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

New Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary this season, a milestone that’s a testament to the tenacious dreams of South Florida theater artists. For two decades under founder Rafael de Acha and a third led by current artistic director Ricky J. Martinez, the company has weathered economic challenges and moves to several different homes, most recently the South Miami-Dade Cultural ..

West Side Story has been – and continues to be – a musical theater piece that inspires extraordinary work from the creative team at Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables. When the company first tackled the groundbreaking 1957 musical by composer Leonard Bernstein, book writer Arthur Laurents and a young lyricist named Stephen Sondheim, its 1997 production won seven Carbonell Awards, inclu..

Rebecca Joy Fletcher’s one-woman show, Ringing True, is personal, funny and above all intelligent theater. It’s this season’s second performance in Miami Theater Center’s SandBox Series, which offers theater artists the chance to develop and present new work with the assistance of a Knights Arts Challenge grant. The Chicago-based actress and playwright, who has previously performed at the..

Havana’s internationally celebrated El Teatro Publico and its director Carlos Diaz presented Antigonon, its reimagining of the classic Antigone tale, to a sold out audience at the Black Box theater at the Miami-Dade Auditorium last weekend. Indeed, so many South Floridians wanted to see the show that an extra performance was added. In Antigonon, as in the Greek classic, a hero has no ..

The title of Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play, which is now getting a deftly fizzy post-Broadway production at GableStage, is meant as a kind of comforting mantra. The characters in McNally’s sometimes-vitriolic Broadway valentine are nervously awaiting reviewers’ verdicts on the new play The Golden Egg. Sure, that title is critical catnip, and everyone knows that the only review t..

It’s been a long time coming. Miami’s Fundarte had planned to bring a searing production of Antigone, or more precisely Antigonon, un Contingente Epico (perhaps best translated as a really big, maybe the biggest Antigone ever) to town last year. Everything was in place. Except visas, for this is a production from Havana. But the visas are here now, and the internationally celebrated El Pu..

In sculpting a life, the choices of the moment pave the road toward the future. The women of Gina Gionfriddo’s smart, funny, sometimes scathing Rapture, Blister, Burn have decided to pursue intellectually rigorous careers (or not), become wives and mothers (or not), settle for what they have (or not) as the clock ticks them into middle age. Gionfriddo’s thought-provoking, cautiona..

When trials and fears beset our lives, we humans find myriad ways to cope: concocting myths and legends, sending entreaties to God or the gods, letting our subconscious do the talking in nightmares. The characters in The Golem of Havana, the absorbing and theatrically savvy debut production from Miami New Drama, experience all of the above as Cuba descends into revolutionary chaos in 1958..

Two grand musicals infused with the sweep of history and a third about a father with a penchant for spinning tall tales lead the race for the 40th annual Carbonell Awards, South Florida theater’s highest honor. Announced on Wednesday, the 100 nominations in 20 categories include a competition-leading 10 for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schö..

MCB and NWS Collaboration: ‘Inside the Music’


Photo: Leigh-Ann Esty
Written by: Octavio Roca
Article Rating

It was the first time this ever happened, and it was pretty wonderful. March 18 at the New World Center in South Beach, dancers of Miami City Ballet and musicians from the New World Symphony got together for Inside the Music: Movements, a surprising program boasting seven ballet world premieres -- including one ravishing short dance film -- plus music spanning four centuries, and some of the most exciting musical performances of the season. These two neighbors should get together again. Soon.

These were well-made dances, promising and occasionally more. The language of the seven young choreographers was conservative, thoroughly grounded in and seldom deviating from the Balanchinean mold, yet never less than entertaining. Most promising of all is this glimpse at a possible future in dance, at the sort of experiment that has paid off elsewhere.

William Forsythe, one of today’s leading choreographers, began just this way, making dances among friends within the young Noverre Society inside the Stuttgart Ballet with its orchestra players. Musicians also surely benefit from this. NWS Fellows already enjoy an enviably wide repertory, but collaborating with another kind of artist can only broaden their own artistry. Inside the Music was a win-win proposition.

Sara Esty’s Road Movies, set to the opening movement of John Adams’ s 1995 score, opened the show. A luminous Chase Swatosh stepped out first, joined in time by Renan Cerdeiro, Bradley Dunlap, Leigh-Ann Esty, Jennifer Lauren, and Nicole Stalker. Kelly Bunch’s violin and Michael Lenville’s piano breezed through Adams’ complex score, making it sound easy and at one point near the end making the dancers hit one last gorgeous stage picture just as the music stopped. Esty’s choreography throughout was sensitive to the music, and if she hasn’t yet found a language of her own, she has a beautiful way with the language she’s inherited.

Ariel Rose’s Dyad followed, set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s popular Concerto No. 5 for Harpsichord and Strings, exquisitely played by Nina Zhou at the piano backed by the NWS Fellows. Shimon Ito, Alex Manning, and Damian Zamorano, all shirtless wearing black pants, had a few sexy little shoulder shimmies, then joined Nathalia Arja in Rose’s fluid dance. The lively Arja has real chispa, and Ito was a strong, attractive partner. The first of three tiny, clever Interludes by Tricia Albertson and an irresistible Christie Sciturro followed, one or two-minute whimsical encounters of ballerina and oboist all over the house. The NWS oboist, Kevin Pearl, showed wit, a luscious mellow tone, and not bad-at-all legs (yes, they made him dance at the end as well).

Cerdeiro’s Preludes, set to George Gershwin’s  Three Preludes, was a little tame for this music. The musicians more than made up for it, though. Robert Smith’s jazzy piano, Audrey Wright’s easy violin, and especially Jeremy Morrow’s incredibly precise yet sensual trombone and Henrik Heide’s flute with its shades of Claude Bolling all got to the heart of Gershwin’s score. The 10 dancers were splendid.

A new short film followed called Danse sacrée, choreographed and directed by  Zoe Zien with videographer Bruce Pinchbeck, set to the first movement of Claude Debussy’s (1904) Danse sacrée et profane. Shot in a dream-like atmosphere at Fairchild Botanical Garden, with the score played live by the NWS Fellows, the dance began at a huge banyan tree and moved through the grass as the dancers seemed to float through a tribute to Nijinsky. Brianna Abruzzo, Cerdeiro, Ito, and Helen Ruiz were stellar, and the camera obviously loves Patricia Delgado. It is a lovely film.

A very academic duet by Eric Trope called Nine Chapters, set to Johannes Brahms’ moving Sonata No. 1 for cello and Piano, seemed not quite finished, and not up to the score’s emotional breadth. Still, Aaron Ludwig’s burnished cello sounded like a what every dramatic tenor aims for. Colorful in every way, from the tight choreography to the colorful tights, Leigh-Ann Esty’s The Cantina Band had everyone smiling and set the joint jumping to John Williams’ bar scene in Star Wars. No surprise, the NWS Fellows make one hot jazz band.

The most satisfying new dance came at the end, Acantilado by Adriana Pierce, set to Alberto Ginastera’s 1953 Variaciones Concertantes. Tricia Albertson, Emily Bromberg, Sarah McCahill, Leslie Overholt, and Chase Swatosh -- all with ideal follow-though in every phrase -- created delicious tension in this dance, which was not exactly plotless and suggested an outsider and the community that made him that. As that outsider, Jovani Forlan looked like a starlet, danced like a star, and stole the show with a touching fusion of innocence and desire. Here is a dancer to watch.

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

Dance and music critic, assistant professor of philosophy at Miami Dade College

Octavio Roca, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Miami Dade College, was music, dance and theater critic for The Washington Post, The Washington ..

About the Writer

Stylistic fusion has always resulted in confusion. Should a new banjo-and-vocals release go in the “roots” or “alt-folk” or “bluegrass” bin? How about a recording of synthesizer, oboe and bir..

An older audience than usual piled into the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on this Sunday, casually dressed and chatty, as if about to watch a vaudeville ..

Jazz and skateboarding? Sure, why not? YoungArts’ Outside the Box series continues Saturday with a presentation melding the two. Performing will be composer and pianist Jason Moran and his ban..

Jazz is America’s musical gift to the world, which has seasoned it and given it back in many forms. One of them might be described as “Jewish Jazz.” That would be the contribution of Isra..

Singer and songwriter Joan Soriano seems to embody the very history of his music. Like bachata, the guitar music from the Dominican Republic he so soulfully interprets and composes, Sori..

This Sunday, January 30th, the Nu Deco Ensemble will make their Miami Beach debut at the historic North Beach Band Shell off 74th Street and Collins. The program will feature the music of Da..

After playing a couple of pieces -- and even with news of a blizzard hitting the East Coast as background -- New York-based trumpeter Christian Scott addressed the still enthusiastic, hardy c..

Florida Grand Opera welcomes back Maestro Anthony Barrese this season with a challenge: Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma. Not that conducting Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers last year was a walk in the par..

It has been over a decade since Leif Ove Andsnes last played on one of Miami’s pianos, when he collaborated with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas on an all-Beethoven program. ..

Comparten historia, elementos de culturas diversas, y sobre todo, pasión. Así, es más lo que une a dos vertientes musicales diferentes como el flamenco, máxima expresión cultural de la región..

El trabajo como pianista y compositor de Chucho Valdés, 74, lo ha establecido hace tiempo como una figura trascendental en la música cubana de los últimos 50 años. Pero más allá de su virtuosismo ..

En esa tan españolísima expresión de baile y música que es el flamenco, una mexicana ha venido arrancando aplausos dentro del género, no solo en la propia España, sino más allá. Karen Lug..

El flamenco es música de mezcla y posibilidades. Tiene una historia que se pierde en el tiempo y raíces que se extienden desde la India hasta el sur de España. Es una música prodigiosa, que h..

El éxodo del Mariel (1980) fue uno de los capítulos más dramáticos en la historia del exilio cubano, inesperada crisis migratoria para los Estados Unidos, y desafío de proporciones colosales para ..

La fórmula de Micro Teatro Miami es elegantemente sencilla: Teatro en pequeñas porciones, puestas en escena ingeniosas, y actores conocidos, presentados en un ambiente íntimo a precios razon..

El pianista, compositor y arreglista puertorriqueño José Negroni es un prototipo del músico del siglo XXI. El impacto de las nuevas tecnologías, incluyendo el desguace de las viejas estructu..

Suena a desafío. Conjugar una obra literaria austera y trágica con una expresión musical y bailable de gran riqueza y pasión, buscando unirlas de manera coherente y emotiva. El reto, sin..

Bajo agua. Así se estima quedará Miami Beach a fines de siglo si no se toman medidas drásticas. De ahí que la organización artística sin fines de lucro FUNDarte y el grupo activista sobre sus..