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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 ..

Steven Levenson’s “If I Forget” began its Off-Broadway run a year ago, closing just six weeks before the now 33-year-old playwright won the Tony Award for writing the book of the acclaimed musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Cut to February 2018, and South Florida already has its own exquisite production of “If I Forget,” thanks to GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler. Levenson’s fun..

In a career that continues to soar two decades after his first play was produced, Michael McKeever has premiered his dramas, comedies and short plays at theaters all over South Florida. Nearly always, he’s involved in those productions as the author, sometimes as an actor, at times as a set designer. The plays get their start here, then go on to productions (sometimes multiple product..

When M. John Richard decided to leave the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in late 2008 to become president and chief executive officer of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, he arrived in South Florida with a vision, myriad ideas and a long-term exit strategy. “I knew in 2008 that I had a 10-year run in my tank,” says Richard, 65, who plans to retire from his Arsh..

Cheerful, Mixed Gender Tango? Check Out Ray Sullivan’s ‘Tango Out’

Photo: Ray Sullivan and Luis Vivas; photo: Sergey Chernyaev.
Written by: Sean Erwin
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Miami Beach’s old city hall on a Thursday evening in June made a surreal set up for anyone familiar with tango’s broody scene -- a large cozy room full of cheerful, laughing, and smiling people warmly greeted with a big hug by the evening’s host and organizer of Tango Out, Ray Sullivan.
Sullivan makes sure his intrigued guests find a seat then adds, “You just missed the class tonight, but we conducted the lesson with all the followers blindfolded – so that the people who were doing the leading in the dance had to really focus on what they were doing. The lights just went out but most of us have been in the dark all night.”
Those accustomed to tango salons in most North American cities know that generally men do the leading and women follow, so another feature of the room also stands out – among the eight couples on the dance floor there is every gender mix imaginable: men leading women, women leading men, men leading men, women leading women. There is even one laughing trio where a man takes a crack at leading both a man and woman at the same time.
Sullivan has been part of Miami’s dance scene for decades, as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Asked about the motivation behind this new project, he responds: “Our tagline is, ‘Tango Out – Embrace Whoever You Want.’ That’s the point. If you want to dance with them, ask them, and if they agree then go to it. It’s hard to be in conflict with someone you’ve embraced. They become part of your clan – dance allows us to experience each other without words.”
The inspiration for Tango Out grew from an experience of discrimination. “Luis [Vivas] and I have been dancing together for 12 years. We would just go into the tango salons and dance. Then two years ago I saw an ad on a website about a tango event. The ad said tango can only be danced between a man and a woman.” At that moment, Sullivan and Vivas realized Miami needed a welcoming tango space for the LGBTQ community, and they were perfectly situated to make that happen.
But Sullivan saw LGBTQ as already an all-encompassing umbrella and wanted to go further. “We wanted to create a space where even traditional dancers who were heterosexual knew that they were also welcome. Our aim is to include and not exclude people.”
It’s working. Twenty people were there that summer Thursday evening, during off season.
Seated at the end of a row of young men dressed in what appears to be the evening’s regulation black t-shirt and black slacks, Felipe, a physician, explains the low pressure and congenial space keeps attracting him back since he started coming in March. “Everyone is really friendly and says hi. I’ve lived in Miami for 12 years and Tango Out has quickly become one of my favorite things to do in the city. I love that everyone dances with everyone.”
Thierry, an industrial designer with a Guy Fawkes beard and Harry Potter glasses, has attended Tango Out regularly for a year, and he often shows up to the Tango Out night Sullivan also holds at the restaurant, Panizza, on alternate Tuesdays.
“The crowd is so friendly and relaxed,” affirms Thierry, then adds: “It is wonderful to become more confident with your body and with the bodies of others – it is kind of like yoga in that you forget everything when you dance and you follow your inspiration and listen to your body and break the routine.”
The Tango Out project continues to expand. Sullivan and Vivas recently completed a workshop at Miami’s Pridelines and have taught at the Gaythering and the Astor Hotel on Miami Beach. They contributed a tango performance to the New World Symphony’s Pulse Points, where 200 artists honored the 49 people killed at the Pulse Orlando night club in 2016.
For Sullivan the synergies of the Tango Out project have even morphed into a potential book on how tango and social dance can heal communities. “Tango Out continues to open up this amazing space where I feel I can add to what is there. By 2018 we’d like to contribute to the Tango Queer tango circuit and host an international event. How could Miami not already have this? I ask myself this all the time.”
For classes: Alternate Tuesdays at Panizza Bistro, 1229 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; and every Thursday at The Hub at the LGBT Visitor Center on Miami Beach, 1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. For more information call 786-530-7876 or check out the Tango Out page on Facebook.

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About The writer

Sean Erwin is a writer and assistant professor of Philosophy at Barry University, with a focus on aesthetics and contemporary french philosophy.
Sean Erwin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barry University and received his Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He has presented and published on topics in political philosophy, Italian and French philosophy, and technology and performance studies. He currently serves as the senior editor of the Humanities and Technology Review.

Erwin is also a performance critic for Artburst, with performance previews and reviews appearing regularly there and in other South Florida publications. Artburst gives him the platform to critique the aesthetic principles he writes on as a professional philosopher through analysis of the concrete movements embodied by performers.

He is also an accomplished dancer and teacher in the Argentine Tango community. In 2000 he founded and served as editor of the Chicago webzine, Tango Noticias, a specialty dance periodical dedicated to examining Argentine Tango as a set of social practices rooted to the Southern cone’s history, politics, and culture.

Since his move to South Florida, he has both taught philosophy and served as a principal tango instructor for the Miami-based, Shimmy Club, a non-profit program that teaches Argentine Tango to vision-impaired teens. Through his involvement with the program, Erwin has been featured in articles and several news outlets including Univision, Telemundo, NBC News, KPFK Los Angeles, and the Miami Herald. For more information, see


About the Writer

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