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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..

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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 ..

Hip Hop Hits the Stage with Combinado Argentino de Danza


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Combinado Argentino de Danza’s recent performance at the Colony Theater, produced by MDC Live Arts, was billed as a deconstructed blend of hip-hop, contemporary dance and Malambo (an Argentine folkloric dance). Such a diversity of styles could be challenging to mix, but the company’s fantastically athletic performers pulled it off with style.

Under the direction of Andrea Servera, Combinado Argentino de Danza is a handful of dancers, a beat boxer and a DJ. Each one has the skill and stage presence to hold a solo, but more striking was the unity of the group. Even though the choreography was largely improvisational, each performer seemed to have internalized the movement language of the group.

Combinado Argentino de Danza seems to have a heart of hip hop, which is above all about community. In the after-show Q&A, the dancers explained how they all met at a weekly street fair in Buenos Aires. After seeing each other week after week, they got to know each other and found common goals and passions.

Hip hop may have come from the United States but it has spread all over the world. Shake the Dust, a recent documentary by journalist and filmmaker Adam Sjöberg, produced with hip-hop superstar Nasir “Nas” Jones, portrays hip hop as a truly global movement with remarkable similarities no matter where it takes root. (If you haven’t already seen it, you should Google Shake the Dust right now and rent it through Vimeo). In this documentary, dancers from Uganda to Cambodia to Colombia all talk about hip hop as the center of their life, even though their respective cultural backdrops couldn’t be more different. Each person says it keeps them out of trouble, gives them a sense of family, and plus, it’s cool. On the surface it is a dance and music form with a distinctive style, but underneath it is much more than that, a way of life. Combinado Argentino de Danza seems to be infused with this same ethos.

While they obviously have strong artistic direction and creative leadership, Combinado Argentino de Danza’s performance felt like a hip hop cipher -- a group circle supporting the emergence of an individual’s own personal style, whether in break dancing or verbal play. And more literally, break dancing with a punctuation of badass beat boxing from Milo Moya, were the backbone of the company’s group style. At the same time, the sophistication, storytelling, and stage composition of contemporary dance were present, as well as the folkloric style of Malambo. None of these styles was presented in its strictly traditional form, and the blend was fluid.

The performance was definitely contemporary in the largest sense of the word, and not just in dance terms. It didn’t feel like a rehashing of old ideas, instead displaying the kind of multiculturalism that dancers in this era naturally come to embody through their own diversity of experiences and training. The overall effect was original, accessible and impressive entertainment. It comes from the street but it is worthy of the stage. MDC Live Arts must be credited for bringing yet another world-class dance company to Miami.

 


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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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