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..

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; www.almadancetheater.com; www.eventbrite.com/e/flowers-for-spring-tickets-33132819154.

 

 


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

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..