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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, now 33, was named a MacArthur “genius” grant winner in 2016, the same year his play “Gloria” was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Earlier, his provocative, stylistically diverse, subversive plays “Appropriate” and “An Octoroon” (the latter was produced by Coral Gables’ Area Stage last fall) each won best new American play Obie Awards. ..

"The Other Mozart" is a suitcase play – one of those shows where a single actress can pack the entire contents that creates the setting – costume, wig, and props, and go anywhere in the world. It is the way Samantha Hoefer will arrive in Miami to present Sylvia Milo's one-woman play about Maria Anna Mozart, the not nearly as famous older sibling of that 18th century rock star Wolfgang Ama..

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 ..

DJ Spooky Joins Koresh Dance for 25th Anniversary


Photo: Photo courtesy of artist management
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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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About The writer

Cathering Hollingsworth is a dance critic and dancer

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About the Writer

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