Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..
Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..
We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..
“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..
Artistic director and founder of Juggerknot Theatre Company, Tanya Bravo, had her first brush with immersive theater in New York City when she met director Tamilla Woodard. Working on the play “Broken City,” Bravo and other actors led audience members on a theatrical journey through the streets of the Lower East Side. “I was so blown away by the concept and the lines that were crossed between ..
We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..
After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..
Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..
Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..
For many people it’s hard to imagine Miami without a vibrant art scene, but in 1987 Miami was just beginning its journey towards becoming a major hub for the arts, and New World School of the Arts ( NWSA ) played a pivotal role in this transformation. Friday, the New World Dance Ensemble presents a program celebrating this milestone anniversary.
Mary Lisa Burns, Dean of Dance, has assembled an extraordinary group of dancers and choreographers to honor the achievements of students and faculty members associated with NWSAthroughout the last 30 years. “We are fortunate to have a network of alumni -- it’s a pleasure to invite them back to perform,” says Burns.NWSA has an impressive list of alumni including Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Battle, who grew up in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood, is presenting Mass, which was created at Juilliard in 2005 and is set to a score by John Mackie.
Reached in Europe, where he is on tour with the Ailey company, Battle says “Miami isn’t just home for me; it’s the place that Ailey first came into my life. I was 12 years old when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed at my school in Liberty City, and my life was forever altered. I saw dancers who looked like me and were from diverse communities overcoming their challenges and living out their dreams through performance. I realized that this was my calling."
Also on the program are works by NWSA faculty members Gerard Ebitz and Tina Santos-Wahl. Ebitz’s piece, A Place I’ve Never Been ( excerpts), is described by Burns as being “very beautiful and lyrical.” Ebitz, a founding member of Miami City Ballet, is a longtime faculty member at NWSA. Santos-Wahlis a full- time faculty member at NWSA and is presenting Kinda Palooza.
Burns is in her sixth year as dean. In speaking of her position, she says she is
“ fortunate to have inherited this outstanding program.” The dance division of NWSA was founded and developed by Daniel Lewis in 1987. At that time jazz and ballet were the main forms of dance in South Florida. Lewis changed that by focusing on modern dance. He explains that NWSA is distinct from other performing arts schools and universities in that it is “ truly a conservatory from high school to college.” His vision, he says, was to create a “school that would be around for a long time.”
Lewis remembers NWSA first dance performance (in 1988) as being held in the former Diamond Center in Miami. “We had to set up chairs.” This performance saw the debut of the New World Dance Ensemble.
NWSA grew out of PAVAC (Performing and Visual Arts Center). The school was formally created in 1986 by the New World School of the Arts Act of the Florida State Legislature as “centers of excellence for the performing and visual arts.” At the time Florida was experiencing a talent drain and was losing talented young artists to other areas. The state legislature wanted a school “to keep Florida artists in Florida,” explains Lewis. NWSA awarded its first high school diploma in 1988 and the first graduating class of the college was in 1992. Lewis continued to build up the dance division including the creation of the Miami Dance Sampler in the early 1990’s. The Sampler continues to this day and presents local companies to the community.
Lewis’s vision in now in its 30th year. Burns says her vision is to “continue the tradition of excellence… continue to work on behalf of our students.” Two alumni, Ashley Anduiza, who was trained at NWSA and danced with Ballet Hispanico, and Joshua Winzeler, who received his BFA in 2011 from NWSA, will perform in William Whitener’s, Tito on Timbales, a tribute to musician Tito Puente.
NWSA curriculum is modeled on Juilliard’s. Burns says it’s to “prepare our students to enter the professional world of dance as it is revolving.” As for those who decide against a professional dance career “the study of dance at a high level serves them well, no matter what they go on to do,” explains Burns.
Included in Friday’s program is Caught in the Currant, with choreography by Lara Murphy, a high school graduate of the school (1989) and an adjunct faculty member. Solo Bach brings in Bessie Award-winning choreographer Jessica Lang and Miami native John Harnage, who studied at NWSA and graduated from The Juilliard School. He is currently a member of Jessica Lange Dance. The Nutcracker (Spanish Dance) will make an early appearance and is staged by Lara Murphy and Ruth Wiesen, who received her BFA from NWSA ( 1996) and in now an adjunct faculty member at the school.
Thirty years ago Lewis built an institution and Burns continues to add to it. NWSA is a place for aspiring artists to nourish and develop their craft guided by knowledgeable and caring hands. Dance is ephemeral; NWSA is not.
New World Dance Ensemble; Friday, November 4, 8:00 .pm.; Aventura Arts and Cultural Center; 3385 NE 188th St.; 305-466-8002; admission: $12.00.
Late last year, on Dec. 20, 2016, Romero Britto and Mark Bryn hosted the Great Artists Series Cocktail Reception at the Britto Fine Art Gallery to celebrate the legendary impresaria, Judy Dru..
Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain s..
Globalization has produced many stories —not all inspiring. But having a Pakistani ensemble become a worldwide sensation by playing Paul Desmond’s immortal “Take Five,” which pianist Da..
When the management of New York’s iconic Apollo Theater approached drummer Gregg Field last year about organizing a concert there in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth..
They’ve opened a Chanel fashion show in Havana and been featured in Beyoncé’s visual album for “Lemonade.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has danced to their music. Their Florida debu..
There are few artists who have had the impact in their disciplines that guitarist Paco De Lucía had in flamenco. There is a before-and-after De Lucía in flamenco. He expanded the harmonic voc..
Yoli Mayor is a 22-year old Miami native who won over the judges of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” with her power voice (think Adele mixed with Etta James). This weekend, Miami audiences will h..
You might expect something a tad unusual from a jazz band comprised of Bulgarians and Cubans that’s led by the principal percussionist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra. And that’s what you’ll ..
Not everybody who begins a musical career at age three singing in his grandfather’s Pentecostal Church finds his way to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Soloman Howard did in two short decades...
El programa que Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) presentó el sábado pasado en su exitoso debut como compañía en residencia del South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) y a solo ..
Hay pocos artistas que han tenido el impacto en sus disciplinas como el guitarrista Paco De Lucía tuvo en flamenco. En este género, hay un antes y después de De Lucía. Expandió el vocabul..
Dance NOW! Miami, la Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO), Miami Dance Futures y la New World School of the Arts (NWSA) colaboraron el fin de semana pasado para presentar la Daniel Lew..
Esta es una gran noticia para el público amante del ballet en Miami. Tras un paréntesis de diez años en los que solo nos visitó de manera esporádica, la Primera Bailarina mexicana Katia Carra..
Solo hay que aplicar el concepto “seis grados de separación” a uno de los artistas que se han presentado en las Galas de Estrellas del Festival Internacional de Ballet de Miami (IBFM por sus ..
El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..
El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..
La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..
El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..