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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..
Ballet Flamenco La Rosa’s studio evokes the feel of a tablao in Spain. The strumming of the guitar, the rapid-fire rhythms of footwork against the floor, and the soft voice of the singer reaches across time and place. The piece being rehearsed, “La Casa de la Muñeca” (inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”), also is timeless and carries universal themes, dealing with anxieties that resonate in the most innate way. “La Casa de la Muñeca,” as adopted by artistic director Ilisa Rosal, is a marriage between drama and flamenco -- an art form filled with passion. It will be performed this weekend at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach.
Rosal has gathered together exceptional artists from across Spain for this production. Using recommendations from friends and conducting her own Internet search of artists performing in tablaos in Madrid, Rosal found her Nora in Irene La Sentio. “I could tell in less than a minute that she had the qualities Iwanted.” A native of Sevilla, La Sentio has toured internationally and is making her Miami debut with “La Casa de la Muñeca.” “Flamenco has all the elements to express the drama of ‘A Doll’s House,’” she says.
“Dramatic narrative ballet is part of the flamenco tradition,” explains Rosal. “Earlier works [such as “Carmen” and “The House of Bernarda Alba”] remained close to the Spanish themes…I’m taking it a step further – taking what is traditionally not a Spanish theme and making it so…. It’s good for the art form to stretch and grow, then come back to its roots.”
Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” was met with much controversy and outrage when it was first performed in Copenhagen in 1879, and it continues to engage us today. With the protagonist Nora’s journey and its tense plot and complex characters, there is something universal in its themes: the unraveling of a family, illusions of contentment, the search for identity, relationships between the sexes, and women’s role in society are all pertinent today.
Singer and lyricist Alicia Morales says she read the play many times before formatting it to flamenco. Born in Granada, she trained with some of the best flamenco artists in Spain, and was just 14 years old when she made her first recording. This is her second collaboration with Rosal, having worked on the powerful production of “The Seagull” last season.
This is Eloy Aguilar's fifth appearance with Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. He brings to the stage a masterful presence as Krogstad, who is blackmailing Nora. He says he enjoys playing the “bad guy” in the production and whose character is “more in theme with flamenco’s temperament.” Oscar de los Reyes is playing the role of Torvald, Nora’s husband. He is from Sevilla and began his flamenco training there. “La Casa de la Muñeca” is different from what he usually does as a dancer, he says; to interpret his role he must also be an actor.
Nora undergoes a transformation, and the young artists working with Rosal seem to be making their own transitions. They developed their artistry playing in tablaos, and while “La Casa de la Muñeca” is presented on a different type of stage, it’s allowing them to expand their skills and expertise to push themselves into new territory -- much like Nora’s awakening to her unfulfilled potentials. “Any time a dancer works with a new choreographer it’s challenging, in any genre,” says Rosal.
In the studio Israel Heredia quietly plays his guitar. Now living in Miami, he’s far from his native Sacromonte, Spain. Raised in a family of gypsy flamenco artists, he started playing flamenco guitar at the age of nine. He worked (by Skype) with Rosal on the music for the production. He says he “listens to all type of music, all the time, to get ideas.” Heredia speaks of reaching inside oneself to find something that is “dormant “ inside of you to relate to the music.
Rosal’s studio appears to be a junction between the different interpretations of flamenco. As the wordsof Ibsen come to life through flamenco, it’s hard to tell where the tablao ends and the stage begins.
Ballet Flamenco La Rosa’s ‘La Casa de la Muñeca,’ Saturday, April 1, 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 2, 3:00 p.m.; The Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami; tickets 786-320-6982; www.balletflamencolarosa.com.
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