My Barbarian wanted to take Miami on a boat ride. “We wanted to interact and be out in the public,” Alex Segade reveals over the phone from Los Angeles, where he just got out of rehearsal for My Barbarian’s first Miami show, coming up this Saturday at the Miami Light Project, as part of Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design’s “Living Together” performance series this season. ..
The time seems right for Karen Finley to be visiting Miami, to be performing in the black box space of the Miami Light Project at the Goldman Warehouse, and to present her latest performance-art manifesto about the current political landscape, “Unicorn Gratitude Mystery.” In the show, which she began developing as a response to the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Finley plays a unicor..
Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..
One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..
Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..
If you were to predict who might become a nationally famous – OK, world-famous – multiplatform sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer would probably not be your first choice. Born in Germany in 1928 as Karola Ruth Siegel, the 4’7” Dr. Ruth seems more like the doting Jewish grandmother she is than a woman who used her nationally syndicated radio show, TV shows and 40-some books to help hun..
Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..
Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..
We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..
“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..
A 50th anniversary calls for gold in celebration. But Balanchine’s “Jewels”—a sublime marriage of music and choreography from 1967—brings Emeralds, Rubies,and Diamonds. Those precious stones give name and color to the three sections ofa work recognized as the first full-length non-narrative ballet, a fitting opener for Miami City Ballet’s gem-studded season at the Arsht Center.
“Jewels” gets value from both a broad vision and fine details. Displaying distinctive qualities as well as overall connections, its parts add up to a compendium of ballet styles supported by suggestive scores. Emeralds harkens back to a French-perfumed romanticism and uses incidental music by Gabriel Fauré (for the stage works “Pelléas et Mélisande” and “Shylock”). Rubies relies on Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestrato stir up its jittery modernity.And, to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.3 in D major, Diamonds closes with royal radiance.
Evoking a green expanse, while the dancers luxuriate in the lush musical milieu, Emeralds—though often pensively paced—is no mere walk in the park. Tricia Albertson, a lead in the initial movements, can attest not only to the buoyant lyricism of her role but also its considerable physical demands.
“I get tired going from the opening straight into a long, difficult solo,” says Albertson, a seasoned principal ballerina who, partnered by Rainer Krenstetter, is significantly dancing this part for the first time. “I’ve really had to learn to keep my strength, not so much because the individual steps are tricky but due to their sustained accumulation. And the music is so beautiful, it’s a challenge to distill that.”
She mentions having to surrender to the orchestral flow as if submerged. Arms up, hands weaving, and on pointe for attentive treading, a ballerina here can indeed appear to be testing the waters. There’s a sense of discovery and wonder--as if to underscore, given “Jewels”regard of history, the art form’s early Parisian heyday.
Rubies fast-forwards to a New York vibe. Urban in rhythm, its push-and-pull keeps the dancers’ blood pumping, with the male lead in prominence.
“This is a very special role for me,” says Renato Pentads, who first tackled the ballet’s feats nearly 15 years ago, coached at MCB by then artistic director Edward Villella, for whom Balanchine choreographed the lead.
Reflecting on his long-standing relationship with this prized assignment, Penteado notes, “I pace myself better now. This is like running a marathon. And I think more about the dancing from the inside. It needs athleticism, but I try to balance that with careful details—to make it bold but not harsh.”
As the choreography takes the score’s speed lanes and sharp corners, Penteado whisks by, carousing with a playful pack of guys and joining up with a driven woman—everyone decked out in red. This time he is particularly appreciative of his partner, Katia Carranza, a talented contemporary who left MCB a while back for her native Mexico and is now aiming high to mark her return to the company.
Considered as a triptych,“Jewels”bestows on Rubies—the central panel, so to speak—the perspective of its wings:Emeralds, the curtain-raiser with its Francophile ambiance, and the concluding Diamonds. That last work mines the choreographer’s formative base, Imperial Russian ballet, which profited from a French inheritance and passed on the artistic wealth— invested further by Balanchine—across the Atlantic. In effect, “Jewels” reflects its émigré creator’s own trajectory: St. Petersburg, Paris, New York, the center of his stylistic innovations.
“Dancing in Diamonds,” Simone Messmer says, “lets me combine all of my knowledge of ballet.” As the lead ballerina, she takes the strictures of classical technique—as in the emphatic carriage of the upper body—toward a more vivid interpretation. Performing in such Balanchine works since joining MCB two years ago, she confesses, has helped her become her own woman on stage.
A new partnership here with Jovani Furlan, a rangy, energetic soloist with the company, has further developed her artistry. By accommodating to each other, not just in rehearsals but through frank discussions--“we’re both very open people,” says Messmer—the pair is giving intimate dimension to their regal roles.
“This kind of dance allows a ballerina to rise to the next level,” Messmer says. “It will be a treat for everyone.”
Miami City Ballet Program I “Jewels,” Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami (Oct. 28-29 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts); Friday and Saturday, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday 2:00 p.m. Cost $45-$105; www.arshtcenter .org; miamicityballet.org.
People often imagine new artwork is the product of the solitary artist genius slaving away in lonely studios. The South Florida Symphony’s 20th anniversary program foregrounds a different vis..
At an age when many are winding down their working lives, Ignacio Berroa eagerly anticipates a new stage in his career. It would be understandable if the 64-year-old drummer, recognized a..
We know it’s the holiday season when trees light up, menorah candles start to burn, ubiquitous Christmas carols pipe through drugstores, “The Nutcracker” plays on every stage – and in recent ..
Late last year, on Dec. 20, 2016, Romero Britto and Mark Bryn hosted the Great Artists Series Cocktail Reception at the Britto Fine Art Gallery to celebrate the legendary impresaria, Judy Dru..
Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain s..
Globalization has produced many stories —not all inspiring. But having a Pakistani ensemble become a worldwide sensation by playing Paul Desmond’s immortal “Take Five,” which pianist Da..
When the management of New York’s iconic Apollo Theater approached drummer Gregg Field last year about organizing a concert there in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth..
They’ve opened a Chanel fashion show in Havana and been featured in Beyoncé’s visual album for “Lemonade.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has danced to their music. Their Florida debu..
There are few artists who have had the impact in their disciplines that guitarist Paco De Lucía had in flamenco. There is a before-and-after De Lucía in flamenco. He expanded the harmonic voc..
El segundo programa de la temporada 2017-2018 del Miami City Ballet (MCB) dedicado a los 100 años del nacimiento de Jerome Robbins (1918-1998), el gran coreógrafo norteamericano que triunfó ..
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..
El Miami City Ballet (MCB) presentó por fin en el Arsht Center la nueva producción de su gran espectáculo navideño, el “Cascanueces” de Tchaikovsky y Balanchine, ahora con diseños origin..
La tradicional temporada de Cascanueces del Miami City Ballet (MCB) tendrá algo nuevo este año. La compañía que dirige Lourdes López ha decidido renovar los diseños de la superproducción que..
El programa que Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) presentó el sábado pasado en su exitoso debut como compañía en residencia del South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) y a solo ..
Hay pocos artistas que han tenido el impacto en sus disciplinas como el guitarrista Paco De Lucía tuvo en flamenco. En este género, hay un antes y después de De Lucía. Expandió el vocabul..
Dance NOW! Miami, la Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO), Miami Dance Futures y la New World School of the Arts (NWSA) colaboraron el fin de semana pasado para presentar la Daniel Lew..
Esta es una gran noticia para el público amante del ballet en Miami. Tras un paréntesis de diez años en los que solo nos visitó de manera esporádica, la Primera Bailarina mexicana Katia Carra..
Solo hay que aplicar el concepto “seis grados de separación” a uno de los artistas que se han presentado en las Galas de Estrellas del Festival Internacional de Ballet de Miami (IBFM por sus ..