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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, now 33, was named a MacArthur “genius” grant winner in 2016, the same year his play “Gloria” was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Earlier, his provocative, stylistically diverse, subversive plays “Appropriate” and “An Octoroon” (the latter was produced by Coral Gables’ Area Stage last fall) each won best new American play Obie Awards. ..

"The Other Mozart" is a suitcase play – one of those shows where a single actress can pack the entire contents that creates the setting – costume, wig, and props, and go anywhere in the world. It is the way Samantha Hoefer will arrive in Miami to present Sylvia Milo's one-woman play about Maria Anna Mozart, the not nearly as famous older sibling of that 18th century rock star Wolfgang Ama..

Early on in the Argentinean film “El Último Traje” (The Last Suit), which makes its U.S. theatrical debut this week, a deceptively quaint and humorous scene takes place between the film’s protagonist, 88-year-old Abraham Bursztein and his young granddaughter. The little girl refuses to join in a family photo with Abraham surrounded by his many grandchildren. When he cajoles and insists, ..

Gone are the days when filmmakers needed huge budgets, and major movie studios backing them with big bucks to get their films seen, according to two producers who spent decades in Los Angeles, and have now moved their base to Miami Beach. "From a creative standpoint, there are amazing opportunities for filmmakers today," says producer Kevin Chinoy, who, along with producing partner Frances..

Mark St. Germain has achieved ongoing success with small-cast plays involving historical figures in fictional scenarios, and South Florida has been as welcoming to his work as the rest of the country. St. Germain’s “Camping With Henry and Tom,” about a 1920s camping trip involving Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and President Warren G. Harding, was produced in 1996 by New Theatre in Coral Gables..

Mexico City-based theater collective Teatro Ojo's works are constantly evolving. Nothing is ever really finished. That's because they take from every performance. Whatever the audience experiences, observes, feels, and offers feedback, which they highly encourage, all is used, considered, and included in the evolution of the same piece, or introduced into another new work. Two of the ..

“America’s Greatest and Least Known Playwright.”This is how the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes is referred to several times throughout Michelle Memran’s documentary “The Rest I Make Up,” which makes its Florida debut this Saturday as part of Miami-Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Fornes has been called the “Mother of Avant-Garde Theater.” Theater giants like Edward A..

“Once” has always been touched with magic. And as anyone who has seen the sublime new production of the show by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables would tell you, the musical’s spellbinding pull is as powerful as ever. When Irish director-screenwriter John Carney first told the tale of a heartbroken Irish street musician and the spunky Czech pianist who reignites his passion, a 200..

Consider the idea of land in Palestine, and conflict may be the first thing to come to mind. But for Jumana Emil Abboud, the Palestinian landscape evokes other, older, associations – with mythological creatures like water spirits and ghouls. “These stories were told way before 1948,” says the Galilee-born artist, speaking by phone from her home in Jerusalem. She suggests looking back ..

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami has been on a trajectory best described as meteoric. In its first 18 months DDTM has been a 2017 Knight Challenge Grant recipient and now will debut at New Y..

Amirah Sackett came up as a dancer in Chicago’s hip hop scene at a time when women were rare in the mostly male community. But she also visibly stood out as a Muslim. She keeps her hair cover..

Inside the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, where Dance Now! Miami is in residence, there is a hub of activity as the company prepares for its performance on Saturday night of Contemporanea 201..

One of the signatures of the National Water Dance project since its inception seven years ago was that dance troupes, large or small, professional or school groups, were free to perform whate..

Miami City Ballet is in league with Russians – in a good way -- and this promises to make a selection of dances look great again. The company’s final program this season brings back Apollo an..

Hidden behind a busy street in North Miami Beach is the Ancient Spanish Monastery, where Dance Now! Miami will bring the past into the present – and back into the past. Ekphrasis describes th..

Sometimes dance seems as easy as walking down the street. John Heginbotham, founder and artistic director of Dance Heginbotham, describes his dancers as moving in an unaffected, natural manne..

On the heels of a year-plus parade of #MeToo confessions, celebrity shamings and women’s marches, comes Marisa Alma Nick’s female-power-packed “A Rebel in Venus.” “It wasn’t planned that ..

Choreographers are usually curious people. Augusto Soledade’s curiosity leads him in many directions, including ideas on Madonna, voguing, and selfies. It all began with “thoughts on identity..

Ira Sullivan has been a musician for a long time. His father, part of a large musical family, was in the restaurant business. But he played trumpet for fun and stored his horn behind the couch, Su..

The music of Thelonious Monk has been a source of endless fascination and with good reason. Monk’s universe has its own laws. Beautifully constructed and quirky, soulful but also paced by br..

The first time the Amernet performed “The Seven Last Words of Christ” during Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter -- the string quartet played in darkness. Just hours before, cellist Jas..

Drummer Dafnis Prieto and pianist Omar Sosa closed this year’s Global Cuba Fest at the Light Box in Wynwood, Miami, with shows on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17 that suggested a sort of mus..

Mention flamenco and the immediate associations are with dancing, singing and the guitar. The piano has a rather tentative history in flamenco. While some scholars include the instrument in p..

The ancient Japanese art of Taiko drumming comes to Miami this Friday, with Tao: Drum Heart, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has gone on to tour internationally, getting ..

It’s not by chance that the music of Cuban drummer, composer, educator and bandleader Dafnis Prieto unfolds with such purpose. An accidental immigrant in 1999 — he was living with ..

In the music of Las Cafeteras and Orkesta Mendoza, presented by Fundarte at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Saturday, the border is no place for walls but rather, a moveable feast. ..

Performance Hall at New World Center was packed Saturday, Feb. 3 for the New Work program, which NWS conductor and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas introduced as “one of the more adve..

Grandes momentos de la danza en Miami durante 2017

Photo: Rebecca Pelham y Marjorie Burnett (sentada) de Karen Peterson & Dancers en “Buoyant Dreams” de K. Peterson (fotógrafo: Simon Soong).
Written by: Orlando Taquechel
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2017 fue un buen año para la danza en Miami. El Flamenco Festival nos permitió volver a ver a Jesús Carmona, el Internacional Ballet Festival of Miami (IBFM) sobrevivió al huracán Irma, Dance NOW! Miami viajó a México para presentar “Bridges Not Walls” y Miami City Ballet (MCB) nos trajo de México a Katia Carranza.

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) le pisa ahora los talones al Arsht Center como el lugar con la mejor programación de danza en Miami pero espacios como el Gleason Room del Fillmore Miami Beach, 6th Street Dance Studio, el Sandbox del Miami Theater Center (MTC) y el Lightbox Theater Wynwood se mantienen como destinos obligados para ver “danza de autor”. “Big Beautiful” de Brigid Baker Whole Project en el 6th Street Dance Studio y “Shade” de Augusto Soledade en el Gleason Room fueron buenos ejemplos. Por su parte, once grupos locales participaron en una de las mejores Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler hasta la fecha, que se presentó en el New World School of the Arts Dance Theater.
Fue también estimulante poder apreciar la aceptación popular que recibieron agrupaciones de larga trayectoria como Dance NOW! Miami, proyectos que combinan escuela y presentaciones profesionales como Arts Ballet Theatre of Miami (ABTF), una compañía nueva como Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami (DDTM) y experiencias sui generis como IFE-ILE, con su festival anual de música y la danza afrocubana, el Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM), promoviendo y preservando la Escuela Cubana de Ballet, y Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD), por su esmerado trabajo con la danza integrada.
En 2017, Vladimir Issaev (ABTF) sorprendió con “Vertigo”, un exquisito adagio dramático concebido para Mary Carmen Catoya. Pedro Pablo Peña (CCBM) montó un interesante solo para Isanusi García-Rodríguez y presentó el famoso “Grand Pas de Quatre” por primera vez en Miami a cargo de cuatro bailarinas profesionales ya establecidas (Lorena Feijóo, Marizé Fumero, Manuela Navarro y Venus Villa) reunidas especialmente para la ocasión, en la misma Gala donde Eriberto Jiménez estrenó la agradable “Habaneras”. Jennifer Kronenberg y Carlos Guerra (DDTM) encontraron un vehículo estelar perfecto para ellos con “Transparente” de Ronald Savkovic. La incorporación al repertorio de obras como “Carousel Pas de Deux” (de Kenneth Mc Millan), “Calcium Light Night” (de Peter Martins) y “Glass Pieces” (de Jerome Robbins) fue un gran acierto del MCB en su búsqueda incansable por mantenerse relevante.
Hubo años en que seleccionar los grandes momentos de la danza en Miami era algo difícil por lo exiguo de la oferta. Hoy en día es imposible ver todas las funciones de danza programadas, lo que provoca que cualquier selección tenga omisiones imperdonables. Todos los trabajos antes mencionados merecían también un lugar en nuestra lista.
La danza en Miami no se detiene y para el próximo año se anuncia que el IBFM se adelanta al mes de agosto y sus organizadores planean ofrecer una de las Galas en México. MCB tiene programado un estreno mundial de Brian Brooks y Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD) lanzará Forward Motion, un evento anual de danza integrada. Dance NOW! Miami estrenará The Book of Psalms de Baumgarten y Salterini y recibirá al México City Ballet para presentar la segunda parte de “Bridges Not Walls” y ABTF celebrará su vigésimo aniversario y los 200 años del nacimiento de Marius Petipa con programas dedicados en su honor.
Mientras tanto, aquí están en orden cronológico, 10 grandes momentos – especiales, definitorios, irrepetibles - del año que termina.
ENERO
1: El regreso a Miami del grupo cubano Malpaso Dance Company con una función en el Arsht Center que cerró por todo lo alto con “Why You Follow” de Ronald K. Brown.
2: La exuberancia de los bailarines de Aspen Santa Fe Ballet en Huma Rojo de Cayetano Soto (SMDCAC).
FEBRERO
3: La temporada de Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, también en el Arsht Center.
MARZO
4: La X edición de Flamenco Festival Miami en el Knight Concert Hall del Arsht Center, donde sobresalieron la caña de Jesús Carmona y la soleá de Juana Amaya en la Gala dirigida por Manuel Liñán y Olga Pericet junto a Juan Carlos Lérida en el segmento La Fiera en el Monte de su obra Pisadas.
MAYO
5: El sobrecogedor Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray, de KPD en colaboración con LizArt Productions (LAP) de Viena (Austria) que se estrenó en el On.Stage Black Box del Miami-Dade County Auditorium
6: El estreno mundial de “A la Barre…” de Roberto Salaorni – a cargo de Jose Brooks y Andrew McShea – en función de Dance NOW! Miami en el Colony Theatre que rescató de la ignominia a los fallidos World Outgames Miami 2017.
SEPTIEMBRE
7: La Gala en el Miami-Dade County Auditorium del XXII IBFM, que será recordada por las actuaciones inolvidables de Virna Toppi y Massimo Garon en Le Papillon (Italia), Delphine Moussin en Madame Bovary (Francia), Tjasa Kmetec y Petar Dorcevski en Doctor Zhivago (Eslovenia), los italianos Rinaldo Venuti y Vicenzo Di Primo en Capturam, y los cubanos Jorge Oscar Sanchez y Francois Llorente. A María Emilia García y Reynaldo Alexander Duval, del Ballet Nacional Dominicano, solo les bastó salir a escena para convertirse en favoritos.
OCTUBRE
8: El esperado retorno de Katia Carranza al MCB y la afirmación de Simone Messmer como intérprete exquisita, ambas en “Jewels” de Balanchine (Arsht Center).
NOVIEMBRE
9: La presentación de DDTM en SMDCAC con el “Light Rain” de Gerald Arpino - montado por Cameron Basden - que resultó ser un “nace una estrella” por partida doble gracias a los extraordinarios Gabriela Mesa y Fabian Morales.
DICIEMBRE
10: La presentación en el Arsht Center de los nuevos diseños de Isabel y Ruben Toledo para el “Cascanueces” del MCB.

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