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David Arisco really loves the work of playwright Sean Grennan. The artistic director at Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables has previously staged three of Grennan’s plays and has just opened his production of a fourth, The Tin Woman. Arisco describes the piece as a “dramedy,” an amalgam of drama and comedy that explores a serious story while infusing the plot with warmth and tension-rel..

La matemática del deseo (The Mathematics of Desire), written and directed by Yoshvani Medina and performed at ArtSpoken in Little Havana, opens with a predictably unhappy couple. Tarah (Yrelkah Brown) talks too much. Ben (Juan David Ferrer) has a hot temper. She uses sex as a bargaining chip, withholding it until Ben can bring home more money; whereas Ben is sexually virile and perpetuall..

Cuban-born playwright Yoshvani Medina grew up with a love for mathematics. In his latest play, The Mathematics of Desire, which opens May 13, Medina utilizes the illusory and magical elements of math to sharpen the psychological edges of a vicious love triangle. He recounts how in the early 1980s in a recreational math workshop, a professor demonstrated that the number one is equal to th..

What do you say when your 12-year-old tells you she’s afraid Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States? You would like to say it’s impossible that a xenophobic misogynist, who has never held political office, has a chance of being the next president. When she adds that Trump seems like the kind of person “who makes nice people say mean things,” you realize that h..

Joshua Jean-Baptiste is an artist on the rise. With friend Edson Jean, he won the Project Greenlight digital studio competition to develop #JOSH, a web series about a Haitian-American innocent who moves in with his promiscuous cousin in Miami. Now Jean-Baptiste, through the theater group Lab 9, is debuting Them Beaux, his fresh take on George Farquhar’s 1707 late Restoration comed..

All known basic elements in our physical universe have their own set of atomic properties, such as an atomic number, or melting or freezing points. But all atoms prefer an octet formation and will gain or lose electrons to form that stable configuration with other atoms. By sharing valence, electrons in the outer shell of an atom form covalent bonds to adjacent atoms. There is probab..

Three recipients of last year's Knight Arts Challenge grants are preserving media from the past and using the grant money to get their message of the value of vintage to the masses. And what a difference a year makes. Kevin Arrow and Barron Sherer of Obsolete Media Miami (OMM) are collectors. Nayib Estefan of Secret Celluloid Society is a preservationist. The vintagists say that while..

They live in a world of rancorous politics, anything-goes sexuality and escapist entertainment. A would-be leader and windy speechmaker fueled by anger and fear is poised to ascend. Still, many move through life with blinders on, certain that “normal” times will soon return. Is this the United States in 2016? Arguably yes. But it’s also Germany in the waning days of the Weimar Republi..

Heralding from Chile, Teatro Cinema company is among the most genre-busting, let alone accomplished group to present work in South Florida. Besides its base in Santiago, the company has a permanent home in Paris. Such is its popularity in Europe, most especially in France. Just what is Teatro Cinema? Frustrated by the limits of both stage and screen, Teatro Cinema marries them. But th..

Playwright Tennessee Williams left his fraught family history, his prodigious talent and his inner demons as an artistic legacy in some of the American theater’s greatest works. You know their titles: The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Night of the Iguana, The Rose Tattoo, Sweet Bird of Youth. He also left a script called The Two-Character Play (orig..

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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