The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..

One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..

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, ..

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: ..

‘Volcanic:’ A Dance Performance Installation by Carlota Pradera


Photo:
Written by: George Fishman
Article Rating

 

May’s “Mujeres” series of strong, multi-faceted, women-focused productions, commissioned for Miami Theater Center’s SandBox space, concludes with Spanish-born dancer-choreographer Carlota Pradera’s presentation of “Volcanic.”

With support from Knight Foundation arts grants, the SandBox has served up dozens of experimental works by ambitious and daring talents ­– mostly Miami-based. In January, 2017 intrepid dancer-choreographer Lazaro Godoy and artistic partner Pradera performed together in “ArMOUR,” his story of an entrapped, armor-plated character, unsheathed by the power of love. This time, Pradera takes the creative lead. Her haunting production dares to meld Nordic folklore, autobiography and oblique references to contemporary political dynamics.

Backed by intrepid production talents, who support the drama’s shifting moods of exploration, meditation and peril, Pradera – always an adventurer – has created a dance/installation for two, not-exactly-human personae engaged in an extended struggle. While choreography was still in flux during workshop, the central vision was crystallizing.

First viewed atop a mountain of stacked foam blocks – spookily illuminated, the heroine (Pradera) hesitatingly clambers down. Deep booming horns and sounds of crackling ice accompany her descent to the stage floor, where her nemesis lurks menacingly in the darkness – at some distance.

Pradera explains that her character first moves “as if it has an embryonic coating, like a baby animal.” Along the way, she continues, “these layers start peeling off until we get to the most inside – to the volcanic.” Her antagonist, played by musician-dancer Christy Garcia, who adopts the guise and movements of a Spider Witch, binds and captures her. “I have cast Carlota's character into banishment, and now [she] is going to try to fight her way to her homeland, and I don't want to let her do that,” Garcia explained. “I want to keep her outcast, but under my control.”

The Spider Witch’s Machiavellian malevolence is heightened by Ana María Morales’ evocative costuming and dynamic lighting design. Swathed in a tangle of ragged red fabric, Garcia engages Pradera in physical and psychological battle. The dancers’ emotional states are mirrored in visual and sonic evocations of ice, rock, fire, water and fire.

Federico Jes Bonacossa’s multi-channel soundscape contributes ever-shifting moods, rhythms and textures. He deftly blends recorded and live instrumental music, natural and electronic sounds and piercing screeches by the performers – in a nuanced mix. The dancers’ stalking, feints and cathartic engagement play out against an expansive set, primarily realized by visual artist Robert McKnight and brother Donald. Its glistening wall composition, fabricated with draped and folded paper rolls and mirror mylar suggest a jagged, windblown, glacial vista and dripping cave. It stretches between the “ice mountain” and a “lava pool.” McKnight describes his process as a fluid “call and response” dynamic, mixing premeditated design with spontaneity.

The drama culminates against the “heart core” of the backdrop, explains Pradera. Garcia adds, “When they come face-to-face and Carlota’s character is playing for her life, she realizes that the Spider is there to help her transition.” Both have transformed through their encounters; stereotypes of good and evil are questioned, as they discover they have more in common than they knew.

To say more would spoil the denouement that awaits audiences in the May 26 premiere.

“Volcanic’ performances begin at 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays May 26-27, June 2-3 and June 9-10, Miami Theater Center’s SandBox, 9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores; tickets $25. 305-751-9550. www.mtcmiami.org

 

 


Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

Artist, performance arts and music writer

George Fishman is a writer and mosaics artist who has also worked with audio projects. He has worked in traditional mosaics for 20 years, mostly c..

About the Writer

We know it’s the holiday season when trees light up, menorah candles start to burn, ubiquitous Christmas carols pipe through drugstores, “The Nutcracker” plays on every stage – and in recent ..

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 ..

La tradicional temporada de Cascanueces del Miami City Ballet (MCB) tendrá algo nuevo este año. La compañía que dirige Lourdes López ha decidido renovar los diseños de la superproducción que..

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..