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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 ..
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It’s a tall order to present a season as surprising as it is moving, as disturbing as it is delightful. Miami-Dade College’s Live Arts 2017-2018 season -- Ojala/Inshallah: Wishes from the Mu..
It was only a few decades ago that finding a professional, locally produced performance was an aerobic dance in itself. But after the Miami City Ballet (established 1985), the New World Schoo..
A 50th anniversary calls for gold in celebration. But Balanchine’s “Jewels”—a sublime marriage of music and choreography from 1967—brings Emeralds, Rubies,and Diamonds. Those pre..
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Despite a packed show schedule, including performing with the Frankfurt Opera in “Rinaldo,” Sarasota native, dancer and choreographer James McGinn had a chance to discuss the upcoming dance-opera ..
Anniversaries usually celebrate the success of a partnership with symbolic gifts of crystal, china, silver and gold. For the Arts Ballet Theater of Florida, the company celebrates 20 years of..
Following an intense National YoungArts Week, the signature program held annually in Miami, YoungArts is proud to announce their 2017 regional programs that will expand the offerings from New York City to the West Coast.Regional programs in three cities are now offered to YoungArts winners from all levels to promote life changing experiences through interdisciplinary workshops, seminars and master classes with renowned leaders in their fields.
Saturday, Feb. 25 is the culmination of Miami’s regional program. Students from theater, voice, dance and classical music will be performing at the Miami Theater Center in a collaborative evening put together in a whirlwind week by three-time Tony Award-winning actor, singer and dancer, Hinton Battle, with musical direction by Grammy nominee, Wally Minko.
Speaking from Japan, where he was opening up the Hinton Battle Dance Academy, Battle spoke about working with YoungArts students and the significance of his role.
How does one put an entire show together in one week?
Laughingly Battle said, “You better have a pre-conceived idea. I’ve got a day and a half to put it all together. The theme is ‘The Art of Making My Art.’ I wanted to dive into the personalities, the wants and the hopes and dreams of these young artists to see what they had to say about the world and what their contribution of the arts does for them in the world.”
It is always a new experience working with students. The YoungArts students, especially, are driven and passionate about their art. For Battle, this presents an exciting opportunity.
“I love working with fresh talent. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s always exciting for me to create something that the kids can thrive and look great in.”
Artistry in performances is something that is very difficult to “teach.” It is something in your soul. In looking at the YoungArts student videos, Battle says that these students have that artistry.This performance will give them the opportunity to show their technique as well as artistry.
Collaborating with leaders in their field is a hallmark trait of YoungArts. Battle will be passing on knowledge and experience that will help guide these students on their journey.
As a young man studying at Balanchine’s prestigious School of American Ballet in New York, Battle only thought of being a ballet dancer.
“I had blinders on. That is all I knew. I literally bumped into Broadway. I went on to theater where you had to do everything.” He is well aware of how maturity and life may alter the direction one goes. “I hope I can open the kids up to new worlds. I have dancers speaking and acting, everyone is doing a bit of everything. I hope they have a wonderful learning experience.”
The week in Miami will mostly be about rehearsals and preparing for the performance. But there has been a lot of prep work to make the week seamless and smooth. Battle has already been working with Wally Minko on the music. Having worked with Minko before, he was the first person that Battle chose to work with on this production.
Minko is no stranger to YoungArts and the caliber of students he will be working with. He worked on the Presidential Scholarship performance at the Kennedy Center for the past two years. He’s looking forward to working with the students in a studio setting during his time in Miami.
In this world of technology, Minko has been interfacing with each of the students, finding out what pieces they would like to perform and writing the musical arrangements from his home of Los Angeles.
Bringing his life experience to the table, Minko says, “I hope the students really get a feel for what it’s like to work in a professional situation. Professionals in the arts, especially the entertainment arts, have a very short time to make something happen. I think the students will find that it is a really intense experience and it’s so good for them to obtain.”
In seeing the performance, Battle hopes the audience has a better understanding of the kids and what they’re going through, and perhaps a better appreciation of their art and talent.
He concluded, “I had the students all write some essays and there’s some real powerful stuff. I think the audience will be pleasantly surprised.”
YoungArts Theater, Dance, Voice and Classical Music Performance: Saturday, February 25, 8:00 p.m., Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores;
, facebook.com/YoungArtsFoundation or twitter.com/YoungArts
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