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Tracing Your Roots Through Travel, According to Mickela Mallozzi – The New York Times

The professional dancer Mickela Mallozzi woke with a jolt of an idea one night: She would create a television show where she would connect with people around the world through dance and music. Ms. Mallozzi had started traveling internationally while a student at New York University. Everywhere she went, she danced with locals.

“It was not ‘let’s come up with a gimmick for a TV show,’ ” Ms. Mallozzi, 37, said. “It’s ‘I love to travel this way, I think there’s something behind this.’ ”

The first generation Italian-American used her savings to film the pilot episode in her family’s hometown, Minturno, Italy, and the first season of “Bare Feet” aired nationally on PBS two years ago. Its third season, which premiered on NYC Life on June 6, will begin airing nationally on PBS stations in October. (Seasons 1 and 2 are available online at PBS.org or Amazon Prime.)

Ms. Mallozzi looked to her own DNA for the new season. She determined her itineraries with results from four separate DNA tests, which revealed Greek, Middle Eastern and North African roots, among others. Viewers can follow along as she learns about la pizzica, an ancient dance form in Puglia, Italy, and dances Gnawa, a spiritual dance created by people who were enslaved in Morocco.

Tracing Your Roots Through Travel, According to Mickela Mallozzi – The New York Times

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