To say Miral Kotb is driven is an understatement. At 34, the Houston native and Columbia grad is already the CEO of iLuminate, a dance troupe that uses light technology to push storytelling to the next level.
(You may remember iLuminate as one of the finalists from America’s Got Talent in 2011.)
iLuminate is performing Off-Broadway and Kotb not only wrote the software for the show, but also designed the patent-pending lightsuits, helped choreograph numbers, and occasionally dances in it.
Like many little girls, Kotb started dancing when she was three. Unlike many little girls, she also started coding when she was nine. She pursued both through and after college before deciding to pursue dance professionally. Then her life changed.
“I was diagnosed with cancer, which was pretty scary,” Kotb says. “I realized how important it was to take care of my health.”
She almost lost her right leg in the process, but eventually started to walk, and then dance again. But she couldn’t dance the way she used to, so she focused on getting stronger as a computer programmer at Bloomberg.
“Once I was out of remission I left Bloomberg and started pursuing dance again,” she says. “That’s when I started thinking about bringing dance and technology together, and before I knew it, iLuminate came about.”
Tickets are on sale for the company’s Off-Broadway run through February.
Up next for Kotb? “I always wanted to get Ph.D. in neuroscience,” she says.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 1, 2013