Even before the election that transformed billionaire reality TV star Donald J. Trump into the 45th president of the United States, playwright Robert Schenkkan was so disturbed by the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that he decided to respond. Not with a Tweet. Not with an opinion-page essay. The Pulitzer Prize winner spoke back to candidate Trump with a full-length play. “Building..
“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..
Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..
Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..
The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..
A casual conversation with a fellow theater artist prompted José Manuel Dominguez, founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, to produce the company’s latest piece, “El tiempo de las mandarinas,” (“Season for Tangerines”) by Argentine playwright Rafael Nofal. “I am drawn to themes of memory, dreams, and paradise lost, but for a long time I’ve wanted to do a play based on reality,” sa..
The 32nd International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 6 with the Mexican company Los Tristes Tigres’ irreverent spin on Shakespeare, “Algo de un tal Shakespeare” (“Something by One Shakespeare”). Founder and director Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the festival’s engine that could and still can, identifies this raucous play as part of the festival’s larger goal of attracting..
Nowadays, it’s tough not to feel worried, paranoid or in need of some escapist relief from the steady flow of oh-no-he-didn’t news out of Washington. Miami playwright Theo Reyna feels your pain. His response is “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” a jet-black satire now getting its Mad Cat Theatre Company world premiere at Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box. The play takes intricately aim..
Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..
Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..
Orlando Taquechel, dance critic for two decades at the El Nuevo Herald (and now a contributor to Artburst), will have a book signing and discussion of his new book, “La danza in Miami (1998-..
The name Flamenco conjures the machine-gun snap of heels, arms arched overhead, the flick of red fabric and laser-like glares from beneath the starched black brim of a Cordobes hat. At the ed..
It’s easy to believe the only excitement Miami offers in September are the dire warnings from the weather service about the approach of yet another tropical storm. However, dance lovers in M..
Watching Neri Torres rehearse is a study in focus and concentration. She demonstrates each step with an ease developed from years of immersion in the study and performance of Afro-Cuban ..
Miami-based organization Delou Africa has been the ambassador of African dance and drumming in South Florida for the last 30 years. It started as a performing company, and has since expanded..
Miami Beach’s old city hall on a Thursday evening in June made a surreal set up for anyone familiar with tango’s broody scene -- a large cozy room full of cheerful, laughing, and smiling..
When Ballet Flamenco La Rosa takes to the stage this weekend, it will present a program based on traditions which were handed down through the ages. A program filled with the mysteries of fl..
With every great new love, the beginning is a crucible of extremes – will it endure for decades or permanently scar?The program for Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami’sJuly 8show, “Fiebre: A N..
With a heightened emphasis on “Noise” as an innovative musical genre, this sixth installment of the Miami Performance Festival International (M/P’17), running June 23 to 25, challenges South..
Nikolaj Znaider played in an orchestra for the first time at the age of nine, two years after he began to study violin. He still remembers the sense of discovery, as he listened to the children playing around him.“It’s like if you've only seen a garden,” recalls the now renowned violinist and conductor who will be performing with the Cleveland Orchestra this week. “And then all of a sudden you get to see a forest.”
After winning the International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition at age 16, Znaider soon found himself performing with the world’s top orchestras. But even as his reputation as a soloist soared, he would often slip into the violin section after playing a concerto in the first half of a concert, so he could keep playing after intermission, as a member of the orchestra.
“I had an ambition very early on to start conducting,” he says over the phone, while on a break from conducting an opera in Italy. “So it was a great way to familiarize myself with the impact the conductor has on an orchestra -- and with the feeling of being an orchestral musician.”
Baton now firmly in hand, Znaider is sought after as a conductor, notably serving as the principal guest conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra since 2010. Yet he keeps coming back to his 1741 Guarneri violin – and to the piece that won him prestige as teenager: the Nielsen Violin Concerto.
“It's like if they give you 10 flowers to smell,” he muses, “you might like all of them, but there's going to be some that you just love, that you want to smell again.”
Composed in 1911, Nielsen’s Violin Concerto is full of lyricism. The orchestra coddles the violin as it cries out a string of memories from long ago. Though he was born and raised in the same country as Nielsen, Denmark, Znaider claims to feel no nationalistic connection to the composer.
Instead, he learned the piece at the urging of Milan Vitek, a famous Czech violin teacher working in Copenhagen at the time. “He loved the piece,” he recalls, “so I learned it with him.”
The bravura embedded in this concerto attests to Nielsen’s own mastery of the violin, and make this virtuosic part severely demanding for the best violinists. But not for Znaider. “When you learn something at 16, it stays with you so deep,” he explains.“All these pieces I learned at that age, you can wake me up in the middle of the night, and I'll play you any of them, without practicing. I can't do that with the pieces I learned when I was 30 or 35.”
For several years, Znaider put the Nielsen concerto aside. Then, he recorded it a second time, in advance of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2015. “I discovered I liked it even more,” he observed. “Once you come to know the piece, you shed yourself of everything and you return once more to just the pure feeling of the music.”
When conductor Franz Welser-Möst invited Znaider to play the Nielsen at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the violinist jumped at the chance. Having collaborated with the Cleveland Orchestra before, he is eager to get back to what he calls their “wordless dialogue.”
“That’s the magic you feel in the hall,” he continues. “When you feel good musicians thinking together, responding to each other, and you get this feeling in the audience of something being created -- you have the feeling that this piece of music reorganized your molecules somehow.”
If that does happen, might Znaider sneak into the violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra for the concert’s second half
“What are they doing, Sibelius what?” he asks.
Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 2.
“Yeah, why not?” Znaider laughs. “That could be fun. If they let me.”Nikolaj Znaider performs the Nielsen Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, 8pm on Thursday Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 4, Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tickets $39-$173; Arshtcenter.org.
El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..
El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..
La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..
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..