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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, ..

Artistic director and founder of Juggerknot Theatre Company, Tanya Bravo, had her first brush with immersive theater in New York City when she met director Tamilla Woodard. Working on the play “Broken City,” Bravo and other actors led audience members on a theatrical journey through the streets of the Lower East Side. “I was so blown away by the concept and the lines that were crossed between ..

We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..

After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..

Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..

Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..

A Living Painting Debuts in South Florida


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Written by: Mia Leonin
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Teacher, choreographer and activist Dale Andree is known for her ability to merge activism with dance. Andree founded and directs National Water Dance, a site-specific project that joins dancers and movers from a wide cross-section of the population to draw attention to water-related environmental issues. Since 2014 National Water Dance has been creating an annual site-specific performance in South Florida as well as performances throughout the U.S.

Now Andree is embarking on a new interdisciplinary project, in association with Daniel Lewis’ Miami Dance Futures and in collaboration with photographer Daniel Dancer. Oregon-based Dancer is known for his aerial sky art and activism, especially in engaging students with the ecology around them. “Art FOR the Sky” is a mixed-media project integrating Dancer’s overhead photography, video, dance, and live performance. The result is in essence a “living painting,” created by the participants. “Art FOR the Sky,” where the outdoor “people painting” will be an image of the reef-dwelling clownfish, will be unveiled in a town hall this Thursday, March 16 at the Jose de Diego Middle School in Wynwood. The indoor and outdoor event, which also includes student artwork, live performances and marching band music, is free and open to the public.

We spoke with Andree about this multi-faceted project and its artistic value as well as its importance as a public awareness initiative.

How did the project begin? What was your initial idea?

I was intrigued by Daniel Dancer’s project and seeing the multiple images that he created at the various[international] sites he’s worked at; I thought it would be interesting to animate them with dance. From there the possibility of using the [Booker T. Washington Senior High School] marching band and bringing in hip hop to an urban school seemed a good way to connect the students to the environmental awareness that we were trying to achieve, by creating the clown fish in a coral reef.

 

Can you describe Dancer’s “people painting” style and how it inspires you?

His work with the students is called Ecology for the Soul and is based on six teachings: intention, collaboration, interconnection, sky-sight, gratitude & apology and impermanence. All of these teachings are realized in the creation of the image and actually being the image. The physical participation of the students in creating the art was what drew me in, and the possibility of extending that through dance is still intriguing to me.

Having worked in South Florida as an artist and activist for many years, what changes have you noticed in the environment. Where is it most noticeably deteriorating? Do people seem to be more aware?

We’re facing major changes in South Florida as a result of climate change and the degradation of the Everglades. We’re seeing the effects in the bleaching of the corals, which is at the core of this project, and the salt water intrusion that’s a result of rising seas and the lack of fresh water flow through the Everglades.

I see much more awareness and activism now on all of these fronts. Much more has to be done and at times it feels overwhelming, but the resources for informing people are readily available and I’m heartened by the degree of citizen and sometimes government involvement.

“Art FOR the Sky,” Thursday at 6:00 p.m., Jose de Diego Middle School, 3100 NW 5th Ave., Wynwood. Admission is free. For more information visit www.nationawaterdance.org or call 305-458-6141.

 


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About The writer

Dance writer and theater critic, senior lecturer in English Composition, University of Miami

Mia Leonin is the author of two books of poetry, Braid and Unraveling the Bed (Anhinga Press), and the memoir, Havana and Other Missing Fathers (U..

About the Writer

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