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The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..

Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..

Imagine animation created live on stage, with mini backdrops, puppets, and low-tech props. Channel it through multiple cameras and mix it live into a projected film. Add a string quartet and a DJ. This is the structure of “Nufonia Must Fall,” an upcoming project presented by MDC Live Arts. The show is slated for appearances around the world, from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and..

That Actors’ Playhouse opened its production of Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way” on the same day that the American Health Care Act was pulled from a vote by the House of Representatives is ironic and more than a little instructive. The much-touted replacement for Obamacare didn’t have enough sure votes to ensure passage, as Speaker Paul Ryan told President Donald Trump, so the “replac..

The take-no-prisoners world of high finance and ruthless business deals has long been a tantalizing subject for artists. From filmmaker Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” with its antihero Gordon Gekko spouting “greed is good,” to Damien Lewis’ slick hedge fund mogul Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series “Billions,” movies and television allow those of us in the 99 percent a glimpse at wha..

Miami’s venerable M Ensemble is a company that sometimes dips into its rich history to mount fresh productions of past shows. For its second production in its versatile new home at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, the troupe is revisiting Darren Canady’s “Brothers of the Dust.” Winner of the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, the ..

“El cuento de Rene,” actor and director Larry Villanueva’s adaptation of Cuban writer Rene Ariza’s short stories into a work of theater, is more than an homage. It’s a statement on oppression. Ariza was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to send manuscripts abroad. He was banned from creating theater in Cuba and condemned as “counter-revolutionary.” Ariza served five years of h..

Those who attend film festivals aren't looking for the mainstream, Cineplex offerings. That isn't the goal. Amid the indie films, the foreign entries, documentaries, and the world premieres, there's another reason to canvass the program for something you might not see anywhere else. Given the Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university..

{This interview was conducted before the film making team went on to amazing Oscar success.} Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins are nine miles away from the Liberty City housing projects where they both grew up, but they are worlds away. They are at the picturesque Standard Hotel to talk about the new movie "Moonlight," with a screenplay by Jenkins base..

First things first. Actor-playwright Elena María García does explain the meaning of “¡FUÁCATA!” somewhere deep into the 90-minute running time of Zoetic Stage’s “García Or a Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe.” The familiar Cuban term, she confides from her perch on Michael McKeever’s Mondrian-evocative set, suggests the sound of a slap. As in, “¡Fuácata! You really stepped in i..

Argentine Troupe Mixes Up Hip Hop, Popping and Old Fashion Folk Dance


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This week, MDC Live Arts brings the explosive energy of Combinado Argentino De Danza to Miami for their U.S. debut, featuring a series of pop up performances and residency workshops, culminating in a performance at Miami Beach’s Colony Theater on Saturday.

Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Andrea Servera, Combinado Argentino De Danza (CAD) has developed into a company that seamlessly blends movements from hip hop, Argentinean folkloric and contemporary dance into a stunning display of athleticism and feverish excitement. Hip hop dancers defy gravity with spins and flips, while the intricate footwork of folkloric dance taps a staccato rhythm against the stage.

Made up of a group of artists as diverse as its movements, CAD features conservatory and street trained dancers, DJs, and visual artists. One such company member is 26-year-old Agustin Franzoni, who started dancing only six years ago after being inspired by videos of Michael Jackson. “When I saw him the first time, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I started practicing and watching the videos for like eight hours a day, I wanted to learn it all,” he says via translator from his home in Argentina.

A self-described popper, named after the signature break dancing style that utilizes a series of articulated muscles contractions to simulate limbs “popping” forth from the body, Franzoni learned to dance by studying YouTube videos.

He took his dancing to the streets and found kinship and community with his fellow dancers in Buenos Aires’ famed Tecnópolis park. It was there that he met Servera, and was invited to join her company and create work. “Andrea saw us, and liked how I danced, and wanted to try to mix up styles, to create a new language of dance.”

This new language of dance has taken Franzoni and the other members of Combinado Argentino De Danza around the world, not just performing, but teaching their signature style and spreading their message of dance as a unifying force. It was this community minded energy that captivated the attention of MDC Live Arts Executive Director Kathryn Garcia.

“One of the things that attracted me to this company was their spirit of generosity and interest in doing a lot of activity and engagement with the community. A delightful thing about working on this show is how excited the company is to come here,” Garcia says. “They are so excited, and so revved up to spend time in Miami and work with our community. They are not 100 percent focused in the show, and they really, really want to engage while they are here, which we find very exciting.”

In addition to their concert at the Colony, the company will present a series of pop-up performances across Miami-Dade College’s many campuses, as well as at the Wynwood Walls on Friday. These guerilla-style engagements will be interactive and free of charge, and will allow Miami to get to know CAD and their work.

As Garcia explains, “There is this spirit of eagerness and freshness, and this real vibrancy and newness that you get from the company because they are such a young company. It’s exciting to see what is new and being created in a different part of the world that so clearly has influences from the U.S.”

Franzoni just wants “people to go see our show, it’s like dream for us, for me, I want to show people our world, and what we do, and how we do it in Argentina.

“People always have a good time. When we finish, the DJ always invites the audience to dance with us. We really mix it up, mix different dances. At the same time, we are equal, and we are like family. It’s more than just technique -- we dance with our hearts.”

Combinado Argentino de Danza pop up performance, Friday, 6:00 p.m. at Wynwood Walls, 2516 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; tickets free.

Combinado Argentino de Danza performance Saturday, 8:00 p.m. at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; tickets $25, $10 MDC students; 305-237-3010; mdclivearts.org .

 


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