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My Barbarian wanted to take Miami on a boat ride. “We wanted to interact and be out in the public,” Alex Segade reveals over the phone from Los Angeles, where he just got out of rehearsal for My Barbarian’s first Miami show, coming up this Saturday at the Miami Light Project, as part of Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design’s “Living Together” performance series this season. ..

The time seems right for Karen Finley to be visiting Miami, to be performing in the black box space of the Miami Light Project at the Goldman Warehouse, and to present her latest performance-art manifesto about the current political landscape, “Unicorn Gratitude Mystery.” In the show, which she began developing as a response to the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Finley plays a unicor..

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Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..

If you were to predict who might become a nationally famous – OK, world-famous – multiplatform sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer would probably not be your first choice. Born in Germany in 1928 as Karola Ruth Siegel, the 4’7” Dr. Ruth seems more like the doting Jewish grandmother she is than a woman who used her nationally syndicated radio show, TV shows and 40-some books to help hun..

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, ..

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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