Writing about “Broken Snow,” the Ben Andron thriller now getting its world premiere at the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT) in North Miami Beach, is a proposition almost as tricky as the play itself. The intricately structured 90-minute drama is loaded with surprises, twists and turns, all revealed at precisely the right moment so that the play builds to its shattering conclusion..
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'Death & Harry Houdini' Makes Another Magical Moment at ArshtDennis Watkins knows how to make an entrance. In the House Theatre of Chicago’s “Death & Harry Houdini,” now back at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater five years after it first wowed Miami audiences, Watkins arrives onstage with the help of theater technology unknown in Houdini’s day. Dangling upside dow..
Director Carlos Lechuga’s masterful unspooling of time in his second feature film “Santa y Ándres” constructs a uniquely Cuban mix of tedium and despair, resulting in an emotionally intense experience that sneaks up on the viewer in plain sight. The film opens with the stillness of a landscape painting: the eastern Cuban countryside of 1983 – rugged, lush, and verdant. The statuesque..
Memory – deep-seated, fragile, slippery, mutable – is at the heart of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015, the play is a family tragicomedy given a sci-fi makeover; in other words, this thought-provoking theater piece charts its own, fresh path. Now getting its South Florida premiere as the second professional production from the Main Street Players, ..
The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..
Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..
Imagine animation created live on stage, with mini backdrops, puppets, and low-tech props. Channel it through multiple cameras and mix it live into a projected film. Add a string quartet and a DJ. This is the structure of “Nufonia Must Fall,” an upcoming project presented by MDC Live Arts. The show is slated for appearances around the world, from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and..
That Actors’ Playhouse opened its production of Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way” on the same day that the American Health Care Act was pulled from a vote by the House of Representatives is ironic and more than a little instructive. The much-touted replacement for Obamacare didn’t have enough sure votes to ensure passage, as Speaker Paul Ryan told President Donald Trump, so the “replac..
The take-no-prisoners world of high finance and ruthless business deals has long been a tantalizing subject for artists. From filmmaker Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” with its antihero Gordon Gekko spouting “greed is good,” to Damien Lewis’ slick hedge fund mogul Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series “Billions,” movies and television allow those of us in the 99 percent a glimpse at wha..
Choreographer Michael Clark's soundscapes aren't the usual -- he uses the music of the punk poets David Bowie and Patti Smith and early 20th century avant-garde French composer Erik Satie. He incorporates Smith's syncopated cadence of "Land," Bowie's dark swan song "Blackstar," and Satie's contemplative and dissident piano rhapsodies. Hot off performances at London's Barbican, where the Michael Clark Company became artistic associate in 2005, he's now been exposed to Miami. Clark says his choreography has been changed for the better because of it.
After a month-long residency on the YoungArts Campus, for the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) interdisciplinary performance initiative "ICA Performs," Clark's time spent will yield five performances from Thursday through Monday with six of his company members dancing inside the YoungArts Jewel Box theater, truly a gem of a space. With its glass mosaic walls and mirrors, the choreographer admits that there's no escaping the architectural inspiration.
"We went literally from doing London to coming straight here," says Clark. "It's a bit of a culture shock initially, but I'm finding it fascinating." For his company to put down roots in another city "is very unusual. We don't usually get to do these kinds of things."
That's the exact type of immersion ICA Performs hopes will happen. "We want to challenge artists to do projects that they wouldn't do anywhere else," says Alex Gartenfeld, deputy director and chief curator of the ICA who was instrumental in bringing Clark to Miami.
"Yes, it was Alex who contacted me to come here," admits Clark. "He told me to visit and take a look and when I saw the Bacardi building, which is amazing, well…" The historical Bacardi building, on Biscayne Boulevard and 21st Street, is home to National Young Arts.
Clark says "three or four" dance pieces will be reflective of Miami. "I'm from Scotland where it's cold and gray and it is so, so opposite here. The birds, the water, the sky and the way [of the] people. Add to that my company being able to be based here for four weeks and being able to work in the space that since day one we'll be performing in, it is an amazing achievement."
In addition to five performances, the company hosted open studio hours and a master class for students and alumni of YoungArts. A dialogue, open to the public, featured Clark, Gartenfeld and YoungArts alumna Brittany Bailey, who danced with Clark's company inside another unconventional space, the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London. "When we performed at the Tate Modern, there were people lined up at the door really, really wanting to get in. I wasn't surprised. The dancers were wearing unitards and leather jackets and dancing to the music of David Bowie and Funkadelic. I wanted to share that performance with everyone I had ever met and beyond," she recalls.
Clark promises the signatures he's become so well known for during the performances at the Jewel Box -- the works will be reimagined in some ways from what he's performed in London.
"I come from a classical background, which is all about fairies and swans and princesses,” says Clark. “But that didn't ring true to me. I do what I'm drawn to, but it has brought in a whole new audience to see dance. My art is an organic process, thereby I'm filling my own interests, but it seems to strike a chord with people."
It will be an opportunity for Miami to see, close up, Clark's signature abstracts and experimentation with form, precision and technical rigor, all the while taking cues from myriad forms of contemporary music – a soundtrack that becomes one and the same with the movement. The Jewel Box, he says, creates an "intensity of being so close to the dancers. It is very interesting to me."
Clark says this may be his first time in Miami, but he's certain it won't be his last. "I know new things are going to come from this, which is certainly how it should work."
ICA Performs: Michael Clark in the YoungArts Jewel Box on the campus of the National YoungArts Foundation, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday, Nov. 21. Tickets $15; www.icamiami.org/ica-performs.
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