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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 ..
When the Limon Dance Company returns to Miami-Dade this weekend, it brings with it the powerful vision of founder José Limon. He was a man deeply concerned about and connected to the humanity of his fellow human beings – what a concept in these uncivil times. The company is presenting three of his works, along with pieces by artistic director Colin Connor and local star choreographer Rosie Herrera.
Limon is one of the most important figures in American modern dance. He was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States as a boy. That experience seemed to have influenced many of his dances -- “I was an alien,” he wrote in his memoirs.
Connor reflects on that background and Limon’s keen ability to observe how people interact with each other, in different environments. He also commented on Limon’s “incredible sense of musicality.” Both of these factors contribute to the overall feeling of the timelessness of his pieces.
Limon died in 1972 without leaving instruction on the future of his company. However, the company not only survived but is now in its seventh decade, and Limon’s work is regularly performed worldwide. His three pieces on the program, “Chaconne” (1942), “A Choreographic Offering” (1964)and “The Unsung” (1971), were created at different stages of his life, but there is a common empathetic thread. “Chaconne”isa solo which Limon created for himself to music by Bach, where there is a sense of a journey with infinite possibilities. “Chaconne” was the piece “that distinguished him, and gave him credibility as a choreographer,” says Daniel Lewis, founding dean of dance at the New World School of the Arts, who performed with the company and served as its acting artistic director after Limon’s death.
“A Choreographic Offering”is an homage to the early modern dance pioneer Doris Humphrey, Limon’s teacher and mentor. The piece incorporates many of Humphrey’s unique – and joyous -- dance vocabulary. Lewis was one of the original dancers in “The Unsung,”and explains that it honors unsung Native American heroes. The dance is done without musical accompaniment, the breath and footfalls of the dancers the sole soundtrack.
Connor’s contribution, “The Body is a House without Walls,”deals with the theme of memory and its power to regenerate -- “the way we keep things alive with memory,” according to Connor. It also deals with the sense of touch, “touch being the first and the last of the senses… the idea that touch was there from the beginning -- in the womb.”
The Limon Dance Company repertory balances Limon’s classical work with commissions from contemporary choreographers. One such choreographer is Herrera, the Miami native and graduate of The New World School of the Arts. where she studied the Limon technique with Bambi Anderson. She now runs her own company, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre. Connor points to the similarities between Limon and Herrera, both having lived the immigrant experience (Herrera is Cuban-American). He says he also saw “an interesting juxtaposition” between the two: Herrera is “curious about ordinary things. … Limon was drawn to the grand.” Herrera's piece “Querida Herida” (My Beloved Scar) has its Miami premiere this weekend. “I thought of the legacy of Limon, and how much he was living in a space where he was an outsider, and how that translated into how he communicated,” says Herrera. Her piece is a duet between two women. “It looks at what it means to negotiate and surrender. The things you can say, and the things you can’t.”
Limon Dance Company performs Saturday at 8:00 p.m., South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay; tickets: $25-45; 786-573-5300; smdcac.org.
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