The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..

Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..

Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..

The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..

A casual conversation with a fellow theater artist prompted José Manuel Dominguez, founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, to produce the company’s latest piece, “El tiempo de las mandarinas,” (“Season for Tangerines”) by Argentine playwright Rafael Nofal. “I am drawn to themes of memory, dreams, and paradise lost, but for a long time I’ve wanted to do a play based on reality,” sa..

The 32nd International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 6 with the Mexican company Los Tristes Tigres’ irreverent spin on Shakespeare, “Algo de un tal Shakespeare” (“Something by One Shakespeare”). Founder and director Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the festival’s engine that could and still can, identifies this raucous play as part of the festival’s larger goal of attracting..

Nowadays, it’s tough not to feel worried, paranoid or in need of some escapist relief from the steady flow of oh-no-he-didn’t news out of Washington. Miami playwright Theo Reyna feels your pain. His response is “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” a jet-black satire now getting its Mad Cat Theatre Company world premiere at Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box. The play takes intricately aim..

Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..

Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..

Desperate times call for desperate measures. For some, that might mean taking a second or third job. Or robbing a bank. Or moving in with family. For Casey, a straight lip-syncing Elvis impersonator in a Panama City bar, desperation means forsaking the King’s rhinestone-studded jumpsuit for leg hair-hiding pantyhose, fake boobs and big-hair wigs, the better to sell himself as a fa..

A Halloween Dance interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe


Photo: Juliana Trivino as 'Montresor' and Sasha Caicedo as 'Fortunato.' Photo: Carlo Javier
Written by: George Fishman
Article Rating

 

Reflecting on the brutal treatment she receives at the hands of Juliana Triviño, who plays her torturer in the October 28 Alma Dance Theater (ADT) production of “Cask,” fellow principal dancer Sasha Caicedo said, “Juliana is my very best friend. It's so hard knowing that I love her so much, and we have to act the opposite. The easy part is how comfortable we are.”

That “comfort” makes it possible for her to accept being pushed, swung, thrown and dragged around the stage in choreographer Marissa Alma Nick’s deeply disturbing interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Cask of Amontillado.” Physically, for Sasha this is a “brutal, brutal, brutal role to play,” said Nick. Indeed, the thuds and squeaks of flesh on wood are unsettling to a rehearsal visitor.

During Nick’s senior year at the University of South Florida, “while exploring her dark side,” she became captivated by Poe’s grim short story. Its macabre narrative of betrayal, rage and revenge became the vehicle for her thesis project and complemented her study of Carl Jung’s theory of the shadow persona.

“Cask”’s themes were personally familiar from abusive love relationships Nick had endured. “We’ve all felt pain; we’ve all felt hurt by someone we loved,” she reflected in a recent interview. “I thought I could honestly connect to both characters, feeling so disconnected from reality and then realizing the consequences only at the final moment.” In Poe’s story, set in an unnamed European city centuries ago, nobleman Montresor (Triviño) had been grievously affronted by his fellow wine connoisseur, Fortunato (Caicedo). The unspecified offense drove Montresor so mad that he determined to secretly murder Fortunato after luring him into his wine cellar – purportedly to sample a cask of rare Amontillado sherry.

Nick has presented this sinister theater piece five times, each with changes of venue, staging, choreography, costuming and music. Among her latest innovations is the use of aerial silks, a type of acrobatics, executed while hanging from long strips of fabric, secured to overhead rigging. They serve as a versatile and expressive vehicle of potential escape and of bondage for Caicedo’s ironically named Fortunato character. Practicing and performing with the silks demand prodigious strength and flexibility. Her slender physique, minimally costumed, clearly reveals the punishment meted upon her by the malevolent, but inwardly tortured Montresor, whose regal gown reinforces her dominance, pride and vanity in what may be a sadomasochistic relationship.

Nick impressed on her two principals that, while quintessential antagonists, they’re almost two sides of the same person. “We all have the potential to hurt and be hurt,” she said. “It’s an exaggerated story, but it’s toying with the scenarios that play out in all of our minds.

Montresor’s suffering mirrors that of her victim. Anguish is revealed in the contortions of her initial solo and amplified by the recurring appearances of three dancers, called “Tenebris” (darknesses), who embody and externalize multiple facets of her inner life. They form knots, swooping, writhing, mirroring and contrasting with one another.In a key sequence, they move to center stage like one multi-jointed creature. Fortunato is draped across their backs until they unceremoniously dump her.

Revenge may be best served cold, but it’s never a true resolution without the inner work of forgiveness. Gestures of apparent tenderness are trigger points that only increase Montresor’s pain, madness and aggression. As Nick explained, “There’s no question of forgiveness, but there are moments of intimacy, reminding us of how much they loved one another.” Caicedo reflected, “You go through anger, denial, pleading. Why do I deserve this? Why is this person I love doing this to me?” Her specific malfeasance is never explicitly illuminated, but we comprehend its depth and intimacy through both their choreographed introspections and Montresor’s physical assaults.

Nick melds the cool video aesthetics with the immediacy of theater-in-the-round and Japanese Butoh theater to her experimental practice. This strategy pushes audiences to focus not only on the “big picture,” but to zoom in on the nuances of skin texture, subtle flexing of joints, angles of limbs. “There is somebody facing every direction of your body at all times,” said Nick, “so there’s not one part that doesn’t count.”

Music is integrated in a distinctive fashion. Composer Hope Littwin, who attended Miami’s New World School of the Arts with Nick, remains a favorite collaborator. After initial conversations and exchanges of musical samples, Nick left Littwin to her own process and used Philip Glass’ minimalist Koyaanisqatsi during rehearsals. In fact, Littwin’s music won’t arrive until the final week, intentionally keeping things fresh and vital for the dancers now entering their final week of rehearsal before the Halloween weekend performance.

‘Cask,’ Friday, 8:30 p.m. sharp, doors and bar open at 7:30, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, On.Stage Black Box Theater, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; Tickets $25–$50; 305-547-5414;

http://www.almadancetheater.com.

 



Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

Artist, performance arts and music writer

George Fishman is a writer and mosaics artist who has also worked with audio projects. He has worked in traditional mosaics for 20 years, mostly c..

About the Writer

Not everybody who begins a musical career at age three singing in his grandfather’s Pentecostal Church finds his way to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Soloman Howard did in two short decades...

Singer-songwriter Tiago Iorc may have been one of Brazil’s best-kept secrets, but the word is getting out. Fresh from appearances in New York, Boston and Orlando, Iorc makes his South Flo..

Gustavo Matamoros’ beard has gone gray, but his passionate promotion of listening as a way of engaging the world remains fresh.Whether bats in the Everglades, shrimp in Biscayne Bay or the no..

Just about now, even as the unsuspecting may be lounging at the beach, classical music is thundering forth in Miami. Our town’s annual eight week Miami Music Festival has begun with its offer..

Talk of weddings can quickly split a friendly gathering into camps of pro and con. Those on the pro side retell the moment when the crying six-year-old ring bearer, stunned by the attention o..

What better way to welcome summer than with a burst of live music? Leave it to the French to come up with the idea. Since 1982, they’ve marked the summer solstice with free concerts and p..

Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade is as tiny as a house sparrow, with a voice as clean and pure as a bell. These delicate qualities belie a fierce inner strength and a steely artistic will. A..

Melissa Aldana is the first woman instrumentalist and the first South American artist to win jazz’s prestigious Thelonius Monk competition. Which distinction is more important to her? Neither..

Project 305 has a simple aim – crowd-source a Miami symphony. For 100 days from January 31 to May 12 New World Symphony, in collaboration with the Knight Foundation and the M.I.T. Media Lab, ..

El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..

El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..

La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..

El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..

Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..

No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..

Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..

Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..

En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..