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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, now 33, was named a MacArthur “genius” grant winner in 2016, the same year his play “Gloria” was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Earlier, his provocative, stylistically diverse, subversive plays “Appropriate” and “An Octoroon” (the latter was produced by Coral Gables’ Area Stage last fall) each won best new American play Obie Awards. ..

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Early on in the Argentinean film “El Último Traje” (The Last Suit), which makes its U.S. theatrical debut this week, a deceptively quaint and humorous scene takes place between the film’s protagonist, 88-year-old Abraham Bursztein and his young granddaughter. The little girl refuses to join in a family photo with Abraham surrounded by his many grandchildren. When he cajoles and insists, ..

Gone are the days when filmmakers needed huge budgets, and major movie studios backing them with big bucks to get their films seen, according to two producers who spent decades in Los Angeles, and have now moved their base to Miami Beach. "From a creative standpoint, there are amazing opportunities for filmmakers today," says producer Kevin Chinoy, who, along with producing partner Frances..

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Mexico City-based theater collective Teatro Ojo's works are constantly evolving. Nothing is ever really finished. That's because they take from every performance. Whatever the audience experiences, observes, feels, and offers feedback, which they highly encourage, all is used, considered, and included in the evolution of the same piece, or introduced into another new work. Two of the ..

“America’s Greatest and Least Known Playwright.”This is how the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes is referred to several times throughout Michelle Memran’s documentary “The Rest I Make Up,” which makes its Florida debut this Saturday as part of Miami-Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Fornes has been called the “Mother of Avant-Garde Theater.” Theater giants like Edward A..

“Once” has always been touched with magic. And as anyone who has seen the sublime new production of the show by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables would tell you, the musical’s spellbinding pull is as powerful as ever. When Irish director-screenwriter John Carney first told the tale of a heartbroken Irish street musician and the spunky Czech pianist who reignites his passion, a 200..

Consider the idea of land in Palestine, and conflict may be the first thing to come to mind. But for Jumana Emil Abboud, the Palestinian landscape evokes other, older, associations – with mythological creatures like water spirits and ghouls. “These stories were told way before 1948,” says the Galilee-born artist, speaking by phone from her home in Jerusalem. She suggests looking back ..

Miami Inspires London Dance Modernist Michael Clark


Photo: Photo by Jake Walters
Written by: Michelle F. Solomon
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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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About The writer

Michelle Solomon is a long-time writer and editor, whose works regularly appear in magazines throughout South Florida.

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About the Writer

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