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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. ..

The time seems right for Karen Finley to be visiting Miami, to be performing in the black box space of the Miami Light Project at the Goldman Warehouse, and to present her latest performance-art manifesto about the current political landscape, “Unicorn Gratitude Mystery.” In the show, which she began developing as a response to the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Finley plays a unicor..

Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..

One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..

Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..

If you were to predict who might become a nationally famous – OK, world-famous – multiplatform sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer would probably not be your first choice. Born in Germany in 1928 as Karola Ruth Siegel, the 4’7” Dr. Ruth seems more like the doting Jewish grandmother she is than a woman who used her nationally syndicated radio show, TV shows and 40-some books to help hun..

Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..

We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..

“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..

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..

The end of the 19th century was a golden age for ballet. In 15 years of collaboration, two great Russian geniuses – choreographer Marius Petipa, and composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky – produced ballet st..

Here’s a riddle – name the 1892 box office flop panned by critics for lack of seriousness and for casting too many kids, which has now transformed into a force of nature timed to occur yearly..

It happens every year, right around Thanksgiving, productions of the Nutcracker pop up from coast to coast, marking the start of the holiday season. But on Saturday, Miami audiences have the ..

As Art Week approaches, Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick’s Alma Dance Theater is getting ready to add its distinctive voice, rehearsing for the upcoming performance of “Flowers” at the C..

Promising a night of airiness and ardor, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami will bring “Ballet’s Pointe of Passion” to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, where the company joins an att..

The Porch – A Get Away from the Books at the Miami Book Fair

Photo: Inez Barlatier
Written by: Sean Erwin
Article Rating

Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain shuts down and nothing more goes in.

The organizers of the Miami Book Fair (MBF) know this, and so they’ve organized The Porch as an urban hang-out space of mostly free events located at the corner of NE 3rd Street and NE 2nd Avenue. Think of it as a break from the MBF mash of book stalls, author readings, signings and workshops.

From Monday through Sunday, Nov. 19, The Porch offers live music, craft beer, karaoke, burlesque, comedy, games and food trucks where MBF attendees can plug in their brain’s USB and just re-charge.

The mastermind behind the week is Melissa Messulam, program manager for The Porch. Messulam has engineered a break for both the binging bibliophiles and their children by programming adistinctly Miami, multi-disciplinary experience; and then crossing over many of The Porchacts with The Children’s Alleyprogram -- another set of MBF concurrent events Messulam aims at the young.

“We programmed The Porch to have a space during the MBF that was all about community building, and this year we have a very cohesive program,” says Messulam. “Because it occurs under the umbrella of the Miami Book Fair, we want it to be multi-disciplinary.”

The program is also inter-generational. “We’ve set things up so that young, emerging Miami artists can have a dialogue with older, more established artists,” she explains. “Every evening an emerging artist shares space with an established artist.” And then many of these artists also spend time teaching music and dance workshops with children as part of The Children’s Alley.

One of Messulam’s favorite acts, Inez Barlatier, is a good example of this.Barlatier is a young, Haitian-American performer whose music exudes Afro-Haitian influences from her choice of African instrumentation to the percussion-based rhythms that make her music so infectious with audiences. Barlatier plays at The Porchon Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., and then at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday she gives a percussion workshop for the kids as part of The Children’s Alley.

Another example Messulam offers of a cross-over act is PATH – an acronym for Preserving, Archiving & Teaching Hip Hop – a Miami-based hip-hop group that challenges the negative stereotypes and behaviors often associated with hip hop culture.

This will be the first time PATH performs and teaches at the festival. For Messulam, “They have been the quintessential Miami b-boy crew since the mid-90s. They use the hip-hop genre to teach our youth about the positive effects these artistic forms can have on a person.”

Fresh off their successful collaboration with London-based hip-hop theater artist Jonzi D at the Breakin’ Conventionfestival at the Arsht Center in October, Rudy Goblin and The Flipside Kings return to wow audiences with their DJ-ing, MC-ing, and b-boying/girling at The Porchon Friday, Nov. 17 at 10:00 a.m.Then they workshop the dance forms with children as part of The Children’s Alley Friday through Sunday (Nov. 17 to 19).

One artist Messulam singles out as a must-see is classical violinist and Miami music teacher Daniela Padron, whose latest album, Bach to Venezuela, melds the German composer with Venezuelan folk sounds.

In her recording of Bach’s “Minuet Medley,” Padron makes the classical line lilt at the end of phrases, magically catching the merengue rhythm kept up by bass, maracas, and the cuatro (think four-stringed Venezuelan ukulele).“Padron somehow makes it work,” adds Messulam. “You get that traditional Venezuelan Jorobo sound while at the same time you are definitely listening to Johann Sebastian Bach.”

If the MBF crowds and your literary binge leave you feeling manic, retreat to The Porchfor music and dance and maybe a little crayon therapy -- the latest edition of The Wynwood Coloring Book is also available at The Porch.

For a complete Porch schedule, visit https://www.miamibookfair.com/the-swamp-the-porch/

For a complete Children’s Alleyline-up, visit https://www.miamibookfair.com/program/childrens-alley/

 


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About The writer

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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About the Writer

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