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..
Writing about “Broken Snow,” the Ben Andron thriller now getting its world premiere at the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT) in North Miami Beach, is a proposition almost as tricky as the play itself. The intricately structured 90-minute drama is loaded with surprises, twists and turns, all revealed at precisely the right moment so that the play builds to its shattering conclusion..
As this steamy spring melts into a sweltering summer, Actors’ Playhouse is inviting theater lovers to a wedding – a big, fat Jewish-WASP wedding, otherwise known as the Broadway musical “It Shoulda Been You.” Though the show seemingly takes place in the present, the piece by book writer-lyricist Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi is an old-fashioned, stereotype-filled throwba..
'Death & Harry Houdini' Makes Another Magical Moment at ArshtDennis Watkins knows how to make an entrance. In the House Theatre of Chicago’s “Death & Harry Houdini,” now back at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater five years after it first wowed Miami audiences, Watkins arrives onstage with the help of theater technology unknown in Houdini’s day. Dangling upside dow..
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.
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