Street Beat At South Miami-Dade Cultural Center
When you mix junk, body-slapping, bongos, broomsticks, and modern street dance, you get the outrageously fun and fiery urban drum and dance troupe Street Beat. This Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m., Street Beat, presented by Culture Shock Miami, storms the Main Stage at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) for one night only. With their cataclysmic mojo, Street Beat will bring it on for Miami-Dade teens and young adults. As their name suggests, Street Beat takes from the streets what urban kids had at their disposal to express themselves. Street Beat uses this ingenuity and packages it into a performance that is kinetic and explosive. The frenetic power emerges from a combination of simple objects — such as trash cans, tire rims, water buckets, and bottles — and a dizzying choreography born in the streets. According to Ben Hansen, Street Beat’s founder and director, “We take African, Cuban, Latin, West African, and jazz concepts and mix them all into a gumbo of our own to produce something dynamic and complex, yet simple to grasp and full of raw energy at the same time.” Despite their use of homemade instruments, Street Beat is anything but humdrum. Their performances are high-energy parties that appeal to young adults and those who want to remain forever young, but what makes Street Beat relevant is that they reach their audiences. They pull them into their performances as participants rather than just passive observers. “Art should inform, but it also ought to taste good,” said Hansen. “In the theatrical setting, we can really focus this energy and make the audience an integral part of the experience.” This focused energy also extends beyond the theatrical setting. Culture Shock Miami’s commitment to the community means engagement with the artists they bring to community. Culture Shock Miami — a program of Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs — has arranged education and outreach events to take place with the Street Beat cast, furthering that connection between artists and the community. And, Culture Shock Miami has made the price accessible for almost all Miami-Dade families: $5 for 13 to 22 year olds and $10 to $15 for the general public. “Street Beat comes to Miami as a presentation of Culture Shock Miami to enrich and entertain the community’s diverse audiences, especially students,” says Christina Tassy-Beauvoir, Culture Shock Miami Manager and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Projects Administrator. The hope is that learning how to create music out of found objects and dance like your favorite hip-hop stars during the education and outreach event with the Street Beat cast will be an irresistible draw. To that end, the artists of Street Beat will present a free community dance and percussion class for all education levels at the SMDCAC before the performance on Saturday, at 11:00 a.m. (To RSVP for the dance classes, call 305-375-1949.) Street Beat, Sat., July 13, at 8:00 p.m. on the Main Stage of the SMDCAC, 10950 S.W. 211 St., Cutler Bay; www.cultureshockmiami.com to purchase all tickets (adult tickets are available to the general public through www.SMDCAC.org or by calling the box office, 786-573-5300).