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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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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 ..

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia Brings Sleeping Beauty to SMDCAC


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Written by: Sean Erwin
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The end of the 19th century was a golden age for ballet. In 15 years of collaboration, two great Russian geniuses – choreographer Marius Petipa, and composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky – produced ballet standards that figure in the first rank among today’s classics of the art form – “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

And a pair of geniuses were needed to construct a dance performance so sublime that it suspended disbelief in “Sleeping Beauty”’s libretto. Think about it – a fairy curse plunges not just its main character but the entire kingdom into a 100-year sleep whose awakening is celebrated by cameos from Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and Tom Thumb. Maybe that’s why the great Tchaikovsky hoped the ballet might run a few years at best before history would shelve it.

But where 19th century critics panned the ballet as a sell-out to poor taste, audiences went wild for it, and history has proven them right. Now South Floridians can experience a little fairy magic themselves over the holiday when the State Ballet Theatre of Russia performs this balletic landmark at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center on Thursday at 7:30pm for one night only.
Asked why “Sleeping Beauty” endures as a balletic landmark, Nikolay Anakhin – General Director of the State Ballet Theatre and Igor Levin, its President and CEO – explained by phone that the ballet’s iconic status is due to the classic Russian ballet tradition and the Russian school that sustains it.
“There is a strong ballet education in Russia – the strongest – and the best ballet schooling is there. This is the most important thing for the survival of the classical tradition and the ballets connected to it,” remarked Levin. “Also the ballet is important because it preserves the great classical choreographies of Petipa,” he added.
For South Florida audiences long accustomed to the neo-classical choreographies and style of George Balanchine, the Russian classical school offers a dramatic change of pace.
“Miami audiences don’t know Petipa’s choreographies well. Balanchine was doing something different — he worked in a different time far removed from Petipa,” observed Levin. “Balanchine was working in the United States, and he did not have available to him what Petipa had, working in St Petersburg at the end of the 19th century. Petipa worked with a huge budget and some of history’s best ballet dancers.”
And the State Ballet Theatre of Russia continues in the tradition by casting top-notch talent with dancers that include Tamara Fokina, prize winner at both the Varna and the Helsinki ballet competitions, performing the roles of the Fairy of Carelessness and Princess Florine, and Valeriy Tselischev, Laureate of the Arabesk Ballet Competition, performing the role of Prince Désiré. According to Anakhin, what makes the cast so special is that, “These prima dancers and prima ballerinas have been working together in Russia for a long time and are masters of classical technique.”
Still, though the dancers may be among the best, Anakhin and Levin agree that the main reason for the ballet’s success is its music.
“South Florida audiences will love this ballet because it has the music of Tchaikovsky – the greatest composer for ballet – and then after that it helps that “Sleeping Beauty” has great dancing, and a great love story that leaves people feeling very positive about life.”
“Sleeping Beauty” on Thursday Dec. 28 at 7:30pm., the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St., Cutlet Bay; tickets range from $37-$57. 786 573 5300 or http://www.smdcac.org/events/sleeping-beauty.

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About The writer

Sean Erwin is a writer and assistant professor of Philosophy at Barry University, with a focus on aesthetics and contemporary french philosophy.
Sean Erwin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barry University and received his Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He has presented and published on topics in political philosophy, Italian and French philosophy, and technology and performance studies. He currently serves as the senior editor of the Humanities and Technology Review.

Erwin is also a performance critic for Artburst, with performance previews and reviews appearing regularly there and in other South Florida publications. Artburst gives him the platform to critique the aesthetic principles he writes on as a professional philosopher through analysis of the concrete movements embodied by performers.

He is also an accomplished dancer and teacher in the Argentine Tango community. In 2000 he founded and served as editor of the Chicago webzine, Tango Noticias, a specialty dance periodical dedicated to examining Argentine Tango as a set of social practices rooted to the Southern cone’s history, politics, and culture.

Since his move to South Florida, he has both taught philosophy and served as a principal tango instructor for the Miami-based, Shimmy Club, a non-profit program that teaches Argentine Tango to vision-impaired teens. Through his involvement with the program, Erwin has been featured in articles and several news outlets including Univision, Telemundo, NBC News, KPFK Los Angeles, and the Miami Herald. For more information, see erwinsean.com.

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About the Writer

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