Dance Now! Miami Doesn’t Slow Down
Although their last major stage production of the season, Songs of Spring, closed at The Colony two months ago, Dance Now! Miami remains actively in production and will host not one, but three significant events for the company this coming weekend. First, on Fri., May 31, the company presents Dance Now! Miami: Dance Under the Stars, a gala performance and reception that will honor Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and benefit the Dance Now! Miami Summer Intensive Scholarship Fund. It will take place at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. The gala welcomes back the recent Songs of Spring collaborators, the South Beach Chamber Ensemble accompanying performances by past scholarship recipients and students of the last three summer intensives. Dinner is part of the program. On Sat., June 1, the company continues to host the fifth in the series of Open Stage performances at the Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center, where the company is in residence. The evening will showcase new works and works-in-progress of five local choreographers and Dance Now! co-director Diego Salterini. Celeste Fraser Delgado, arts critic, associate professor of English and Humanities at Barry University, and Artburst founder, will mediate discussions on dance creation and process between the audience and the dance makers. Then on Sun., June 2, with two afternoon performances, the company returns for its fourth annual collaboration with the Bass Museum, Ekphrasis. This year the company’s directors drew their inspiration from Eve Sussman’s 1960s video work, Rape of the Sabine Women, a contemporary reinterpretation of the Roman legend of antiquity. The piece will interweave movement with the galleries’ exhibits on the second floor. Asked how the company is keeping up with all these events in the course of three days, replied, “Lets just say my eyes are bloodshot and we are crazy to have this much going on,” says Dance Now! co-director Hannah Baumgarten about the frenetic weekend. “But our amazing teamwork is second only to our creative juices flowing and we are looking forward to seeing bodies in motion.” She continued to answer some questions about the various performances. AB: What is it like to bring back past summer intensive scholarship recipients and work with them again for the gala? HB: Bring back is a funny term… once we develop relationships with these kids they never really leave our lives. In fact, their texts desperate for advice and help come at all hours of the night. These young dancers continue their training at New World School for the Arts, so they are close and we are always glowing to see their growth. Open Stage and the Summer Intensive are two milestones that have come as a result of the maturity and growth of the company and organization. How much has having a permanent home at Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center made these events possible? Neither of these initiatives could have occurred without the Little Haiti Center and its director Anita Darbonne. She is to us what Rebecca Harkness was to the Joffrey Ballet — she provided us a home, a place to flourish. In return we are doing our best to share this support with the dance community and to use it to educate youth. Unlike in the past, this year’s Ekphrasis work will center on one individual piece of work. How do you come to select the pieces you will work with and how far in advance do you start researching the pieces? It is always a lottery with the [Bass] Museum — we can only start to work once the exhibition is up, and this varies based on our calendar and theirs. We generally try to have about a month of time to visit the museum, decide what we are doing and start our research as choreographers, then about 3 weeks in the studio and the museum for rehearsal time with the dancers. This is not a structured improv. This year we were overwhelmed and taken by the genius of Sussman’s work and decided to make one piece traveling through the five galleries of video art she created about the Rape of the Sabine Women. We enjoy both the challenge and the freedom to create work that is not constrained by traditional theater trappings. It will certainly be an intense ride this time. Dance Now! Miami: Dance Under the Stars takes place on Fri., May 31 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Ctr. Dr., Miami Beach. VIP reception is at 8:00 p.m. followed by general reception at 9:00 p.m. Dinner and refreshments are served along with the live performance. General donations are $75 for single ticket holders and $100 for two attendees; VIP tickets are $125 for single ticket holders and $150 for two. Miami Open Stage takes place at The Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center, 212 N.E. 59th Terr. in Miami, Sat., June 1 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $10. Ekphrasis 4, Sun., June 2 at 1:30 and 3:30 pm. at the Bass Museum, 2100 Collins Ave. Miami Beach. Performance runs approximately 60 minutes. Admission is free with museum admission, which is $8 for general public, $6 for seniors and students, and free for residents. The 2013 Summer Dance Intensive runs for two weeks at The Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center beginning on June 9th. For enrollment and information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or 305 960-2967. For online admission purchases or more information go to dancenowmiami.org or call 305 975-8489.