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 ..
Upcoming this week, Tigertail presents choreographer Myriam Gourfink and musician Kasper Toeplitz. Hailing from France, the two will be present for a 3-day residency at Subtropics’ South Beach venue Audiotheque. Part concert, part workshop, the event invites an immersive experience of Gourfink and Toeplitz’s work.
The event opens on May 22 with a free workshop in Gourfink’s unique approach to dance, “Choreographic Composition Through Yoga.” Next, on May 23, join a conversation with Toeplitz in Subtropics’ The Listening Club, an ongoing discussion about sound and music. And on May 24, hear “Amas,” a sound piece for live electronics originally written as a companion piece to Gourfink’s choreography.
Tigertail director Mary Luft is enthusiastic about bringing Gourfink’s workshop to Miami, because she infuses a fresh and of-the-moment take on contemporary dance. “She is coming from a very different place, highly trained technical dancer but she has chosen to use breath and slowness and intention in her work.”
Describing the duo’s work together, Luft says, “the piece that I saw with his music, it’s a long, long pulse that pulls you into a state and keeps you moving along on that line. And [Myriam] barely moves in her work… it’s very controlled, and uses gravity and breathing throughout.”
We had the opportunity to hear from Gourfink on her approach to movement, music, and creative collaboration.
What is your process of composition or creation?
When composing and writing my choreographic scores, I use abstract processes and data. I sit at my table and I write in a language that I have been developing since 2002. It’s inspired by Laban cinetography, but is aimed at creating, rather than transcribing, a dance already in existence.
What I write for the choreographic composition is constantly evolving, because each piece is structured around a specific environment built on a global vision of the project. I make a collection of concepts that I consider to be connected with my aims, and from those elements I then develop a glossary and then a score.
The composition consists in decoding the information contained in the data collected, the relationships between them, and their possible articulations. It’s all about listening, observing, and trying to understand what is at work inside the environment in place.
How does this translate into movement?
The dancers who read and interpret the scores use the body technique forming the basis of my work, which relies on awareness of the breath, the circulation and the distribution of the body’s weight, and fluidity.
It was the work of Odile Duboc that guided me in my relationship with gravity. I experienced it in terms of a phase of vertical descent by the weight of the body beneath the earth’s crust, then a phase of listening to what travels up from the earth through the body: it’s like a wave, expanding our internal spaces and propelling movement.
How does yoga enter into your work?
In order to examine the body’s spaces in more detail, in 1995 I embarked on an exploration using breath. Yoga helped me to realize the difference between physical respiration and respiration sustained by a thread of breath. It is the latter that has formed the basis of my work ever since.
This approach allows you to become aware of the body as a resonating volume, the perception is not only drawn into the internal space, but also the surrounding space, the body is porous, it is suspended in the air.
A new challenge is then presented, one that consists of being aware of atmospheric pressure while dancing: experiencing that force, letting oneself become air-borne and showing the onlooker to see the means of support. And then instilling the desire to witness the encounter between each cell and each air molecule. The tiny interstices are measured by perception and this gives rise to a dance that extends, diffracts and, according to some, perhaps even slows time.
How would you describe your artistic process when working collaboratively with Kasper on sound?
Kasper will be performing "Amas.” In the frame of my work, music is never an accompaniment—“Amas” is both a dance piece and a concert. Amas is a French word which means ”pile” or ”accumulation,” and creates the verb ”to amass.”
First we talk about the general idea of the piece. And then, each one of us is translating the idea in his own media: music for Kasper, dance for me. [For “Amas”] we together defined the structure, talked about the (abstract) meaning of it, but of course I wrote the choreography (for 8 dancers) and Kasper did the music.
With the dance, the general idea was to reinforce the frontal aspect of the theater; the dance space is right in the middle of the stage. Kasper is playing in the first row in the audience facing the dance space. This desire to reinforce the frontal aspect of the stage is linked with the idea to make visible the use inside the choreographic score of non-classical directions and orientations.
The other idea was a dance slowly evolving (in one hour) from a dance on the floor to a dance standing up, in a 25 square meter area with 8 dancers always changing their position in this area. The aim was to create disproportions by juxtapositions and superimpositions, and to create lines and diagonals at the scale of the group that were changing hypnotically. In is own composition, Kasper says that "the structure of ‘Amas’ is a strange one: it comes from infinity and goes back to it.”
Artist residency with dance workshop and music events; produced by Subtropics; presented by Subtropics and Tigertail Productions. Mon. through Wed., Audiotheque at ArtCenter/South Florida, 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach;workshop and talk free; Wed. music concert $10; for more info, www.tigertail.org.
What better way to welcome summer than with a burst of live music? Leave it to the French to come up with the idea. Since 1982, they’ve marked the summer solstice with free concerts and p..
Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade is as tiny as a house sparrow, with a voice as clean and pure as a bell. These delicate qualities belie a fierce inner strength and a steely artistic will. A..
Melissa Aldana is the first woman instrumentalist and the first South American artist to win jazz’s prestigious Thelonius Monk competition. Which distinction is more important to her? Neither..
Project 305 has a simple aim – crowd-source a Miami symphony. For 100 days from January 31 to May 12 New World Symphony, in collaboration with the Knight Foundation and the M.I.T. Media Lab, ..
You hear the word “flamenco” -- what image comes to mind? A guitar? A dark-haired dancer? The color red, a ruffled dress? Did a piano by any chance enter the picture? Perhaps not. Pianist..
Critics on five continents have described her work as “indecent and breathtaking,” or some close variant. One blessed her for always “going too far.” Another stated he would prefer death to m..
Buzzing his lips and shaking his head, Rafael Davila gets ready to rehearse. In the Florida Grand Opera’s cavernous rehearsal hall in Doral, the floor is marked with tape to delineate the roo..
There’s a song James Blood Ulmer sings called “Jazz Is the Teacher, Funk is the Preacher.” If you bring in Mother Blues, along with the family hothead, Rock and Roll, you’ll have a better pi..
Ask about the Miami Sound to 10 people in South Florida and you’ll get 11 different answers. And yet, for more than 20 years, the Spam Allstars, a group founded and anchored by DJ Le Spam (a..
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, ..
No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..
Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..
Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..
En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..
En su discurso de recibimiento del Premio Nobel, el poeta chileno Pablo Neruda afirmó que el poeta no es un "pequeño dios." De hecho expresó que el mejor poeta “es el hombre que nos entrega e..