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 based on McCraney's play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue." Shot in Miami in 25 days and with a budg..
When music pioneers Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley met up and jammed at Sun Records in Memphis on Dec. 4, 1956, their session was really nothing more than a happy creative accident. Sun founder Sam Phillips wanted to record some new songs with Perkins, whose “Blue Suede Shoes” had been a history-making hit for himself and Presley, to Perkins’ seething ang..
The devolution of discourse in the current presidential race is, duh, obvious to anyone with a TV or internet access. Maybe you see the political back-and-forth between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the down-and-dirty rhetoric of two fighters approaching their title bout. Maybe you want to hide under the bed until this singularly incendiary race is over. But if you’re worried th..
‘Tis the season for pumpkin: the big orange squash is everywhere, in stores, drinks, fragrances, decorations. It’s Halloween tradition. But there’s another pumpkin tradition with which you may not be familiar. Haitians celebrate New Year’s Day with soup joumou, a concoction of pumpkin, beef, onions, garlic and more. Why? “Liberty in a Soup,” a documentary premiering Oct. 9, explains. ..
Robert Askins’ “Hand to God” takes place mostly in the basement rec room of a church near Houston. One of the characters is the pastor, another a recently widowed mother tapped to lead a teen puppetry group called the “Christketeers.” Her introverted son and two other teens have been corralled into joining the troupe, and their first performance at a Sunday service is fast approaching..
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers has made a mark on Miami in more than one arena. He began as a journalist, writing on city life and culture for local publications including the Miami Herald and Ocean Drive. He later performed and recorded music under his middle name, Fitzroy. And more recently, he founded arts media group Third Horizon as a catch-all container for projects promoting Caribbean art, ..
No doubt about it: South Florida theater folks love the plays of Annie Baker. Island City Stage presented her “Body Awareness” in 2013. Alliance Theatre Lab did “The Aliens” in 2015, and earlier this year Mad Cat staged an impressive production of Baker’s lengthy, Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Flick.” Now Area Stage Company in Coral Gables has jumped onto the Baker bandwagon with it..
Miami-based Jason Fitzroy Jeffers has cut a complex path for his life. He describes himself first as a writer. But he has produced work on a wide range of platforms and subjects. Like the symbol of the machete that reoccurs throughout his work, Jeffers is at home in the wilderness of uncharted spaces. Currently, he can be found at the center of Third Horizon, a media company that he ..
As rituals go, reunions can be fraught experiences. Sure, it’s good to see old friends and catch up, but the past has a way of becoming an insistent thrum, so that uncomfortable memories and old transgressions bubble to the surface again. The characters in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ intense, wildly entertaining “Our Lady of 121st Street” get that, bigtime. Miami’s Ground Up & Risin..
The actors in Ground Up & Rising, one of South Florida’s edgiest and most diverse theater companies, have a thing for the works of Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis. Founded in 2005, the company launched with a sizzling production of Guirgis’ “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” featuring two of its three founders, Bechir Sylvain and Sheaun McKinney (the latter now on HBO’s “Vice..
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.
Last year, Spanish singer Diego El Cigala performed at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. in what should have been a memorable night. Professionally, it was. The flamenco star enthralled the audience..
Variety is the spice of guitarist Mary Halvorson’s musical life. Consider her taste in music. Asked what she’s listening to now, she reports having just gone through a “really heavy Ellio..
While the term “experimental” music may be close to wearing out its grooves, Colombia-born Alba Triana’s practice bears significant kinship to the testing methodology a physicist might use –..
In the last 15 years, Miami residents have witnessed the city’s steady transformation into an international urban hub with the customary arrival of communities from all over. Together with t..
The Summer Concert Series (https://communityartsprogram.org/summer-concert-series/) at the Coral Gables Congegational Church, which just celebrated its 31st season, has become a South Florida..
Amanda Keeley, founder of the pop-up artists’ bookstore EXILE Books, explores Miami’s sonic subculture centered around the Audiotheque Listening Club, which will conclude its third season with per..
Some people send cards or buy gifts to show their appreciation. Alice Day started a hall of fame. The singer, dubbed “South Florida's first lady of jazz” by the late radio host China Valles, f..
Three-time Grammy winner drummer, composer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, appearing with her quartet at the Coral Gables Congregational United Church on July 21 as part of the Community Arts ..
Local musician Juraj Kojs has been making noise all around Miami. His latest project, Bang for the Train, is a musical campaign designed to highlight the local public transportation system. K..
En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..
En su discurso de recibimiento del Premio Nobel, el poeta chileno Pablo Neruda afirmó que el poeta no es un "pequeño dios." De hecho expresó que el mejor poeta “es el hombre que nos entrega e..
En la cultura yoruba, y sobre todo en sus manifestaciones caribeñas como la afrocubana, las historias contadas oralmente por generaciones ocupan un lugar esencial. Esas historias, muchas de e..
En la serie artística Out in the Tropics, la tarima no discrimina, la sensibilidad de los intérpretes es inclusiva y todo público es bienvenido. Producción de la entidad local sin fines d..
El flamenco es una música de fusión. La tradición es de sobrevivencia, de cambio constante y adaptación al lugar y los tiempos. Mientras el sonido puede ser diferente, el espíritu de Nuevo Fl..
La problemática del cambio climático está que arde. Sobre todo en un estado como la Florida, en primera fila para sufrir consecuencias drásticas. Llegar al público con este mensaje e inspirar..
La música tiende puentes, y por más de media década ya, dos entidades artístico culturales del sur de la Florida, FUNDarte (http://fundarte.us/fundarte_event.php?id=221) y Miami Light Project..
La colaboración del pianista cubano de jazz Gonzalo Rubalcaba y la cantaora flamenca española Esperanza Fernández junta a dos artistas de primera línea en sus respectivos géneros sin miedo d..
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..