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“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..

Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..

Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..

The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..

A casual conversation with a fellow theater artist prompted José Manuel Dominguez, founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, to produce the company’s latest piece, “El tiempo de las mandarinas,” (“Season for Tangerines”) by Argentine playwright Rafael Nofal. “I am drawn to themes of memory, dreams, and paradise lost, but for a long time I’ve wanted to do a play based on reality,” sa..

The 32nd International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 6 with the Mexican company Los Tristes Tigres’ irreverent spin on Shakespeare, “Algo de un tal Shakespeare” (“Something by One Shakespeare”). Founder and director Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the festival’s engine that could and still can, identifies this raucous play as part of the festival’s larger goal of attracting..

Nowadays, it’s tough not to feel worried, paranoid or in need of some escapist relief from the steady flow of oh-no-he-didn’t news out of Washington. Miami playwright Theo Reyna feels your pain. His response is “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” a jet-black satire now getting its Mad Cat Theatre Company world premiere at Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box. The play takes intricately aim..

Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..

Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..

Desperate times call for desperate measures. For some, that might mean taking a second or third job. Or robbing a bank. Or moving in with family. For Casey, a straight lip-syncing Elvis impersonator in a Panama City bar, desperation means forsaking the King’s rhinestone-studded jumpsuit for leg hair-hiding pantyhose, fake boobs and big-hair wigs, the better to sell himself as a fa..

Watching Neri Torres rehearse is a study in focus and concentration. She demonstrates each step with an ease developed from years of immersion in the study and performance of Afro-Cuban ..

Miami-based organization Delou Africa has been the ambassador of African dance and drumming in South Florida for the last 30 years. It started as a performing company, and has since expanded..

Miami Beach’s old city hall on a Thursday evening in June made a surreal set up for anyone familiar with tango’s broody scene -- a large cozy room full of cheerful, laughing, and smiling..

When Ballet Flamenco La Rosa takes to the stage this weekend, it will present a program based on traditions which were handed down through the ages. A program filled with the mysteries of fl..

With every great new love, the beginning is a crucible of extremes – will it endure for decades or permanently scar?The program for Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami’sJuly 8show, “Fiebre: A N..

With a heightened emphasis on “Noise” as an innovative musical genre, this sixth installment of the Miami Performance Festival International (M/P’17), running June 23 to 25, challenges South..

After 17 years as a principal dancer with the esteemed San Francisco Ballet, dancing every major role and style possible, Lorena Feijoo is retiring from that company to embark on a new journe..

Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick is a storyteller. Her company Alma Dance Theater brings a particularly female inner world to the stage, through lush and sensual choreography. Nick’s..

Pools are ubiquitous in Miami. They dot the landscape like Jackson Pollock drip paintings. Residents swim or idle the hours away by or in the pool – and dancers of Momentum Dance Company also perf..

Flamenco Dynasties Make Up CCE’s FlamenGo

Photo:
Written by: Fernando Gonzalez
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Working in a traditional genre like flamenco and creating a personal path while dealing with history is hard enough for any artist. But if you are José Enrique Morente, 25, and are a budding cantaor, son of the late, great flamenco singer Enrique Morente and the younger brother of flamenco superstar singer Estrella Morente; or you are guitarist Juan Habichuela Nieto, 25, and you happen to be the grandson of master flamenco guitarist Juan Carmona, better know as Juan Habichuela -- then the weight of expectations can easily become unbearable.

Yet in their performances at the Centro Cultural Español Miami last weekend, as part of the month-long FlamenGo series, the young Morente and Habichuela managed such pressures with a grace that belied their age. The fact that they proved to be talented, have already a personal sound and they were nothing short of spectacular in their presentations certainly rendered some questions moot.

They could have been named Perez and Garcia for all it mattered musically -- although probably that wouldn’t have helped pack the Centro’s space to the brim both nights.

Morente performed on Friday, with Habichuela Nieto as guest. The guitarist appeared on Saturday, with Morente taking a supporting role. Both were accompanied by a strong ensemble including Pedro Gabarre (El Popo) on dance, cajón (the Peruvian wooden box that has become a standard in flamenco) and palmas (clapping); Antonio Andujar, cajón and palmas, and Eloy Quiroga, palmas.

Morente, who started his presentation with a breathtaking piece a capella, not only has a powerful voice, smooth and expressive, but also a surprisingly well-controlled delivery. Rather than go for easy, applause-getting histrionics, Morente told stories, both with his lyrics (at one point at the end, nearly spent, the audience by then in the palm of his hand, he candidly conceded “I don’t know what else to sing”) and with the way he modulated his intensity.

He is a better than adequate guitarist, but when freed by Habichuela Nieto’s help he took chances with his pitch choices, veering harmonically into contemporary music and jazz before bringing it all back to flamenco.

One of the highlights of the evening was percussionist El Popo’s turn as a dancer, however. Tall, thin and looking to the casual observer like a New York hipster who had just wandered in to check things out, El Popo made the most out of the small dancing platform before the stage.

Like his friend and colleague the evening before, Habichuela Nieto opened solo on Saturday and also brought out, seemingly naturally, the Arabic, Indian and North African elements of flamenco. There were the luxuriant stroked rhythms and quicksilver runs we’ve come to expect in flamenco guitar -- but always with a purpose. Like Morente, Habichuela Nieto seems to have an innate sense of form, and he always moved the story forward.

Expectations and hype have a life of their own. But Morente and Habichuela Nieto have their own voices and something personal to say. They are naturally true to flamenco, but they are also naturally setting a path between tradition and modernity. Given the overwhelming music dynasties they represent, it’s hard to imagine a better compliment.

FlamenGo continues culminates with a concert Flamenco Intinimo by Suidy Garrido, featuring the great flamenco dancer Farruquito, at 8:00 p.m. at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; www.ccemiami.org.

 

 


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About The writer

Music writer, associate editor of the Latin GRAMMY Print & Special Projects for The Latin Recording Academy

Emmy-winner and GRAMMY®-nominated writer, critic, and editor Fernando González is the associate editor of The Latin GRAMMY Print & ..

About the Writer

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