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..
Writing about “Broken Snow,” the Ben Andron thriller now getting its world premiere at the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT) in North Miami Beach, is a proposition almost as tricky as the play itself. The intricately structured 90-minute drama is loaded with surprises, twists and turns, all revealed at precisely the right moment so that the play builds to its shattering conclusion..
As this steamy spring melts into a sweltering summer, Actors’ Playhouse is inviting theater lovers to a wedding – a big, fat Jewish-WASP wedding, otherwise known as the Broadway musical “It Shoulda Been You.” Though the show seemingly takes place in the present, the piece by book writer-lyricist Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi is an old-fashioned, stereotype-filled throwba..
'Death & Harry Houdini' Makes Another Magical Moment at ArshtDennis Watkins knows how to make an entrance. In the House Theatre of Chicago’s “Death & Harry Houdini,” now back at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater five years after it first wowed Miami audiences, Watkins arrives onstage with the help of theater technology unknown in Houdini’s day. Dangling upside dow..
Director Carlos Lechuga’s masterful unspooling of time in his second feature film “Santa y Ándres” constructs a uniquely Cuban mix of tedium and despair, resulting in an emotionally intense experience that sneaks up on the viewer in plain sight. The film opens with the stillness of a landscape painting: the eastern Cuban countryside of 1983 – rugged, lush, and verdant. The statuesque..
Memory – deep-seated, fragile, slippery, mutable – is at the heart of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015, the play is a family tragicomedy given a sci-fi makeover; in other words, this thought-provoking theater piece charts its own, fresh path. Now getting its South Florida premiere as the second professional production from the Main Street Players, ..
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 ..
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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