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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..

Director Carlos Lechuga’s masterful unspooling of time in his second feature film “Santa y Ándres” constructs a uniquely Cuban mix of tedium and despair, resulting in an emotionally intense experience that sneaks up on the viewer in plain sight. The film opens with the stillness of a landscape painting: the eastern Cuban countryside of 1983 – rugged, lush, and verdant. The statuesque..

Memory – deep-seated, fragile, slippery, mutable – is at the heart of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015, the play is a family tragicomedy given a sci-fi makeover; in other words, this thought-provoking theater piece charts its own, fresh path. Now getting its South Florida premiere as the second professional production from the Main Street Players, ..

The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..

Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..

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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