Writing about “Broken Snow,” the Ben Andron thriller now getting its world premiere at the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT) in North Miami Beach, is a proposition almost as tricky as the play itself. The intricately structured 90-minute drama is loaded with surprises, twists and turns, all revealed at precisely the right moment so that the play builds to its shattering conclusion..
'Death & Harry Houdini' Makes Another Magical Moment at ArshtDennis Watkins knows how to make an entrance. In the House Theatre of Chicago’s “Death & Harry Houdini,” now back at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater five years after it first wowed Miami audiences, Watkins arrives onstage with the help of theater technology unknown in Houdini’s day. Dangling upside dow..
Director Carlos Lechuga’s masterful unspooling of time in his second feature film “Santa y Ándres” constructs a uniquely Cuban mix of tedium and despair, resulting in an emotionally intense experience that sneaks up on the viewer in plain sight. The film opens with the stillness of a landscape painting: the eastern Cuban countryside of 1983 – rugged, lush, and verdant. The statuesque..
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The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..
Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..
Imagine animation created live on stage, with mini backdrops, puppets, and low-tech props. Channel it through multiple cameras and mix it live into a projected film. Add a string quartet and a DJ. This is the structure of “Nufonia Must Fall,” an upcoming project presented by MDC Live Arts. The show is slated for appearances around the world, from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and..
That Actors’ Playhouse opened its production of Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way” on the same day that the American Health Care Act was pulled from a vote by the House of Representatives is ironic and more than a little instructive. The much-touted replacement for Obamacare didn’t have enough sure votes to ensure passage, as Speaker Paul Ryan told President Donald Trump, so the “replac..
The take-no-prisoners world of high finance and ruthless business deals has long been a tantalizing subject for artists. From filmmaker Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” with its antihero Gordon Gekko spouting “greed is good,” to Damien Lewis’ slick hedge fund mogul Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series “Billions,” movies and television allow those of us in the 99 percent a glimpse at wha..
Miami’s venerable M Ensemble is a company that sometimes dips into its rich history to mount fresh productions of past shows. For its second production in its versatile new home at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, the troupe is revisiting Darren Canady’s “Brothers of the Dust.” Winner of the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, the ..
The process of creating “Shade,” choreographer Augusto Soledade’s latest full-length work, has been one of remembering and reconfiguring memory to discover new ways of talking about identity ..
Upcoming this week, Tigertail presents choreographer Myriam Gourfink and musician Kasper Toeplitz. Hailing from France, the two will be present for a 3-day residency at Subtropics’ South Beac..
From her home base at 6th Street Dance Studio in Little Havana, longtime Miami dance figure Brigid Baker has been slowly crafting a new performance piece. It’s not conceptual or political like con..
Karen Peterson is the artistic director of Karen Peterson and Dancers, a company that brings professional dancers with and without disabilities together in the same piece of choreography, and..
Revivals are hot on Broadway these days with “CATS”and “Hello, Dolly!“once again gracing the Great White Way. There is a certain nostalgia in taking a second or even third viewing of a belove..
What happens when urban dance style meets classical music? We’ll find out when Brooklyn-based hip-hop dance troupe Decadancetheater takes the stage, backed by Miami’s own experimental classic..
“What does it mean to belong? What does it mean to not want to belong?” These are questions that choreographer Reggie Wilson contemplates in his provocative piece “CITIZEN,“ which makes its M..
If even a modicum of redemption can be forged from the hellish after-effects of gun violence, we must listen to the communities most affected by the violence. To this end, “Trigger,” a hip-ho..
Celebrating 35 years is an amazing achievement for any dance company in Miami, but especially one founded in a decade better known for its ties to drugs than to the arts. Momentum Dance Compa..
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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