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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..

Timur and the Dime Museum On a Spaceship Ride to the Other Side

Photo: Timur
Written by: Neil de la Flor
Article Rating

Timur and the Dime Museum is the delightfully demented Los Angeles-based gender-bending/genre-defying hybrid post-punk glam performance band led by the fierce, classically trained Kazakh-American opera singer (Timur) and a cunning and sardonic songwriter (Daniel Corral). The band, like their name, is a blend of haughty style, galactic personalities and flamboyant theatrics. They’re coming to Miami Light Project this weekend.

“When I was attending the New England Conservatory, studying classical opera, I was also hanging out with many bands on the underground scene,” says Timur.  “I became good friends with Dresden Dolls and singer Amanda Palmer, who in some way, encouraged me to pursue projects outside the box. After I moved to Los Angeles to study at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a lot of creative, interdisciplinary, off-the-wall projects followed. CalArts profoundly influenced how my different experiences in classical voice, contemporary and popular music and theater were falling into place.”

In the 19th century, Dime museums were lowbrow centers of moralizing entertainment for working class immigrants in major cities, such as New York and Chicago. These centers spread culture to the masses in site-specific performances catering to the local population. Turko-Mongol ruler Timur, on the other hand, conquered most of Asia and consolidated culture under one roof -- the Timurid Dynasty.

What brought Timur and the Dime Museum together was another dynasty of sorts and a 21st century form of lowbrow entertainment for the masses -- America's Got Talent.  “After graduating from CalArts. I received a phone call from one of the casting directors of America's Got Talent,” Timur reflects. “She saw my music video, and wanted something similar as a performer on the show. I mentioned that I had a band -- which I did, albeit for the fact that we only played twice together -- and described it as a goth-vaudevillian fantasy with dancers. For the lack of better words, even though at that time, the group was acoustic, without drums, and we played covers of Russian cabaret songs, Kurt Weil, Klaus Nomi and David Bowie.”

On opening night at the Light Box at The Goldman Warehouse, Timur and the Dime Museum will debut Collapse, a post-ecological requiem that uses the conflict between empirical evidence and political debate over climate change as a source of inspiration for the songs. Written by Daniel Corral, the songs explore universal themes in global issues.

“The environmental theme of Collapse was conceived in the dissonance between that empirical evidence and the multi-generational cultural habits that fuel those debates -- compounded by the existence of a seemingly overwhelming global problem. Much of my recent music has included some sort of social commentary, and I needed Collapse to examine a larger, more universal cultural issue.”

Despite the thematically dark and seemingly nihilistic nature of their work, keep this in mind -- Timur and the Dime Museum is insanely fun! They produce intelligent, binary breaking, issue-driven entertainment that breaks binaries and reforms them into a multi-verse of music.

“Some songs are darkly satirical, while some are more direct,” says Corral. “The panoptic stylistic leaps and bounds of Collapse may at first seem incongruous with the morose nature of a requiem, but they attempt to portray a richer, more complex relationship to mortality, and the mortal limit we seem to be bringing this planet to. The libretto and staging of Collapse continue to follow the purpose and ritual of a requiem, though it will be a much wilder ride.”

In the end, Timur and the Dime Museum is a spaceship ride to the other side. And they’re only here for two days.

Timur and the Dime Museum perform Friday at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 N.W. 26 Street, Miami. Tickets: $20 or $50 VIP on Saturday for the fundraiser and party, $100 (includes cocktails, post show food); miamilightproject.com; 866.811.4111.

This preview/interview also appears in Miami New Times


at 7:00 p.m. at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 N.W. 26 Street, Miami. Tickets: $20 or $50 VIP on Saturday for the fundraiser and party, $100 (includes cocktails, post show food); miamilightproject.com; 866.811.4111.

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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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