MEET AUGUSTO SOLEDADE Founder & Artistic Director of Augusto Soledade Brazzdance
Miami Dances features insight into traditional and nontraditional dance programs, performers and choreographers that make Miami’s dance scene special. We are eager to feature, accomplished dance professional Augusto Soledad, founder of BrazzDance. In addition to creating and teaching Augusto also finds time to be involved in the community. His accolades include being awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography and being nominated for the Zelda Fichandler Fellowship. He is a five-time winner for the Miami-Dade Choreographer’s Fellowship awarded by the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council and has won the Dance Miami Choreographer’s Fellowship three times. Join us as we learn more about his drive, determination, outlook and goals.
ABC: Tell us about your journey as a dancer, choreographer and arts executive.
AS: I like to believe I have a dream life. I do what I love, and that is a blessing. A native of Brazil, I began my dance training at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil in a program with strong modern dance emphasis. I was honored to train with Garth Fagan and Clyde Morgan. I also studied for a degree in journalism from the Federal University of Bahia. I received an M.F.A in Dance from SUNY Brockport in 1998 and that same year received the Pylyshenko-Strasser Graduate Dance Award. I was excited to be finalist in the dance category for the 1998 Thayer Fellowship.
I started out performing at the age of 25, then, in graduate school, I began to choreograph more. When I came to Miami and started BrazzDance I had to put on the artistic/executive director hat. One of my most thrilling accomplishments with my company and personally has been being award a Knight Arts Challenge grant. It really gives us more relevance and has accelerated our fundraising potential.
I am happy I still get to be immersed in dance full time and connect with students and young dancers. I teach dance, serving as a full-time Associate Professor of Dance at Nova Southeastern University and Assistant Professor at Florida International University. I serve as visiting Assistant Professor and Guest Artist Instructor at colleges in Massachusetts, Michigan and New York.
ABC: Who has been your biggest influence in your journey as a dancer?
AS: There are quite a few people that have contributed to my formal dance education, but I feel that Clyde Morgan and Garth Fagan are the biggest influence in the kind of dance that I produce today. Clyde Morgan is an African-American choreographer and professor at SUNY Brockport whose expertise is Afro-Brazilian dance, and Garth Fagan is a Jamaican-born choreographer and director of the Garth Fagan dance company based in Rochester, NY, and the Tony Award-winning choreographer for the Lion King musical.
ABC: What excites you about Miami?
AS: I absolutely love Miami. This is a place that embraced me completely when I arrived here in 2004. What excites me the most about Miami is seeing a new wave of dance rising every year and offering an opportunity for all of us to experience our art form at a very sophisticated level.
ABC: Tell me about your company BrazzDance.
AS: Augusto Soledade Brazzdance is my lifetime project. We are a full-time dance company whose role is to seek innovative projects that create fresh content and a fresh outlook on global life, while considering various cultures through our relevant contemporary dance repertory.
Our dancers are professional artists with a varied and well-rounded training background. Their training ranges from classical and contemporary ballet to modern and contemporary dance as well as African Diasporic dance.
ABC: What is something awesome that you are currently working on?
AS: We are really excited about this current season because we celebrate our tenth anniversary in Miami.
ABC: How has creativity impacted who you are today?
AS: Creativity defines who I am. I constantly find myself exercising my imagination and finding inspiration. It just becomes a part of your existence.
ABC: From your perspective how can we leverage the arts to build a more connected community?
AS: I feel that it is important to always keep in mind that the arts are an element of our humanity and potentially an intrinsic tool of communication and connection. I believe that arts education is still the best way to keep future generations in touch with this important part of who we are.
ABC: Have you had an amazing arts experience you can tell us about?
AS: Watching dance work that really moves me is an experience that I always look forward to re-living. It makes me feel excited about the world and I feel my life makes sense.
ABC: What is something fun that people don’t know about you?
AS: I feel I have a great sense of humor and I have a great interest in learning about wine.
About Miami Dances Blog
Miami is home to exceptional dance companies, dance performances and dance events. Miami Dances is an Arts & Business Council initiative that helps build new audiences and create visibility for dance in our community. The blog will feature local dance legends, up and comers and dance insiders. Like us on Facebookwww.facebook.com/MiamiDances to get all the inside scoop on dance in Miami. Visit our blog salonwww.ArtsBizMiami.org