras. Jun, however, decided to one-up her gift. He hatched a plan to lead Mia up a rocky path to a tiny thatched gazebo on a peninsula to a spot called Edge of the Universe. There, he planned to fake a knee injury, and when she turned around, be on bended knee saying, “Okay, it’s official, I’ve gone to the edge of the universe and back, and I’ve never met anybody as special as you.”
That isn’t how it happened, though. A nervous Jun panicked before reaching the gazebo, and before he could get the ring out of his pocket, Mia turned around, so he squeaked “like Kermit the Frog,” saying, “You’re the only one that can heal me.” Mia responded by almost knocking him off the cliff when she jumped into his arms.
While they intended to elope, Mia’s 97-year-old grandfather, Alfred Klein, put an end to that idea. “We had decided we were life partners a long time ago, so the wedding was a formality,” Mia says. “But my grandfather said, ‘I want to dance at your wedding,’ so that day we set the date—August 3, 2019. We’re so glad we did. It was nice to have family together, and my grandfather came and danced.”
As co-curator at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, Mia couldn’t imagine anyplace else for their wedding venue, and Jun readily agreed. Other plans unfolded easily. “When we were planning the wedding, I told my mom, ‘I picked out a groom, so I think I’ve made the most important choice, and whatever other details we’ll fill in should be fine.’”
Mia’s parents, Judy Klein and Malcolm Dalglish, walked her down the aisle, and Jun’s parents, Etsuko and Fumo Kuribayashi, escorted him. Because Mia is Jewish and Jun is Japanese, Mary Ann Macklin, senior minister of Unitarian Universalist Church, officiated a ceremony mixing traditions. Paper crane wreaths, one red and one white, were presented to Mia and Jun by their future in-laws. When time came for Jun to stomp a lightbulb in Jewish tradition (actually a glass), they realized it was missing. Mia and Jun entertained guests while the caterer, Anwar Rahil of Samira restaurant, walked down the street, knocking on doors, until he found someone with one to spare. Then, Jun put his shoe on his hand and smashed the bulb doing a handstand.
Pretending to use samurai swords, Mia and Jun ceremonially cut a cupcake—prepared by Two Sticks Bakery—with little butter knives, and then had a sword fight. They danced to music by DJ Lewis Rogers until heading to The Back Door to see a Wicked-themed drag show. The following day, everyone gathered for a pitch-in picnic at Bryan Park, with croissants from Muddy Fork Bakery and coffee from Hopscotch Coffee.
Mia and Jun reside in Boston with their two dogs, Roo and Mouse, who were ringbearers. They are starting a dance company, Hybridmotion, and plan to honeymoon later this year in Roatan.