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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 ..

“El cuento de Rene,” actor and director Larry Villanueva’s adaptation of Cuban writer Rene Ariza’s short stories into a work of theater, is more than an homage. It’s a statement on oppression. Ariza was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to send manuscripts abroad. He was banned from creating theater in Cuba and condemned as “counter-revolutionary.” Ariza served five years of h..

Those who attend film festivals aren't looking for the mainstream, Cineplex offerings. That isn't the goal. Amid the indie films, the foreign entries, documentaries, and the world premieres, there's another reason to canvass the program for something you might not see anywhere else. Given the Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university..

{This interview was conducted before the film making team went on to amazing Oscar success.} Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins are nine miles away from the Liberty City housing projects where they both grew up, but they are worlds away. They are at the picturesque Standard Hotel to talk about the new movie "Moonlight," with a screenplay by Jenkins base..

First things first. Actor-playwright Elena María García does explain the meaning of “¡FUÁCATA!” somewhere deep into the 90-minute running time of Zoetic Stage’s “García Or a Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe.” The familiar Cuban term, she confides from her perch on Michael McKeever’s Mondrian-evocative set, suggests the sound of a slap. As in, “¡Fuácata! You really stepped in i..

Sales of George Orwell’s chilling dystopian novel “1984” have soared during the early days of the Trump administration, the headlines pouring out of Washington having repositioned a 1949 literary classic as a 21st century cautionary tale. The late Czech president and playwright Václav Havel brought his deeply observed, hard-earned perspective on life under totalitarianism to the stage..

“Carousel,” which contains some of the most gorgeous and memorable songs ever written for a musical, may be a musical you’ve never seen, though it has been around since 1945. The follow-up to “Oklahoma!,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s hugely successful debut as a composer-lyricist team, “Carousel” requires a huge cast by today’s standards, an orchestra that can do that gl..

Before women like movie star Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Whitney Thore of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” became widely embraced personalities, Josefina Lopez wrote a play titled “Real Women Have Curves.” Lopez’s 1994 comedy, made into a 2002 movie that marked America Ferrera’s film debut, is about many things. Its subjects include the fears of undocument..

Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his darkly comic “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Two years later, as GableStage’s sizzling new production so abundantly demonstrates, the play feels completely of the moment – in part because its characters traffic in “alternative facts.” Retired New York cop Walter “Pops” Washington (Leo Finnie) refuses to settle an eight-..

Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat was an influential visionary whose pointillist work launched a movement before his untimely death in Paris in 1891 at the age of 31. He spent two years painting his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” in which tiny dots of juxtaposed color viewed at the right distance transform into a host of Parisians relaxing on an island ..

Miami choreographer Augusto Soledade has been a fixture in the local dance world since he arrived here in 2004. His cast has shifted over the years and he continues to challenge himself artis..

In one duet, two dancers use their bodies as counterweights, springing forth from each other’s bodies with explosive power. In another, dancers form a sharp line before torsos undulate and fa..

Teacher, choreographer and activist Dale Andree is known for her ability to merge activism with dance. Andree founded and directs National Water Dance, a site-specific project that joins danc..

In 2016, Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance company crossed their 25-year mark. To celebrate, the company returns to Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts with a 25th anniversary..

From singers like Joan Baez to poets like Maya Angelou to anonymous knitters of pink pussy hats, creative women have played an essential role in this country as agitators and activists. Likew..

When Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) takes the stage this weekend, it will present a program rich in the cultural milieu of Miami. Co-founders Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra i..

It is an awe-inspiring experience to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers perform. They are well trained dancers, athletes and artists. Not often known is that some of the dance..

Back for an 8th season in Miami, the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater packs the house every year. With Liberty City hometown hero Robert Battle in his fifth year, we have many rea..

Awash in sunlight, around 50 women stand in a circle on the rooftop performance space of Casa Gaia in Old Havana, Cuba, as part of a belly-dance festival. Biodanza facilitator Karen Rodríguez..

Of Jazz, Biking Tours, and Poetry

Photo: Photo credit: Kelly Jensen
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In the fall of 2014, Jazz composer Taylor Ho Bynum spent five weeks biking from Vancouver to Tijuana, with concerts stops along the way in an effort to re-envision the process of creating and consuming music while reducing his own carbon footprint. Surrounded by breathtaking sunrises and colorful sunsets, he played his cornet to both audiences of stoic ancient red wood trees and raucous jazz fans.

MDC Live Arts brings him and his Acoustic Bicycle Tour to Miami for a series of concerts, discussions, and improvisations at locations across South Florida -- including five of Miami-Dade Colleges’ campuses. The weeklong residency will allow Bynum to create deeper relationships with the local community and artists that live here.

“When I did the West coast bike tour,” Bynum says, “I realized once it was over, that one of my few regrets was not having the chance to have a deeper engagement with any particular community, because I was always on the go. So while the journey aspect of it was incredible, I felt I hadn’t fully tapped into the potential of connecting with a community, and sort of generating discussion.

“What’s been fantastic about this program, is that its become a really in depth collaboration, and that’s one of the things I’m excited about.”

Kathryn Garcia, MDC Live Arts executive director, who was attracted to the flexible nature of the work and the opportunity to engage the community in many different ways, agrees: “We jumped on the chance when we heard about this project because we knew that it would be perfect, as it doesn’t require any particular venue -- he can do performances anywhere. This piece is all about alternate thinking -- alternate ways of listening to music, so that for us, was really exciting.”

In addition to residencies and pop-up improvisations along his bike route to each campus, Bynum will also perform with his long-time ensemble. the Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette at WDNA studios on Friday, April 10. On April 11, he will lead an Emerge Miami bike ride through Little Havana, culminating in a concert with his 7-tette and local musicians at MDC’s Koubek Center.

“The chance to not just come to a town, play a gig and leave, but to work with the local artists who are there is something I find really exciting,” Bynum explains. “I think it’s really important, because I think we are all guilty of looking to the visiting artist as the exciting ones, and I think all of us always take for granted the musicians that are in our own backyard. The same way there has been a sustainable and local food movement, the way people are aware of where their food has come from, and trying to eat locally, and source locally, or source sustainably, I think we have to think about that in our art consumption.”

Bynum’s time in Miami closes on Sunday, April 12, with a collaboration with O, Miami and Miami’s Peddling Poets in a 16-mile bike ride that begins and ends at New World Symphony’s Soundscape Park. “We are going to do a ride, visiting places that they each have written a site specific poem for, I’ll improvise. The experience of getting there becomes part of the poem.”

By reconfiguring the context in which his music is consumed, and through collaborative residencies like his bike tours, Bynum has found himself more in touch with the music he wants to create and the way he wants to create it. “You come up as a jazz musician with a certain set of expectations and definitions and contexts in which you perform. And then you get to a certain point: does the music that I make really fit into this limited definition of what jazz is in this culture? How can I expand that? And how can I expand the context in which I am being presented and performing? Ultimately, I feel like the smoky bar is not where I want to perform my music.

 “For me, it means I have a deeper relationship to the outdoors, or to just people I meet on the street…. This bike tour has been a real affirmation of the choices I’ve made in that direction.”

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette performs Friday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. at WDNA Jazz Gallery, 2921 Coral Way, Miami; tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or call 305-662-8889.

Emerge Miami Bike Ride led by Taylor Ho Bynum, routing through Little Havana with stops at Domino Park, Los Pinarenos Fruteria and more, ending at the Koubek Center a performance, Douglas Metrorail Station, intersection of Douglas Road (S.W. 37th Ave) and South Dixie Highway (US-1), Saturday, April 11, 10:00 a.m.; free.

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette in concert with some of Miami's leading new music performers, creating a 15-piece ensemble, at the Koubek Center Theater, 2705 S.W. 3rd St, Miami, Saturday, April 11, 12:30 p.m.; free.

Site-specific poetry and music with the Taylor Ho Bynum and the Peddling Poets, starting and ending at New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach, on Sunday, April 12, 3 p.m.; free.

 Performance by Taylor Ho Bynum and poetry by The Peddling Poets at O, Miami's Poetry in the Park celebration, New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach on Sunday, April 12,  6:15 p.m.; free.

 

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