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Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..

One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..

Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..

If you were to predict who might become a nationally famous – OK, world-famous – multiplatform sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer would probably not be your first choice. Born in Germany in 1928 as Karola Ruth Siegel, the 4’7” Dr. Ruth seems more like the doting Jewish grandmother she is than a woman who used her nationally syndicated radio show, TV shows and 40-some books to help hun..

Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..

We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..

“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..

Artistic director and founder of Juggerknot Theatre Company, Tanya Bravo, had her first brush with immersive theater in New York City when she met director Tamilla Woodard. Working on the play “Broken City,” Bravo and other actors led audience members on a theatrical journey through the streets of the Lower East Side. “I was so blown away by the concept and the lines that were crossed between ..

We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..

Celebrating Dance On Film

Photo: "Bookin'" John Kirkscey
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For the second year, South Florida cultural powerhouse Tigertail Productions presents ScreenDance Miami, a unique film festival that celebrates and showcases dance on film.

Led by festival director, dancer/choreographer and filmmaker, Marissa Nick, this year’s program expands to include new venues and programming, which aims to increase their attendance beyond traditional dance audiences.

“When you put dance on camera, it makes it more accessible to new audiences,” Nick explains. “This year’s programming allows us to put ScreenDance in front of a community beyond just dance lovers, which is very exciting.”

The festival opens on Wednesday at Perez Art Museum Miami with a specially curated evening of films from the internationally acclaimed Cinedans Festival. Nick forged a partnership between ScreenDance and one of the world’s leading festivals for dance on film during a trip to Amsterdam last year. While meeting with Cinedans festival director Martine Dekker, Nick shared the goals and plans that she had for ScreenDance, and to Nick’s surprise, Dekker suggested showing Cinedans pieces in Miami. “There was not one piece I saw [at Cinedans] that I was not in awe of, I was left breathless,” Nick ssays about the selections that will be making their stateside premiere at PAMM: Hyperscape, Diamond Dancers, Spiegelingen (Mirroring), What's Unfolding, and Off Ground.

In addition to the partnership with Cinedans, Nick was pleased with the geographic diversity of submissions the festival received this year, “There was so much strong and exciting work coming in from across the United States that we decided to expand the festival to incorporate work that wasn’t only made in Miami, but that needed to be shown and seen in Miami.”

Many of the submissions the festival received this year included installation works that were best shown in a less traditional theatrical setting. “These are pieces that needed to be presented in a gallery, seen in a loop, and from different viewpoints,” says Nick about the films by locals Moira Holohan, Barron Sherer and Magnus Sodamin that will be screened during a free evening of work at Wynwood gallery space, The Screening Room, on Thursday.

Friday takes place at Miami Beach Cinematheque and features Bessie award winning choreographer Marta Renzi’s elegant and powerful Her Children Mourn, Eva Perrota’s Dorian C, which Nick describes as “an exquisite piece, such strong work. It was filmed on location in Brooklyn, but has a very feminine Victorian aspect.” John Kirkscey’s Bookin’, a film which combines Jookin (a Memphis street dance) and ballet will close out the evening, with Kirkscey participating in a post screening discussion.

Saturday and Sunday brings the festival to Wynwood’s Inkub8 performance space featuring numerous works primarily by Florida-based artists. Both evenings begin with an outdoor wall screening from Pioneer Winter and Jared Sharon.

In addition to screenings and conversations, this year the festival offers two free workshops at Inkub8. Taught by local attorney, Marlon A. Hill, one workshop focuses on educating dancers and filmmakers on legal issues related to creating work on film.

The second workshop is taught by dance-on-film pioneer and Guggenheim fellow, Gabri Christa, and addresses new points of view when capturing dance on camera. Open to dancers looking to transition to film, and directors who don’t have a dance background but are interested in working with dance on film, the workshop offers a hands on approach to creating dance on film.

“That we are attracting work from all over the world, says a lot about the work that we are doing here. Anything I can do to elevate the idea of art being made in Miami, I’m so excited about.”

ScreenDance Miami -- Festival of Dance on Film, Screenings and Workshops :

Wednesday at 7:00 p.m at PAMM, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; free with museum admission. Thursday at 7:00 p.m., The Screening Room, 2626 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; free. Friday at 7:00 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; $11 general admission. Saturday, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. workshops, 6:30 p.m. screenings; free. Sunday at 5:30 p.m. screenings; free.

For tickets and more info, or call 305 324 4337.

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