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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 ..

Imagine animation created live on stage, with mini backdrops, puppets, and low-tech props. Channel it through multiple cameras and mix it live into a projected film. Add a string quartet and a DJ. This is the structure of “Nufonia Must Fall,” an upcoming project presented by MDC Live Arts. The show is slated for appearances around the world, from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and..

That Actors’ Playhouse opened its production of Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way” on the same day that the American Health Care Act was pulled from a vote by the House of Representatives is ironic and more than a little instructive. The much-touted replacement for Obamacare didn’t have enough sure votes to ensure passage, as Speaker Paul Ryan told President Donald Trump, so the “replac..

The take-no-prisoners world of high finance and ruthless business deals has long been a tantalizing subject for artists. From filmmaker Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” with its antihero Gordon Gekko spouting “greed is good,” to Damien Lewis’ slick hedge fund mogul Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series “Billions,” movies and television allow those of us in the 99 percent a glimpse at wha..

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..

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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