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

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 ..

Steven Levenson’s “If I Forget” began its Off-Broadway run a year ago, closing just six weeks before the now 33-year-old playwright won the Tony Award for writing the book of the acclaimed musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Cut to February 2018, and South Florida already has its own exquisite production of “If I Forget,” thanks to GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler. Levenson’s fun..

In a career that continues to soar two decades after his first play was produced, Michael McKeever has premiered his dramas, comedies and short plays at theaters all over South Florida. Nearly always, he’s involved in those productions as the author, sometimes as an actor, at times as a set designer. The plays get their start here, then go on to productions (sometimes multiple product..

When M. John Richard decided to leave the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in late 2008 to become president and chief executive officer of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, he arrived in South Florida with a vision, myriad ideas and a long-term exit strategy. “I knew in 2008 that I had a 10-year run in my tank,” says Richard, 65, who plans to retire from his Arsh..

Alma Dance Theater’s “Flowers for Spring” Returns in New Form

Photo: Photo by Elijah Peck
Article Rating

Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick is a storyteller. Her company Alma Dance Theater brings a particularly female inner world to the stage, through lush and sensual choreography.

Nick’s newest project, “Flowers for Spring,” opens on June 3at Miami Light Project’s Lightbox. It’s a deeply personal meditation on her maternal and paternal grandmothers’ passage through dementia and death.

This is not the first “Flowers for Spring” from Alma Dance Theater; the original premiered in the spring of 2016. But as a choreographer, Nick often reworks her projects year by year. It’s a peculiarity of her process—one that gives us the unique pleasure of seeing an idea from multiple angles.

This year’s version is “Flowers for Spring (Part 2: The Art of Forgetting and Dying)” Nick has expanded the cast and the story, and even the musical score has changed. So for those who saw the 2016 version, this is not a re-staging but something entirely new.

We spoke with Nick about “Flowers for Spring,” and its meaning for her personally.

What is this piece about?

I premiered Part 1 last spring and this is an evolution of that story.The show tells the story of both my grandmothers. In 2015 each one of them passed away. One had dementia and the other one had Alzheimer’s. [Both versions] are taking you into the minds of my grandmothers, and dismantling the fantasy of the world that they were living in during those last months and year. It’s also called “The Art of Forgetting and Dying” because it’s a process of surrendering.It goes through the stages of any kind of crisis or trauma, which is fear, denial, and eventually acceptance and surrender, and finding peace in it.

It’s also a piece about love. In becoming the caretaker for them… one of the things I tell the dancers is it’s an extraordinary amount of love that you find within yourself, as well as courage to take care of somebody that way, without feeling like it’s a burden. It’s probably one of the hardest roles to play in life, becoming the caretaker of your caretaker.

What is the significance of the title?

Springtime was the moment between both of them dying. My grandmother passed away in January of 2015. And then February, March, April happened, and then right at the end of May, my Abuela Maria passed away. So spring was kind of this awakening for me, and a rebirth from death. It forever changed me. And the flowers: through each of their experiences, the one thing that jogged their memory, that gave them a moment to be more in touch with reality, were flowers.

It just so happened that each of them had an affinity for flowers. My grandmother loved any yellow flowers, particularly yellow daisies and sunflowers. And my Abuela Maria loved red roses. So the first act is “Abuela Maria” and there’s a red rose that plays an important part in that piece. And the second act, “Daydreaming with Jean,” is about my grandmother Jean and the stage is covered in 100,000 yellow flowers.

Flowers also have a delicacy that relates to mortality.

Absolutely. We give flowers to people when they are sick or to show them that we love them. Often flowers are associated with funerals and cemeteries, and so there’s a lot of love that comes with the giving and receiving of flowers. I didn’t want this to be something morbid—that’s the transition between the first version and this one.

The first version of the show last year was very much coming from a place where I was still dealing with it myself. I felt very isolated and everything was moving in slow motion as I picked up the pieces of my life again. And since then, a lot has evolved. I’ve had time to process it differently and I see the beauty in what happened. My goal with this is to share that with other people too, so it’s not just this difficult subject, which is Alzheimer’s and dying and ageing, but reflecting the beauty that comes with that—the love and the support. There’s beauty in death. It was my goal to find that beauty in this work.

Can you talk a little bit about the feminine aspect of this piece?

The femininity of it, the graceful beauty, there’s kind of a sensuality in Abuela Maria. I’m wearing one of her nightgowns actually, that she brought from Cuba. She was a very sensual woman, and was a nightlife woman. She loved hosting big parties at the Tropicana and things like that. So that comes out. And I wanted to explore what it must be like at that age. I’m not there yet but I can imagine, me, now, I love being a woman and part of that is because of the way I express my sensuality. And I think part of the … I don’t know if discomfort is the word, but the feeling of losing yourself as you get older, I feel like a big part of that for women is feeling the loss of their sexual nature or sensual nature.

Even through all of this, for both of them, there was still a grace and elegance. Both of my grandmothers were super glamorous women. I felt it was important to reflect, especially as a tribute to each of them as well as a piece about Alzheimer’s and ageing and dying.

Flowers for Spring (Part 2: The Art of Forgetting and Dying),’ Sat. June 3, at 8:00 p.m.; Miami Light Project, 404 NW 26th St. Miami. VIP: $50, general seating: $25, student/artist: $15;;



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

Cathering Hollingsworth is a dance critic and dancer


About the Writer

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..

Having grown up in Buenos Aires with a strong interest in music, one would think that Jaime Bronsztein ( would have slid down the well-lubricated tracks towar..

A creepy old king ogles his beautiful stepdaughter. Powerless to stop him, her mother, the queen, protests drunkenly. The girl, age maybe 12 or so, falls for the only man who does not lust af..

At first their sound is reminiscent of Bob Marley. Just as plaintive but with added punch. But listen longer -- the more familiar the music feels, the harder it is to pin down. This is t..

La undécima edición del Flamenco Festival que se desarrolló del jueves 8 al domingo 11 de marzo en el Arsht Center resultó ser un hermoso reencuentro con el Ballet Nacional de España (BNE), u..

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida (ABTF) y su escuela de ballet adjunta, ambas bajo la dirección de Vladimir Issaev, se encuentran por estos días entregadas de lleno a la celebración del bicente..

El lugar privilegiado que ocupa Miami hoy en día en el mundo de la danza no tiene discusión. Además de contar con una vibrante oferta local de proyección internacional que dura todo el año y ..

Después de una serie de actuaciones muy exitosas en varias ciudades del Este del país, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) llega a Miami para ofrecer seis presentaciones del jueves 22 ..

La ofensiva espontánea protagonizada por BalletBoyz y Cie. Herve Koubi el fin de semana pasado en teatros de Fort Laudedarle y Miami, con dos propuestas artísticas absolutamente fuera de seri..

La atracción principal del tercer programa de la temporada 2017-2018 del Miami City Ballet (MCB) que se presentó el fin de semana pasado en el Arsht Center fue el estreno mundial de One Line ..

Llegados en vuelo directo desde Inglaterra, BalletBoyz (Premio Nacional de Danza 2013 a la Mejor Compañía Independiente) ofrecerá el sábado 10 de febrero una función patrocinada por Culture Shock ..

Por dos noches consecutivas, el Miami City Ballet (MCB), que dirige Lourdes López desde 2012, abrió las puertas de sus instalaciones en Miami Beach para ofrecer un encuentro Open Barre con e..

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 ..