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El puerto de los cristales rotos (The Harbor of Broken Glass), co-written by Mario Ernesto Sánchez and Patricia Suárez, is based on a disturbing historical event. In 1939 Cuba denied entry to the 937 passengers (mostly Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany) aboard the MS St. Louis when the ship arrived at Havana harbor. From there they tried to dock off the Florida coast, but President Roo..

As ideas for plays go, the notion behind Jonathan Tolins’ 'Buyer & Cellar' sounds kooky and more than a little improbable.The setup is that megawatt star Barbra Streisand has an Americana-inspired collection of shops in the basement of her movie set-worthy red barn on her Malibu estate. And that an out-of-work gay actor gets a mind-blowing gig when he’s hired to man the diva’s quaint..

When it comes to Cuban film, it is very easy for wide sweeping shots of Havana’s decaying beauty to steal the show. Not the case in the 2014 Cuban film, Venecia, in Spanish with English subtitles, currently showing at the Tower Theater in Little Havana. Director Kiki Álvarez zooms in on the lives of three women in their twenties, laying bare their humor, vulnerability and secret frustrati..

For the last three decades Mario Ernesto Sánchez, founder and artistic director of the International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami, has had to navigate last minute cancellations, mountains of red tape, denied visas, earthquakes, hurricanes and more. It’s no wonder when asked what he loves about producing the festival, now in its 31st year, his wry sense of humor comes out: “My favori..

Ground Up & Rising began as the dream of a few passionate theater students at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus. Since its inception in 2005, this small but highly acclaimed company has produced plays all over Miami: West Kendall, Coral Gables, Little Havana, Miami Beach, and more. Recently, the company committed to producing theater for audiences south of Coral Gables. As executive..

Azul Tirreno, the latest production by Antiheroes Project in collaboration with Artefactus Cultural Project, imagines the last day in the life of aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose plane disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea in 1944. Written and directed by José Manuel Dominguez, the founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, Azul Tirreno reminds us that every m..

Among life’s many lessons is this one: The boundless dreams of youth soon give way to the harder realities of adulthood. Troy Maxson, the flawed man with the outsized personality at the center of August Wilson’s Fences, knows this. He has learned it, lived it, yet finally lets no-strings-attached fantasy lead him astray. And in the process, what he has doggedly built comes tumbling do..

When founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, José Manuel Dominguez, set out to create a new work, he stumbled across the nothing short of epic life of French aviator and writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose Little Prince is still one of the best selling books in publishing history. Dominguez became fascinated with the writer and the man who mysteriously disappeared in a p..

In its 21st edition, City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival is offering up a lovesick alien (the green kind), a questionably heroic flight attendant and an aspiring comedian who can no longer laugh. Scheming mothers-in-law, radically overprotective parents and a touching if mortifying mother-daughter talk are also part of the mix. So are a grieving man who finds God and a newbie EMT ha..

Title fights don’t have to last long to be thrilling and memorable – and neither do plays. The Royale, a stunning play by Miami native Marco Ramirez, illustrates that point in one of the most absorbing productions staged by artistic director Joseph Adler in his 18 seasons at the helm of GableStage. Ramirez’s award-winning play, already produced in Los Angeles, London and most rece..

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.

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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

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