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: ..
After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..
Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..
Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..
Even before the election that transformed billionaire reality TV star Donald J. Trump into the 45th president of the United States, playwright Robert Schenkkan was so disturbed by the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that he decided to respond. Not with a Tweet. Not with an opinion-page essay. The Pulitzer Prize winner spoke back to candidate Trump with a full-length play. “Building..
“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..
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..
What happens to old dances? Do they slowly disappear as choreographers and dancers move on to other projects? This may well be the case unless an effort is made to revive the piece-- reconstruct it and present it back to an audience. The question then arises as to which pieces are worthy of an encore; enter Ritmo Jondo(Deep Rhythm), a seminal work by Doris Humphrey, one of the foremost choreographers and dancers of modern dance.
Choreographed in 1953, and set in Spain, it examines the relationship between men and women during a time, and within a culture, with established mores for the sexes. Using the passion of flamenco, it’s an intriguing piece filled with shifting rhythms. Humphrey chose Carlos Suriñach evocative piece, Ritmo Jondo: Flamenco for Orchestra, for her piece. Scores of Suriñach, a Catalan composer, were also used by Martha Graham in Acrobats of God and for Embattled Gardens.
“The hardest part of reconstruction was the first movement for the men,” says Hannah Baumgarten, co-artistic director of Dance Now! Miami. “It was done without counts, and was very challenging.” Daniel Lewis, founding Dean of the Dance Department at Miami’s New World School of the Arts and a former dancer and artistic director of the Jose Limon Dance Company, workedwith the Dance Now! dancers to reconstruct the piece, which will be performed on Friday.
Lewis conducted a two week seminar, teaching the style of the Limon technique. Dance Now! is a company which performs works from a variety of choreographers. “Other voices serve as a counterpoint to our work,” explains Baumgarten.
Humphrey was one of the second generation of modern dancers, was a mentor to Limon and artistic director of his company. She choreographed Ritmo Jondo for the company towards the end of her career. Her pieces often examine relationships and social order -- Ritmo Jondo gives philosophical depth to the study of these relationships. Humphrey’s technique includes her concept of fall and recovery, which she called the “arc between two deaths.” Her book, The Art of Making Dances, is still used in many universities today. Ritmo Jondo was on the programin 1954 when the Limon Dance Companybecame one of the first companies chosen to tour South America with the sponsorship of the International Exchange Program under the tutelage of the United States Department of State.
House on Fire is Hannah Baumgarten’s contemporary jazz piece. It has the sense of a New Orleans club scene. With music by Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix and Medeski, Martin and Wood, it’s a playful look at “club rats” in their search forcompanionship. Baumgarten describes it a sort of game – likened to musical chairs, as “each person seekstheir partner…depicting different relationships of friendship, passion and love.”
Dance Now! Miami co- artistic director Diego Salterini looks at dreams in Sogni. It’s an exploration of dreams -- a series of visions in a non-narrative manner. Salterini explains Sogni sometimes has the feel of being in a dark vacuum with sparks of “floating poetry.”
Dance Now! Miami recreates a masterpiece worthy of its rebirth, and presents and two contemporary pieces from choreographers who are part of the legacy of artists whose works should not be forgotten, but celebrated.
Dance Now! Miami performs Ritmo Jondo at 8:30 p.m., Friday at the Colony Theatre,1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; tickets $35 general; $15 student/seniors; www.dancenowmiami.org.
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