Consider the idea of land in Palestine, and conflict may be the first thing to come to mind. But for Jumana Emil Abboud, the Palestinian landscape evokes other, older, associations – with mythological creatures like water spirits and ghouls. “These stories were told way before 1948,” says the Galilee-born artist, speaking by phone from her home in Jerusalem. She suggests looking back ..
Steven Levenson’s “If I Forget” began its Off-Broadway run a year ago, closing just six weeks before the now 33-year-old playwright won the Tony Award for writing the book of the acclaimed musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Cut to February 2018, and South Florida already has its own exquisite production of “If I Forget,” thanks to GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler. Levenson’s fun..
In a career that continues to soar two decades after his first play was produced, Michael McKeever has premiered his dramas, comedies and short plays at theaters all over South Florida. Nearly always, he’s involved in those productions as the author, sometimes as an actor, at times as a set designer. The plays get their start here, then go on to productions (sometimes multiple product..
When M. John Richard decided to leave the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in late 2008 to become president and chief executive officer of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, he arrived in South Florida with a vision, myriad ideas and a long-term exit strategy. “I knew in 2008 that I had a 10-year run in my tank,” says Richard, 65, who plans to retire from his Arsh..
Friendships can bring seemingly unlike people together to sometime form a strong bond. Such is the case in Walter Dean Myers’ coming of age novel, Darius & Twig. According to the summary notes of the book “Two best friends, a writer and a runner, deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem.” It’s a tale of endurance, perseverance, an..
Kristoffer Diaz’s searing, hilarious and all-too-resonant play “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” isn’t new to South Florida. The 2009 script, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, made its area debut in 2012 in a fierce and fine production at Boca Raton’s Caldwell Theatre Company just a few months before the long-running regional powerhouse folded. Now “Chad Deity” has ret..
“This is no camera, nothing cut. This is real," says Tranee Wallace, whose story is one of three live radio plays in Dan Froot and Company's "Pang!" at Miami Light Project's Light Box at the Goldman Warehouse. Hers is one of a triptych of oral histories adapted into plays of families facing adversity: A Los Angeles single mom who loses the home she and her nine children live in after..
When it comes to farces, Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” is one of the great ones. The 1982 comedy has made it to Broadway three times, and American audiences all over the country have embraced it in countless regional productions. Actors’ Playhouse is having a go at “Noises Off” as the second show of its 30th anniversary season. The play fits like a period glove on the main stage at the..
The intricate alchemy of inspired theatrical art is on full display in Zoetic Stage’s darkly hilarious, gripping world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s “Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts.” Demos-Brown, a rising theatrical star whose play “American Son” will open on Broadway in November, has drawn on his experience as a lawyer working on wrongful death cases to create a savage exami..
My Barbarian wanted to take Miami on a boat ride. “We wanted to interact and be out in the public,” Alex Segade reveals over the phone from Los Angeles, where he just got out of rehearsal for My Barbarian’s first Miami show, coming up this Saturday at the Miami Light Project, as part of Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design’s “Living Together” performance series this season. ..
When the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater returns to town this week, Miami native son Jamar Roberts will take center stage. As one of the company’s star dancers, he has long shined as a performer. B..
He says his dance comes from his dreams. French-Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi’s most recent work, “What the Day Owes the Night” combines Sufi rhythms with cutting edge b-boy moves, class..
A world premiere always comes with a drum roll. And, throughout the years, Miami City Ballet has brought to light its fair share of resounding new works. Still, Brian Brooks’ freshly-minted O..
Wednesday night at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall the South Florida Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Martha Graham Dance company presented “Appalachian Spring Suite” and “The R..
Cooking may be Dan Froot’s favorite thing. This is saying a lot since Froot is also a composer, a dancer, a sax-player, a play-wright, an oral-historian -- an all-around performance artist an..
With the closing of Tigertail Productions last year, Miami lost one of its preeminent artistic champions. Under the direction of founder Mary Luft, Tigertail brought an endless parade of boundary-..
Anytime would be a good time to devote a dance program to the works of Jerome Robbins, our most versatile and celebrated American-born choreographer. But, given that 2018 marks the centennial..
Due to winter storms in the Northeast impacting travel, with great regrets the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company announced the cancellation of the Saturday, Jan. 6 performance. At age..
It is fitting at this time of the year that our thoughts often turn to what connects us not what divides us. Whether we are driven by religious or secular motives, many of us are in the spiri..
People often imagine new artwork is the product of the solitary artist genius slaving away in lonely studios. The South Florida Symphony’s 20th anniversary program foregrounds a different vision of the artistic process –the kind of innovation that occurs when artists surrender their single vision in their encounters with other artists and the greater community.
From January 21 through 24,the South Florida Symphony Orchestra (SFSO) will present their 20th anniversary program in Key West, the Broward Center and the Arsht Center together with a 20th century vanguard in dance – the Martha Graham Dance Company.
The program showcases two iconic pieces by 20th century composers – Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring, -- as well as a world debut of a Martha Graham company choreography set to music by South Florida composer, Tom Hormel. Collaboration as art process is central to the historic partnership between Copland and Graham.From their partnership emerged Copland’s 1944 “Appalachian Spring Ballet.”
The SFSO collaboration with the Martha Graham company itself grew from a series of smaller collaborations. “Maurizio Nardi, a former principal dancer with Martha Graham, was working as an artistic director for the Key West Modern Dance Intensive,” says SFSO conductor Sabrina Maria Alfonso.“He contacted me about a short 15-minute introduction they had choreographed based on the letters written between Martha Graham and Copland during the composition of “Appalachian Spring.”
This connectionwould lead to the deeper collaboration that resulted in the SFSO’s current anniversary program, which will also showcase a new collaboration between composer and choreographer. Choreographed by Graham 2 Director Virginie Mécène and performed by the 11 Graham 2 Dancers, A New Place will be performed to Hormel’s Legend of Bird Mountain – a piece originally written for the Sun Valley Festival contest in 1990 by the longtime Fort Lauderdale resident.SFSO hosted the world premiere of the symphony during its 2016-2017 season.
In Hormel’s work one of the principal themes of the Copland piece – that of a wedding between a pioneer bride and her farmer husband – is revisited in a South Florida nature-scape in the mating for life of two birds.
For Martha Graham artistic director and former company dancer, Janet Eilber, the common bond between the three pieces is the theme of community: “Community is important to all of these works. In ‘Appalachian Spring,’ the eight characters are typical Americans who form a community. Through the ballet, Copland and Graham wanted to distill the American experience, and since it premiered during World War II they also wanted to send a message of hope for the future.
“The new ballet based on Hormel’s work, Virginie has titled A New Place,” continued Eilber, “and she has placed it in New York City. The lead woman is new to the city, and she is looking for connection and community. Finally, in the second piece of the program, ‘The Rite of Spring,’ it is the community itself that chooses a woman to dance herself to death.”
After its South Florida premiere, the new choreography based on the Hormel composition will become part of the Company’s permanent repertoire, continuing a practice the Martha Graham Companyinitiated in 2013 of commissioning new, 20-to-25 minute works by contemporary, cutting edge choreographers.
When asked how it now felt to look back over her 20-year odyssey as both conductor and founder of SFSO, Alfonso says that starting a symphony from scratch had taken a lot of work, but “it is an incredible feeling to look back over the years since the inception of the symphony. To be able to come to the point where the orchestra is able to perform with Martha Graham and world-renowned artists feels terrific. We are really focused on being a leader in the cultural arm in South Florida.”
Sunday, January 21; 7:30 .pm., Glynn R. Archer Performing Arts Center, Pre-concert Chat 7:00 pm: Edward Pitts.$25-$85.Keystix.com.
Tuesday, January 23; 7:30 p.m., Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Au-Rene Theater.Pre-concert Chat 7:00 p.m.: Ian Fraser.$40-$125; www.browardcenter.org;TicketMaster 954-462-0222.Group Sales 954-660-6307.
Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m., Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Knight Concert Hall. Pre-concert Chat 7:00 p.m.: Ian Fraser. Tickets $40-$125. www.arshtcenter.org ; 305-949-6722.
Sean Erwin is a writer and assistant professor of Philosophy at Barry University, with a focus on aesthetics and contemporary french philosophy.
Sean Erwin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Barry University and received his Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt. He has presented and published on topics in political philosophy, Italian and French philosophy, and technology and performance studies. He currently serves as the senior editor of the Humanities and Technology Review.
Erwin is also a performance critic for Artburst, with performance previews and reviews appearing regularly there and in other South Florida publications. Artburst gives him the platform to critique the aesthetic principles he writes on as a professional philosopher through analysis of the concrete movements embodied by performers.
He is also an accomplished dancer and teacher in the Argentine Tango community. In 2000 he founded and served as editor of the Chicago webzine, Tango Noticias, a specialty dance periodical dedicated to examining Argentine Tango as a set of social practices rooted to the Southern cone’s history, politics, and culture.
Since his move to South Florida, he has both taught philosophy and served as a principal tango instructor for the Miami-based, Shimmy Club, a non-profit program that teaches Argentine Tango to vision-impaired teens. Through his involvement with the program, Erwin has been featured in articles and several news outlets including Univision, Telemundo, NBC News, KPFK Los Angeles, and the Miami Herald. For more information, see erwinsean.com.
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