Dance

MIAMI HEAT WAVE DANCE: ‘FIERY’ SHOWCASE OF CARIBBEAN DANCE CULTURE

Written By Orlando Taquechel
July 21, 2023 at 3:02 PM

The dancers of the Peter London Global Dance Company will perform in Miami Heat Wave Dance at Little Haiti Cultural Complex on Saturday, July 29.  (Photo courtesy of Shameka Seabrook/PLGDC)

The word “combination” acquires a new meaning when talking about the event that, from Tuesday, July 25 to Saturday, July 29, will make the Miami summer an appropriate setting for a sample of Caribbean dance culture.

Miami Heat Wave Dance – Combination is a creative effort involving local group Peter London Global Dance Company (PLGDC) and M.D. Company, a Hip-Hop dance organization based in Martinique, a beautiful island that is part of the Lesser Antilles.

PLGDC is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural group with dancers, choreographers, repertoire, musicians, and artists that showcase the rich multi-cultural heritage of the global community in Miami, where 70.2 percent of the population is Hispanic.

The dancers of M.D. Company of Martinique. (Photo courtesy of PLGDC)

That is why we should mention that among the dancers of Hispanic descent participating in the Miami Heat Wave Dance – Combination is Isabelle Vázquez, PLGDC solo dancer of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, who will dance a contemporary salsa duet with Chilean-born choreographer Camilo Toro.

For her part, the soloist of M.D. Company, Elea Sedoine from Barcelona, will play a leading role in the quartet variation in the world premiere of “Children of the Underground” by Peter London, choreographer, founder, and artistic director of PLGDC. A work that shows the journey of African dance to America and the Caribbean from the days of the slave trade in the Atlantic to the current transformation of these dances into secular and popular forms. Sedoine also appears in “Spectre” the world premiere of David Milôme, artistic director of M.D. Company, which combines Hip-Hop and contemporary dance in the representation of a confrontation between street dancers.

Among the PLGDC artists included are Leon Cobb, a veteran dancer and teacher, a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, MOMIX, and Jose Limón Dance Company. Cobb appears in two world premieres scheduled for the Saturday, July 29 performance: Milôme’s “Combination” and London’s “Children of the Underground.” Also performing in Miami Heat Wave Dance – Combination are fellow PLGDC members Macey Rowan, Eden Collier, Clinton Harris, and Tt’Shaylah Lightbourn.

Kathak Kala Sangam Company of Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo courtesy of PLGDC)

London answered interview questions about Miami Heat Wave Dance – Combination via email while still in Martinique, shortly before returning to Miami to participate in event activities scheduled at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex,212-260 NE 59th Terrace.

The starting point for Miami Heat Wave Dance, he tells us, “is the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs sponsoring the International Cultural Partnership (ICP) program to collaborate with artists from around the world and create new works that will be performed in the countries of both artists.”

Regarding the expression “heat wave” in the name of the event, London notes that “it speaks both of the fiery dances that will debut on the program, as well as the heat of the Miami summer. The program includes our partner ICP (M.D. Company) and two groups from Trinidad and Tobago, Metamorphosis Dance Company and Kathak Kala Sangam Dance Company.”

Regarding the participating companies, London details that “M.D. Company was selected based on the internationally successful choreographic work of Milôme. Metamorphosis is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading dance companies for young artists. Kathak Kala Sangam is a leading Indian classical dance company, representing Trinidad and Tobago as a cultural ambassador.

As highlights of the show on Saturday, July 29, London mentions the two world premieres of Milôme created for both M.D. Company as for PLGDC: “Combination” and “Spectre.” The former “is a fast and dynamic blend of Hip-Hop and contemporary dance” and the latter “is a dance-theatre piece that uses various genres of hip-hop dance to tell a story of choosing peace through dance over violence.”

The dancers of the Metamorphosis Company from Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo courtesy of PLGDC)

Next, London references the presence of Kathak Kala Sangam’s artistic director, Satnarine Balkaransingh, with classical Indian dance in the Kathak and Odissi styles. And he concludes by specifying that Metamorphosis Dance Company, by Nancy Herrera, will present a series of dances in Afro-Caribbean and contemporary styles.

Regarding the three community classes the visiting companies will offer on Tuesday, July 25, and Wednesday, July 26, London points out that “the objective of the classes is to educate the community about the diverse cultural heritage of the Caribbean communities.”

This is an exciting collaboration between artists of diverse origins who come together to work, sharing common motives, purposes, and objectives. Undoubtedly, attending Miami Heat Wave Dance – Combination is the opportunity to appreciate the result of all that effort.

The last thing London tells us is good news: next year, there will be another edition of Miami Heat Wave Dance.

WHAT: Miami Heat Wave Dance – Combination
WHEN: 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, community class with M.D. Company. 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, July 26, community class with Metamorphosis Dance Company, and 5 to 6:30 p,m., community class with Kathak Kala Sangam Dance Company. 7 p.m., Saturday, July 29,  performance hosted by Peter London Global Dance Company.
WHERE: Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212-260 NE 59th Terrace, Miami
COST: Classes are free and open to the public, but there is a $5 registration fee. Tickets for the performance on Saturday, July 29 are $5-$20.
INFO:  www.plgdc.org

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music, and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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