The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

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 ..

Steven Levenson’s “If I Forget” began its Off-Broadway run a year ago, closing just six weeks before the now 33-year-old playwright won the Tony Award for writing the book of the acclaimed musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Cut to February 2018, and South Florida already has its own exquisite production of “If I Forget,” thanks to GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler. Levenson’s fun..

In a career that continues to soar two decades after his first play was produced, Michael McKeever has premiered his dramas, comedies and short plays at theaters all over South Florida. Nearly always, he’s involved in those productions as the author, sometimes as an actor, at times as a set designer. The plays get their start here, then go on to productions (sometimes multiple product..

When M. John Richard decided to leave the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in late 2008 to become president and chief executive officer of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, he arrived in South Florida with a vision, myriad ideas and a long-term exit strategy. “I knew in 2008 that I had a 10-year run in my tank,” says Richard, 65, who plans to retire from his Arsh..

Friendships can bring seemingly unlike people together to sometime form a strong bond. Such is the case in Walter Dean Myers’ coming of age novel, Darius & Twig. According to the summary notes of the book “Two best friends, a writer and a runner, deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem.” It’s a tale of endurance, perseverance, an..

Kristoffer Diaz’s searing, hilarious and all-too-resonant play “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” isn’t new to South Florida. The 2009 script, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, made its area debut in 2012 in a fierce and fine production at Boca Raton’s Caldwell Theatre Company just a few months before the long-running regional powerhouse folded. Now “Chad Deity” has ret..

“This is no camera, nothing cut. This is real," says Tranee Wallace, whose story is one of three live radio plays in Dan Froot and Company's "Pang!" at Miami Light Project's Light Box at the Goldman Warehouse. Hers is one of a triptych of oral histories adapted into plays of families facing adversity: A Los Angeles single mom who loses the home she and her nine children live in after..

When it comes to farces, Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” is one of the great ones. The 1982 comedy has made it to Broadway three times, and American audiences all over the country have embraced it in countless regional productions. Actors’ Playhouse is having a go at “Noises Off” as the second show of its 30th anniversary season. The play fits like a period glove on the main stage at the..

The intricate alchemy of inspired theatrical art is on full display in Zoetic Stage’s darkly hilarious, gripping world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s “Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts.” Demos-Brown, a rising theatrical star whose play “American Son” will open on Broadway in November, has drawn on his experience as a lawyer working on wrongful death cases to create a savage exami..

My Barbarian wanted to take Miami on a boat ride. “We wanted to interact and be out in the public,” Alex Segade reveals over the phone from Los Angeles, where he just got out of rehearsal for My Barbarian’s first Miami show, coming up this Saturday at the Miami Light Project, as part of Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design’s “Living Together” performance series this season. ..

A Way of Life – Siempre Flamenco’s Festival de Cante Flamenco


Photo: Rocio Bazan; photo credit: Remedios Malvarez
Written by: Sean Erwin
Article Rating

The name Flamenco conjures the machine-gun snap of heels, arms arched overhead, the flick of red fabric and laser-like glares from beneath the starched black brim of a Cordobes hat. At the edges of a bright spotlight sit a semi-anonymous guitarist and singer providing musical backdrop for all the dancer’s sinewy goodness.

Husband and wife team Celia and Paco Fonta would like to change that. For the Fontas the power of flamenco stems principally from the singer, not the dancer, and the couple have programmed their 12th annual Festival de Cante Flamenco (Friday through Sunday at the Arsht Center) to emphasize flamenco as principally a sung art form.
 
Flamenco appeared in the South of Spain as a music of exile. The roots of the music stem from the cries of suffering experienced by certain communities at the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Telling the story by telephone, Celia Fonta explained, “Flamenco was born out of the suffering caused by the expulsion from Spain of the Jews, Gypsies and Moors, and the music owes its character to the experience of each of these communities.”
 
For the Fontas, the legend of flamenco’s emergence captures a basic truth -- flamenco is principally a vocal art. As she added: “Globalization has caused flamenco to take on many forms as it fused with other art forms. We find this interesting but we don’t lose sight of the fact that flamenco is first and foremost a conversation that occurs between singer and guitarist. The dancer accompanies and follows those two.”
 
The performance of flamenco has a lot in common with jazz, where informal rules guide the musicians. Because the rules are open-ended the same songs sound very different from one night to the next.
As Paco Fonta explains, both guitarists and singers value spontaneity. For Fonta, an accomplished flamenco guitarist, “we follow some rules and we know how it goes. Every night might be very different because from night to night someone may decide to do something entirely different. We may decide to give more room to the singer, and in the authentic flamenco performance the real bosses are the singers.”
 
At this year’s festival the “bosses” include vocalists Morenito de Illora, Joselito Montoya and Rocio Bazan. “One of the great values of this festival is that we can introduce Miami audiences to great flamenco singers who are well-known in Spain but not so well known here in Miami,” adds Paco.
The up-close experience of the 200-seat Carnival Center provides a great venue for experiencing flamenco short of a seat at an authentic Spanish tablao (singing club). Though the Pacos find the focus of flamenco in the vocalist, lovers of the dance form need not worry.
 
“We have invited world renowned dancer Angel Rojas,” continued Celia. “Yes, the dance came later, but of course we bring in the dance for the sake of the audiences. The legend of flamenco tells us how the dance began. First, we had people singing as they worked the anvil, and then they began to tap their feet to the songs, and from the foot tapping the dance developed. This all makes sense so long as we remember that the flamenco music came first.”
 
In 2016 the Fontas were the recipients of the 2016 Florida Folk Heritage Award -- the state’s highest honor for folk and traditional arts. They received the award as recognition that the aim of Siempre Flamenco is not only to entertain but also to educate. For the couple this is critical because flamenco for them is more than just a musical form. As Celia explains:
“Duende (soul) names the moment when flamenco becomes a way of life. It describes a transcendental moment but not a religious experience per se. The singer and the dancer go through a catharsis to get out of the sadness, the melancholy and the drama of life –– and in the experience of flamenco music we come out of it renewed. Duende doesn’t happen all the time, but you can say the lover of flamenco is someone engaged in la busqueda del duende (the search for soul).”

The 12th Festival de Cante Flamenco, Friday through Sunday, September 1 to 3 Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater (1300 Biscayne Bay Boulevard, Miami); tickets cost $48;
http://www.arshtcenter.org/Tickets/Calendar/2017-2018-Season/Siempre-Flamenco/Siempre-Flamenco/?performanceNumber=24353

Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

Sean Erwin is a writer and assistant professor of Philosophy at Barry University, with a focus on aesthetics and contemporary french philosophy.
Sean Erwin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barry University and received his Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He has presented and published on topics in political philosophy, Italian and French philosophy, and technology and performance studies. He currently serves as the senior editor of the Humanities and Technology Review.

Erwin is also a performance critic for Artburst, with performance previews and reviews appearing regularly there and in other South Florida publications. Artburst gives him the platform to critique the aesthetic principles he writes on as a professional philosopher through analysis of the concrete movements embodied by performers.

He is also an accomplished dancer and teacher in the Argentine Tango community. In 2000 he founded and served as editor of the Chicago webzine, Tango Noticias, a specialty dance periodical dedicated to examining Argentine Tango as a set of social practices rooted to the Southern cone’s history, politics, and culture.

Since his move to South Florida, he has both taught philosophy and served as a principal tango instructor for the Miami-based, Shimmy Club, a non-profit program that teaches Argentine Tango to vision-impaired teens. Through his involvement with the program, Erwin has been featured in articles and several news outlets including Univision, Telemundo, NBC News, KPFK Los Angeles, and the Miami Herald. For more information, see erwinsean.com.

..

About the Writer

In the music of Las Cafeteras and Orkesta Mendoza, presented by Fundarte at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Saturday, the border is no place for walls but rather, a moveable feast. ..

Performance Hall at New World Center was packed Saturday, Feb. 3 for the New Work program, which NWS conductor and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas introduced as “one of the more adve..

Having grown up in Buenos Aires with a strong interest in music, one would think that Jaime Bronsztein (http://jaimebronsztein.webs.com/) would have slid down the well-lubricated tracks towar..

A creepy old king ogles his beautiful stepdaughter. Powerless to stop him, her mother, the queen, protests drunkenly. The girl, age maybe 12 or so, falls for the only man who does not lust af..

At first their sound is reminiscent of Bob Marley. Just as plaintive but with added punch. But listen longer -- the more familiar the music feels, the harder it is to pin down. This is t..

People often imagine new artwork is the product of the solitary artist genius slaving away in lonely studios. The South Florida Symphony’s 20th anniversary program foregrounds a different vis..

At an age when many are winding down their working lives, Ignacio Berroa eagerly anticipates a new stage in his career. It would be understandable if the 64-year-old drummer, recognized a..

We know it’s the holiday season when trees light up, menorah candles start to burn, ubiquitous Christmas carols pipe through drugstores, “The Nutcracker” plays on every stage – and in recent ..

Late last year, on Dec. 20, 2016, Romero Britto and Mark Bryn hosted the Great Artists Series Cocktail Reception at the Britto Fine Art Gallery to celebrate the legendary impresaria, Judy Dru..

Después de una serie de actuaciones muy exitosas en varias ciudades del Este del país, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) llega a Miami para ofrecer seis presentaciones del jueves 22 ..

La ofensiva espontánea protagonizada por BalletBoyz y Cie. Herve Koubi el fin de semana pasado en teatros de Fort Laudedarle y Miami, con dos propuestas artísticas absolutamente fuera de seri..

La atracción principal del tercer programa de la temporada 2017-2018 del Miami City Ballet (MCB) que se presentó el fin de semana pasado en el Arsht Center fue el estreno mundial de One Line ..

Llegados en vuelo directo desde Inglaterra, BalletBoyz (Premio Nacional de Danza 2013 a la Mejor Compañía Independiente) ofrecerá el sábado 10 de febrero una función patrocinada por Culture Shock ..

Por dos noches consecutivas, el Miami City Ballet (MCB), que dirige Lourdes López desde 2012, abrió las puertas de sus instalaciones en Miami Beach para ofrecer un encuentro Open Barre con e..

El segundo programa de la temporada 2017-2018 del Miami City Ballet (MCB) dedicado a los 100 años del nacimiento de Jerome Robbins (1918-1998), el gran coreógrafo norteamericano que triunfó ..

2017 fue un buen año para la danza en Miami. El Flamenco Festival nos permitió volver a ver a Jesús Carmona, el Internacional Ballet Festival of Miami (IBFM) sobrevivió al huracán Irma, Dance..

El Miami City Ballet (MCB) presentó por fin en el Arsht Center la nueva producción de su gran espectáculo navideño, el “Cascanueces” de Tchaikovsky y Balanchine, ahora con diseños origin..

La tradicional temporada de Cascanueces del Miami City Ballet (MCB) tendrá algo nuevo este año. La compañía que dirige Lourdes López ha decidido renovar los diseños de la superproducción que..