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..
As this steamy spring melts into a sweltering summer, Actors’ Playhouse is inviting theater lovers to a wedding – a big, fat Jewish-WASP wedding, otherwise known as the Broadway musical “It Shoulda Been You.” Though the show seemingly takes place in the present, the piece by book writer-lyricist Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi is an old-fashioned, stereotype-filled throwba..
'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..
Memory – deep-seated, fragile, slippery, mutable – is at the heart of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015, the play is a family tragicomedy given a sci-fi makeover; in other words, this thought-provoking theater piece charts its own, fresh path. Now getting its South Florida premiere as the second professional production from the Main Street Players, ..
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..
May’s “Mujeres” series of strong, multi-faceted, women-focused productions, commissioned for Miami Theater Center’s SandBox space, concludes with Spanish-born dancer-choreographer Carlota Pr..
One could say that Bistoury’s 305 & Havana International Improv Fest, which debuts this Saturday at Miami Theater Center, has been in the works for almost 20 years. In 1999 Cuban-born cho..
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..
You hear the word “flamenco” -- what image comes to mind? A guitar? A dark-haired dancer? The color red, a ruffled dress? Did a piano by any chance enter the picture? Perhaps not.
Pianist Alberto Raya, who brings “Caminos Flamencos” to Miami-Dade County Auditorium this Friday and Saturday, would like to help change that image. He pointed out in a telephone interview in Spanish that the piano’s history in the art form goes back at least to the early 20th century and Federico García Lorca. The most emblematic of flamenco’s poets, Lorca was also an accomplished pianist who collected Andalusian folk songs and recorded them as the accompanist for La Argentinita, a famous female flamenco singer of the day. Over 40 years ago, a cantaor (flamenco singer) as “pure” as Manolo Caracol would sing at the renowned Madrid flamenco tablao Los Canasteros, not with a guitarist, but with a pianist. And today, there are pianists like Chano Domínguez or Dorantes who have made a name for themselves both within the flamenco world and beyond. “It’s becoming a bit more accepted,” said Raya, but conceded that, “it still has a ways to go.”
Like Lorca, Raya is from Granada, one of the cradles of flamenco in Southern Spain. He became enamored of what he calls “the Andalusian cadence” as a boy, listening to his father’s recordings of cantaores Camarón de la Isla, Enrique Morente, the flamenco rock group Triana. The sound, though not always purely traditional, retained an essence unique to southern Spain. “Its music, its melody, its harmony has something that bewitches you,” he explained.
By the time he was 14 Raya became serious about becoming a professional musician. Before the dawn of the Age of Youtube, this meant an intense diet of flamenco recordings: “I began studying like crazy—I listened to a lot of music.” Later on, he sought out accomplished flamenco pianists and composers. “Those people pulled me into the depths of flamenco,” teaching him the rhythms, melodies, and keys that are vital to each palo, or flamenco song style. When he eventually came up for air, Raya said to himself, “Now I know where I am.”
His first gigs were as a band member in groups accompanying flamenco singers. For a 17-year-old self-taught musician, Raya was given extraordinary opportunities. Right out of the gate, he worked with some of the most celebrated young flamenco singers around: the legendary singer Enrique Morente’s daughter Estrella Morente, his son (who carries his father’s name), and Juan Habichuela, the younger generation of a dynasty of flamenco guitarists. Having learned at the feet of masters, when the time came for Raya to form his own band, he knew exactly what he wanted.
Three years ago, Raya began working on the idea for the show “Caminos Flamencos,” which in English translates as “Flamenco Paths.” It is a look back at his own journey through the different styles that he has explored as a musician. “There’s a little of everything. There are palos that I execute as pure, hard flamenco, there are others where I integrate a bit of jazz…I put in what I want. I’m a bit selfish that way. When I sat down to create it, I said, ‘I have to do this to my own taste.’ If I like it, then maybe others will, too. That way, I will feel it when I am performing, and that resonates with people.”
“Caminos Flamencos” comes to Miami as part of the Centro Cultural Español’s annual FlamenGO series, which seeks to showcase the best new talent in Spain and give these young flamenco artists an opportunity to begin making a name for themselves internationally. Raya travels here with an eclectic group: a guitarist who loves flamenco, but also funk; an electric bass player who is enamored of jazz; and a percussionist. “They all have their own personalities…that’s where you find the magic. We could be playing a bulerías, and the guitarist might do a blues solo within it…there are two cultures mixing in that very moment and the two understand one another perfectly.” Irene Rueda y Alba Fajardo, both from Granada, are the bailaoras who will dance in “Caminos Flamencos.”
In addition to these performances, the Centro Cultural Español is currently presenting the exhibition Living in Flamenco by Venezuelan photographer Migdalia Salazar. Salazar, who was herself a flamenco dancer for many years, takes a contemporary approach as she seeks to capture in her photographs the passion of the dance and the transitory nature of “duende,” that divine flame of inspiration that is said to overcome flamenco artists when they are truly in the moment, transported by the music. Venezuelan dancer Siudy Garrido collaborated with Salazar on the project. The exhibit is free to the public and will be up until June 2.
‘Caminos Flamencos’ by Alberto Raya, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St.; Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20, 8:00 p.m.; tickets: $25 at www.miamidadeauditorium.org or at the door.
El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..
Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..
No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..
Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..
Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..
En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..
En su discurso de recibimiento del Premio Nobel, el poeta chileno Pablo Neruda afirmó que el poeta no es un "pequeño dios." De hecho expresó que el mejor poeta “es el hombre que nos entrega e..
En la cultura yoruba, y sobre todo en sus manifestaciones caribeñas como la afrocubana, las historias contadas oralmente por generaciones ocupan un lugar esencial. Esas historias, muchas de e..
En la serie artística Out in the Tropics, la tarima no discrimina, la sensibilidad de los intérpretes es inclusiva y todo público es bienvenido. Producción de la entidad local sin fines d..