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: ..
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..
In 2016, Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance company crossed their 25-year mark. To celebrate, the company returns to Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts with a 25th anniversary program featuring choice selections from their repertory. It’s a retrospective look at the development of artistic director Ronen Koresh’s style and creative voice.
While the show is mostly drawn from past works, the tour’s showpiece is a new one: a Mozart-inspired collaboration between Koresh and artist/musician Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky. For the project, Spooky and Koresh deconstructed and transformed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, turning the original 5-minute segment into a layered 27-minute soundtrack for a dance composition.
A few weeks ago, we had the chance to speak with the Israeli native about his life and work thus far.
Have you evolved a particular style over the years?
Absolutely. I think every artist goes through his or her own evolution through time. There are many reasons why an artist develops or changes. For me personally, when I started, the choreography had to be to some degree accessible and we had to make a statement to even be noticed. So you kind of shout out to the world. And later on, once you are being noticed, you start focusing on more of an internal voice.
Are there any topics that have come to the surface as important to you?
Yeah, for me personally, it’s relationships between people, relationships between individuals, individuals to community, community to the individual. That’s important to me. People—there’s so much there, people are so complex. There’s material there to explore for many lifetimes.
How do you see your role in the Philadelphia community?
As a child, dance pretty much guided me through my life. I felt I belonged, I felt that I had something special. I felt unique.And it gave me a reason to focus all my energy in a way that is good, that is beneficial, that is inspiring. So that being said, I find that my role is now to be the one that is doing it for others, trying to create a place for young people and older people to develop their talents, to inspire them, and to create an environment that doesn’t only focus on financial wealth whereby our spirits are dying.
How was your collaboration with DJ Spooky?
It was very interesting because he comes from an age of technology, he’s a DJ so he deals with a lot with gadgets and laptops, texting and emails and such. I’m the opposite, I’m old school. I like to speak with somebody, I’m a hands-on kind of person. So it was very interesting to see how technology meets raw passion so to speak.
His brain and my brain are completely different. I’m more of a visual person. And his thing is, he works with beats and it’s almost mathematical. So I was very curious to see what he was coming up with. We created a lot of music from five minutes of Mozart.
What originally got you excited about dance? Was it more street and club stuff or was it more classical training?
No, of course it was street and clubs. Dance for me… it created a sense of self. When people paid attention to me because I could dance in a party or a club or whatever, I felt important. I didn’t know that was just one dimension of using the power of dance or any kind of talent, being noticed. The first thing you want to be is noticed as young people. You don’t want to be ignored. You want to feel like you’re special.
But when I started taking dance classes, it changed everything. Dancers that are so technically proficient and efficient, you go wow, okay maybe I can dance but I’d like to be very clear in what I’m doing. So I decided to develop it.
I was going from one school to another and eventually ended up with Batsheva Dance Company, the second company. We were the first generation of the second company of Batsheva in Israel. I was 17 or 18. You know we had to serve in the military. I was dancing all through the service because they recognized my talent. I decided to come to the United States to study with Alvin Ailey, me and a couple friends, and never went back.
What a cool story!
I’m telling it to you in a very short way but it’s a very interesting story, even how to survive in the United States with $500. But when you work hard and you have talent, you start getting noticed. If you make the right choices and you follow your heart completely without swaying from it. I never swayed from what I was doing. I did what I wanted and that was it. Nothing else mattered, how hard it got or how painful it got or how great it got. So yeah, I think the key ingredients are perseverance and patience.
Koresh Dance Company, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Carnival Studio, Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tickets $50; www.arshtcenter.org . Post-show conversation with DJ Spooky, Ronen Koresh and company, Friday, immediately following the March 18th performance.
Late last year, on Dec. 20, 2016, Romero Britto and Mark Bryn hosted the Great Artists Series Cocktail Reception at the Britto Fine Art Gallery to celebrate the legendary impresaria, Judy Dru..
Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain s..
Globalization has produced many stories —not all inspiring. But having a Pakistani ensemble become a worldwide sensation by playing Paul Desmond’s immortal “Take Five,” which pianist Da..
When the management of New York’s iconic Apollo Theater approached drummer Gregg Field last year about organizing a concert there in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth..
They’ve opened a Chanel fashion show in Havana and been featured in Beyoncé’s visual album for “Lemonade.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has danced to their music. Their Florida debu..
There are few artists who have had the impact in their disciplines that guitarist Paco De Lucía had in flamenco. There is a before-and-after De Lucía in flamenco. He expanded the harmonic voc..
Yoli Mayor is a 22-year old Miami native who won over the judges of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” with her power voice (think Adele mixed with Etta James). This weekend, Miami audiences will h..
You might expect something a tad unusual from a jazz band comprised of Bulgarians and Cubans that’s led by the principal percussionist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra. And that’s what you’ll ..
Not everybody who begins a musical career at age three singing in his grandfather’s Pentecostal Church finds his way to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Soloman Howard did in two short decades...
Hay pocos artistas que han tenido el impacto en sus disciplinas como el guitarrista Paco De Lucía tuvo en flamenco. En este género, hay un antes y después de De Lucía. Expandió el vocabul..
Dance NOW! Miami, la Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO), Miami Dance Futures y la New World School of the Arts (NWSA) colaboraron el fin de semana pasado para presentar la Daniel Lew..
Esta es una gran noticia para el público amante del ballet en Miami. Tras un paréntesis de diez años en los que solo nos visitó de manera esporádica, la Primera Bailarina mexicana Katia Carra..
Solo hay que aplicar el concepto “seis grados de separación” a uno de los artistas que se han presentado en las Galas de Estrellas del Festival Internacional de Ballet de Miami (IBFM por sus ..
El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..
El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..
La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..
El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..
Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..