“Carousel,” which contains some of the most gorgeous and memorable songs ever written for a musical, may be a musical you’ve never seen, though it has been around since 1945. The follow-up to “Oklahoma!,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s hugely successful debut as a composer-lyricist team, “Carousel” requires a huge cast by today’s standards, an orchestra that can do that gl..
Before women like movie star Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Whitney Thore of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” became widely embraced personalities, Josefina Lopez wrote a play titled “Real Women Have Curves.” Lopez’s 1994 comedy, made into a 2002 movie that marked America Ferrera’s film debut, is about many things. Its subjects include the fears of undocument..
Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his darkly comic “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Two years later, as GableStage’s sizzling new production so abundantly demonstrates, the play feels completely of the moment – in part because its characters traffic in “alternative facts.” Retired New York cop Walter “Pops” Washington (Leo Finnie) refuses to settle an eight-..
Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat was an influential visionary whose pointillist work launched a movement before his untimely death in Paris in 1891 at the age of 31. He spent two years painting his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” in which tiny dots of juxtaposed color viewed at the right distance transform into a host of Parisians relaxing on an island ..
Thirty-two playwrights, a half dozen directors, and around ninety plays in less than two hours. This is the South Florida One-Minute Play Festival, now in its fifth year, which runs this weekend. The festival, performed at the Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay and curated by Caitlin Wees and Dominic D’Andrea, has become a phenomenon in its own right. South Florida’s version of the festival i..
Mention the Harlem Renaissance, and those who know their history would be able to tell you a little or a lot about that vibrant period in New York’s black social and cultural life. But bring up the New York Renaissance – also known as the Renaissance Big Five or the Rens – and you’d be likely to stump anyone who isn’t steeped in basketball lore. Playwright and director Layon Gray ..
Listen up, humanity. God has a bone (or 10) to pick with us, and we’d best pay attention. I mean, if he can zap the wing off an argumentative archangel – and he can – just imagine what’s in store for us. Or simply consider the news, post-election. David Javerbaum, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer and head writer of Comedy Central’s much-missed “The Daily Show with Jon Ste..
I saw Lorca en un vestido verde, the Spanish-language version of Nilo Cruz’s play Lorca in a Green Dress eight years ago on a cramped stage in Little Havana’s Teatro Ocho, where Rolando Moreno took on the task of directing four actors who play eight roles. Even with the limitations of the production, Cruz’s inventive and lyrical script made Lorca one of my favorites from the Pulitzer Priz..
Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (2016) is a masterful and engaging film exploring the dilemma of a singularly strong-willed, exceedingly attractive older woman who refuses to budge when power comes knocking at her door and tries to blow it off its hinges. A relative newbie to the director’s chair, Mendonça is a former film critic who layers a rich texture of skillfully developed metaphor..
The words that South Florida playwright Michael McKeever has chosen for his intense new play ‘After’ are powerful indeed. They would have to be, since his Zoetic Stage world premiere at Miami’s Arsht Center is a devastating piece about bullying, school violence and the moment when one horrific act destroys two families. But just as powerful as the words in “After” are the silences, as..
Chorographer and educator Daniel Lewis has only taken two weeks’ vacation since he retired as the Dean of the Dance Department at New World School of the Arts five years ago. “Even then, I worked,” the 73 year old jokes. In addition to travelling nationally and internationally to give lectures, choreograph, and create new work, the indefatigable Lewis still has time to make a little Miami dance history. On Friday, Dance NOW! Miami debuts Lewis’ staging of American dance icon Doris Humphrey’s classic ballet, Ritmo Jondo.
Influenced by flamenco and Spanish rhythms and set to music by Spanish composer, Carlos Suriñach, Humphrey created the 20-minute ballet for four men and four women in 1953. In 1964, José Limón re-staged the ballet for the first time and Lewis, a student at Julliard at the time, was selected to perform one of the male roles. Fast forward 52 years and Lewis will bring the piece alive for Miami audiences. In searching for costumes, he discovered that Ritmo Jondo hasn’t been performed in Miami for almost 30 years.
We spoke to Lewis about the challenges and joys of restaging this iconic piece.
What is special about Ritmo Jondo?
It’s great for Miami because of the flamenco influence and the Spanish rhythms, although it’s clearly modern dance. The dance is composed of three sections: First the men, then the women, and finally, the men encountering the women. Thematically, it’s very traditional. Men hunted, women mourned. It’s not my way of thinking about men and women, but I loved learning this dance because the rhythms were so magical. The movements for the male dancers are strong jumps and heavy duty rhythms in the feet.
What made Ritmo Jondo so special for me was that in 1965 we toured it throughout the New York City and New Jersey public school system, and I got to perform it hundreds of times. It’s rare in dance to have the opportunity to perform something so many times it becomes a part of you.
What’s unique about the choreography?
The first movement isn’t done on any counts, so the men have to really feel each other. It’s just four men relating to each other as men so you get to find your own rhythms. I also like its thematic idea. Very traditional.
What has it been like staging this ballet after so many years?
One of the joys of Limón and Humphrey’s work is that it’s not so codified. You’re doing the same steps, but you have freedom in directing. It’s like seeing many Shakespearean monologues but each with its own flair.
What adjustments have you made for this staging of Ritmo Jondo?
For this version, I didn’t adjust much on the women at all. The dancers got the essence of the movement almost immediately. It is very slow and lamenting. Bodies, abilities and training have changed over the years. Today the male dancers are more technically proficient than the guys in 1953. It’s a different world now – they have more technique and they have to transfer that to the drama of the piece. Back in the day, the drama and the technique were the same. Now you have to find that balance where you keep the essence of the work. When you’re staging the ballet you want the dancers to feel like they own the movement that they are not just performing someone else’s movement. I make changes frequently so the dancers feel that sense of ownership.
I‘Ritmo Jondo’ by Dance NOW! Miami, Friday, 8:30 p.m., The Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; tickets $50 VIP, includes a back stage reception, $35 general, $15 students and seniors; 800-211-1414; www.dancenowmiami.org.
Seduced by the jazz in his dad’s music collection, a kid from Perth, Western Australia, takes up the saxophone at age 13. He grows up, moves to the United States and becomes a star. Dreams do..
Half way through his set at the North Beach Bandshell, singerDavid Crosby (http://www.davidcrosby.com/), 75, who has been to a festival or two in his illustrious career, paused between songs..
Florida in February has its own magic: gorgeous light, cooler temperatures, clear skies and soft sea breezes. Now, imagine those breezes carrying the moaning strains of Esperanza Spalding’s b..
“Heaven sends us habits in place of happiness,” two women of a certain age observe in a famous line from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. Yet the new Florida Grand Opera production makes th..
Nikolaj Znaider played in an orchestra for the first time at the age of nine, two years after he began to study violin. He still remembers the sense of discovery, as he listened to the childr..
Sun-drenched it is, but Miami is sound-drenched as well. Parrots screech complaints from the Grove’s canopy of palms. I-95 is a perpetual sound lab of squeaking brakes, tires rubbing asphalt ..
Flamenco and jazz have had a fitful relationship. The early, tentative approaches — such as the notable Sketches of Spain (1960) by Miles Davis and Gil Evans or Jazz Flamenco (1967) by ..
Creating music from car horns and bicycles and other non-instruments isn't new. Composer and conceptualist John Cage waxed poetic about traffic noise saying that there is a way "to capture an..
South Florida music lovers have a rare chance to see a homegrown star in concert - and there’s no admission charge. Bobby Thomas Jr., described by jazz legend Melton Mustafa as “the badde..
Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..
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..