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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, now 33, was named a MacArthur “genius” grant winner in 2016, the same year his play “Gloria” was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Earlier, his provocative, stylistically diverse, subversive plays “Appropriate” and “An Octoroon” (the latter was produced by Coral Gables’ Area Stage last fall) each won best new American play Obie Awards. ..

"The Other Mozart" is a suitcase play – one of those shows where a single actress can pack the entire contents that creates the setting – costume, wig, and props, and go anywhere in the world. It is the way Samantha Hoefer will arrive in Miami to present Sylvia Milo's one-woman play about Maria Anna Mozart, the not nearly as famous older sibling of that 18th century rock star Wolfgang Ama..

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 ..

Alma Dance Theater’s Provocative New Project – ‘A Rebel in Venus’


Photo: Photo: Christin Paige Minnotte
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On the heels of a year-plus parade of #MeToo confessions, celebrity shamings and women’s marches, comes Marisa Alma Nick’s female-power-packed “A Rebel in Venus.”

“It wasn’t planned that way,” says Nick of her timing, “because for me this piece has been evolving very privately for a couple years now.”

Her company Alma Dance Theater debuts “A Rebel in Venus” for one night only, on Saturday, March 31 at Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

Nick, like many women, has a #MeToo story. But “A Rebel in Venus” is more of a conversation between her collaborating performers about what it is to live in the world as a woman, and to contend with the power and danger of female sexuality. Nick points to her encounter with a book on recovery from sexual trauma, “Healing Sex” by Staci Haines, as a major catalyst for her ideas about feminism.

“It was the first book that I read on healing sexual trauma from a very sex-positive attitude—really reclaiming your own body and your own sexuality,” she says. “You don’t necessarily have to have been raped or harassed as a girl or woman to feel like you’re supposed to apologize or hide your sexuality.”

When Nick started working on “A Rebel in Venus,” she and her group of performers were sometimes talking more than dancing. She began to record audio of their conversations and this later became the framework for the show.

At the age of 33, Nick identifies as a woman on the outer edge of the millennial generation. The process of creating “A Rebel in Venus” gave her the opportunity to explore the particular nature of millennial feminism in greater depth. “I wanted to make a piece that reflected this millennial voice that is sometimes dismissed because it’s not yet wise,” she says.

“You always hear, ‘oh those damn millennials, they’re always on their phones and taking selfies,’… but what’s not recognized is that there’s a conversation happening because of those things, and millennials are communicating with each other about [feminism] in their own way.”

She feels that the millennial voice is highly relevant for all of us. “Millennials are the next movers of the world,” she says. “There’s this youthfulness, this tenacity. For example, the Parkland thing that happened—the youth is out there caring and wants to say something—and has something to say.”

While its subject matter may be charged, Nick says she’s not imposing a perspective. “A Rebel in Venus” presents more of a question than a statement, and she says the audience is invited to encounter their own attitudes through the vehicle of the performance.

Her all-female company Alma Dance Theater is well-poised to raise questions about feminism and she has never been one to shy away from provocative material. For this current project, she also chose to work only with female collaborators, with one exception: Randy de la Cruz, a male performer who Nick has been working with for about two years.

“I had to admit to him, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t even think about where you fit into this piece! I don’t want to not use you!” she recalls. “And it opened up a conversation.”

De la Cruz became the token man in the all-girl tribe. “He is the ideal reflection of a man,” she says, “someone who says ‘I’m not a woman but I support you, I stand with you, I’m here for you, I believe in you. It was a beautiful addition.”

Nick’s personal feminism doesn’t strive to make women better than men or to exclude those who don’t fit into a male-female binary, but to create an equality that gives every person permission to express the full spectrum of their humanity.

She claims sexuality is an important aspect of being human, that for some reason has remained in the shadows as a shameful thing. “A Rebel in Venus” strives to shine some light and shake us out of stale and dehumanizing conventions.

Alma Dance Theater presents A Rebel in Venus, Sat., March 31, at 8:00 p.m.;

On.Stage Black Box theater at theMiami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; tickets: $25. For further information, visit www.almadancetheater.com (please note that the performance has moments of nudity, and while the company does not discourage the attendance of children, parents are encouraged to discuss the show with children, both before and after).

 


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About The writer

Cathering Hollingsworth is a dance critic and dancer

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About the Writer

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