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Miami’s venerable M Ensemble is a company that sometimes dips into its rich history to mount fresh productions of past shows. For its second production in its versatile new home at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, the troupe is revisiting Darren Canady’s “Brothers of the Dust.” Winner of the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, the ..

“El cuento de Rene,” actor and director Larry Villanueva’s adaptation of Cuban writer Rene Ariza’s short stories into a work of theater, is more than an homage. It’s a statement on oppression. Ariza was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to send manuscripts abroad. He was banned from creating theater in Cuba and condemned as “counter-revolutionary.” Ariza served five years of h..

Those who attend film festivals aren't looking for the mainstream, Cineplex offerings. That isn't the goal. Amid the indie films, the foreign entries, documentaries, and the world premieres, there's another reason to canvass the program for something you might not see anywhere else. Given the Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university..

{This interview was conducted before the film making team went on to amazing Oscar success.} Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins are nine miles away from the Liberty City housing projects where they both grew up, but they are worlds away. They are at the picturesque Standard Hotel to talk about the new movie "Moonlight," with a screenplay by Jenkins base..

First things first. Actor-playwright Elena María García does explain the meaning of “¡FUÁCATA!” somewhere deep into the 90-minute running time of Zoetic Stage’s “García Or a Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe.” The familiar Cuban term, she confides from her perch on Michael McKeever’s Mondrian-evocative set, suggests the sound of a slap. As in, “¡Fuácata! You really stepped in i..

Sales of George Orwell’s chilling dystopian novel “1984” have soared during the early days of the Trump administration, the headlines pouring out of Washington having repositioned a 1949 literary classic as a 21st century cautionary tale. The late Czech president and playwright Václav Havel brought his deeply observed, hard-earned perspective on life under totalitarianism to the stage..

“Carousel,” which contains some of the most gorgeous and memorable songs ever written for a musical, may be a musical you’ve never seen, though it has been around since 1945. The follow-up to “Oklahoma!,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s hugely successful debut as a composer-lyricist team, “Carousel” requires a huge cast by today’s standards, an orchestra that can do that gl..

Before women like movie star Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Whitney Thore of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” became widely embraced personalities, Josefina Lopez wrote a play titled “Real Women Have Curves.” Lopez’s 1994 comedy, made into a 2002 movie that marked America Ferrera’s film debut, is about many things. Its subjects include the fears of undocument..

Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his darkly comic “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Two years later, as GableStage’s sizzling new production so abundantly demonstrates, the play feels completely of the moment – in part because its characters traffic in “alternative facts.” Retired New York cop Walter “Pops” Washington (Leo Finnie) refuses to settle an eight-..

Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat was an influential visionary whose pointillist work launched a movement before his untimely death in Paris in 1891 at the age of 31. He spent two years painting his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” in which tiny dots of juxtaposed color viewed at the right distance transform into a host of Parisians relaxing on an island ..

Estampas Porteñas Tango Brings Passion, Drama to South Miami


Photo: Antonio Fresco
Written by: Diana Dunbar
Article Rating

Tango, one of the most democratic forms of music and dance, grew out of the diverse working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s. The rich blending of different cultures mixed with local music produced unique sounds and dances born from the displacement and loneliness of immigrants in a strange place.

Estampas Porteñas Tango Company embodies that essence, which will be on display when the company arrives at the South-Miami Dade Cultural Center on Saturday. It was founded in 1996 by Carolina Soler, a ballet dancer and choreographer, who performed with numerous ballet troupes including the esteemed Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires. She also studied tango with well-known masters in Buenos Aires and has danced with various tango groups.

DeseosStories of Longing and Desire presents a theatrical performance filled with expressive dance, soul searching music and a compelling narrative: a young woman (Margot) leaves the countryside of Argentina for the fleeting promises of Buenos Aires. Estampas Porteñasinfuses her experiences with a variety of Argentine dance styles including the exciting malambo of the gauchos (cowboys), whose use of the boleadores (a strap with balls attached that’s used to entwine and immobilize animals) echoes the intwining and sharp movements of the dancers’ legs. Deseos reveals a journeyacross the cityscape of Buenos Aires: a train station, docks, a barrio, a brothel and a ballroom. All seen through projections that transports the dancers and audience alike back to the Argentina of the 1930s and 1940s.

Margot’s flight from her rural home to the big city of Buenos Aires is a storyline that encapsulates the audience in a time and place that helped develop this unique genre. Tango and Argentina are almost synonymous; and Deseos is a comprehensive travelogue, touching upon places associated with an art form that pulls and wraps people together. This is seen from the opening scene in the village square, where a group of men compete in who can perform the most intricate footwork. The festivities continue with flirtatious dance steps, zapateos (foot stomping), ganchos, malambo twists and singing.

The village square gives way to a train station in the city (with the use of a backdrop of images created by a 3-D projection), the vibrant sounds of the city are heard as newspaper sellers shout out the news and announce a milonga (dance party) that evening. Along the way to the milonga Margot witness a reos- a street gang fight. She finds her way to a cabaret and her adventures (or misadventures) continue to unfold through the intricacies of tango.

Meanwhile, Margot’s boyfriend, Charlo, has arrived in the city seeking her. Due to unfortunate circumstances Margot finds herself in a house of prostitution, where she performs a seductive dance with the other women of the house. Margot and Charlo engage in a game of seek and find throughout the city. They both arrive at a nightclub where everyone is dancing, but disguised by masks. In this anonymous atmosphere dancers turn, glide forward, stop and make abrupt reversal of movements as legs whip around bodies to the music of Piazzolla. This is the city where lovers reunite and the tango consumes a people whether in the 1940s or 2016.

Estampas Porteñas Tango Company, Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8:00 p.m.; South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center; 10950 S.W. St., Cutler Bay; tickets $27.50-$60; www.smdcac.org.

 


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