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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..

Global Cuba Fest Endures Beyond Politics

Photo: Danay Suarez
Written by: Neil de la Flor
Article Rating

Despite an end to the “wet foot, dry foot” policy and other changes in the Florida-Cuba dynamic, Global Cuba Fest 2017 will continue to satiate the souls of South Floridians with a month-long music fest and theater performances that promise to slay. The 10th Anniversary of Global Cuba Fest opens with Cuban musicians Dayramir Gonzalez and Danay Suarez, in collaboration with the Miami-based chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble, this weekend at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse.

Born out a decade-long collaboration between the Miami Light Project and FUNDarte, Global Cuba Fest seeks out, through cultural exchange initiatives and a ton of research, the best Cuban musicians from around the world.

“It’s a celebration of musicians from the Cuban diaspora, including artists who still live in Cuba and who are making music that is powerful and culturally relevant,” says Beth Boone, artistic and executive director of the Miami Light Project. “These are rising stars who identify as refugees and as immigrants, and are working in the States, Europe and Latin America.”

One of those rising stars is Danay Suarez. Suarez is the voice of a new generation of contemporary Cuban musicians whose sultry vocals conjure up images that transport the listener to the storied streets of la Habana Vieja. Although firmly rooted in a sound that is uniquely Afro-Cuban, Suarez transcends the dominant Cuban tropes of cigars, rumba and Celia Cruz and opens up a new pathway for musical genius to emerge. Think Mary J. Blige, not Gloria Estefan, singing in your ear as you’re walking down the street.

“Yo Aprendi” is a good example of Suarez’s contemporary vibe. She is currently working on her solo album “Palabras Manuales,” which will be released this month. (Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqLhLDbm0d8. )

What makes Global Cuba Fest programming so unique this year is that Suarez’s music will be set to the 27 member orchestral marvel that is the Nu Deco Ensemble. “Nu Deco is like bringing Dom Pérignon to a really cool underground party,” says Boone. “They are so thrilling in every way. Artistically, they are at the top of their game. They are fun to work with. They are the ‘make Miami proud’ kind of organization like Tarrell Alvin McCraney [the playwright behind the Oscar-award-winning film “Moonlight”] is to Miami as an individual artist. Nu Deco Ensemble opens up an entirely different musical experience for the listener.” (Nu Deco Ensemble & Afrobeta: https://vimeo.com/133448120.)

If Nu Deco Ensemble is the Dom Pérignon of the party, then maybe Dayramir Gonzalez is the exuberant bubbly that makes champagne Champagne. Born in Havana, Gonzalez is an Afro-Cuban jazz pianist, composer, arranger and child prodigy whose resonant performances hark back to deep rooted musical traditions, which have won him world acclaim and even a slot on stage at Carnegie Hall. This week he’ll be at The Light Box channeling his deep reverence for musical tradition for three performances during the opening weekend of Global Cuba Fest. (At TEDxhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqBGS8mu0lI.)

If you can’t make the opening of Global Cuba Fest this weekend, it’s ok. The festival runs throughout the month of March. On March 18th, Ernan Lopez Nussa, the Picadillo Band and Carlos Puig Hatem, with special guests Ahmed barroso, Pavel Urkiza and Lillian Garcia, headline the mega Global Cuba Fest concert at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (MDCA). The festival culminates the weekend of March 24 to 26, also at MDCA, with Argos Teatros’ “10 Million,” a bilingual coming of age performance about growing up in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution.

“I think people’s minds are going to be blown,” says Boone. “These artists represent every fiber of what we aim for at Miami Light Project, which is inclusive, diverse and eclectic by design. The stars have aligned for Global Cuba Fest 2017 this year.”


The 10th Anniversary of Global Cuba Fest opens with Cuban musicians Dayramir Gonzalez and Danay Suarez, with Miami-based chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble Global Cuba Fest, Thursday through Saturday, 8:00 p.m.;The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th Street, Miami; tickets: $35-45 | VIP $90; www.fundarte.us, www.miamilightproject.com.

 


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About The writer

Performance arts writer, teacher, photographer, magician

Neil de la Flor is a writer, teacher, photographer and Executive Director of Reading Queer. His publications include An Elephant's Memory of Blizzards..

About the Writer

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