The Body and the Moment
Originally published in SunPost on March 11, 2011. Augusto Soledade came to Miami in 2005 and changed the landscape of dance in this town. A professor in the now defunct FIU dance department, Soledade invigorated the dance world with his unique brand of Afro-Brazilian fusion, references to Candomblé (and African-based religion), and non-Euro- centric contemporary dance. He has a signature flavor that keeps its eyes on his native Bahia, Brazil but remains universal in metaphor, archetype, and movement. His spirituality permeates his person and work. The spiritual realm is a matter of fact for him and his choreographies are a journey into the eternal but very rooted in the body and moment. This weekend you can see the world premiere of Soledade’s new work Mistura Fina (Portuguese for “fine mixture” or “fine blend”) at the Adrienne Arsht Center, where his company Brazz Dance will have their Arsht Center debut. The opening piece by the same name is a new duet that features soloist Ilana Reynolds in an exploration of the dancer-percussionist relationship. “The dancer and percussionist will be close together, in an intimate way — to extend the forms as we know them,” Soledade explained about the piece. The evening highlights percussionist Kenneth Metzker, who works closely with the company and includes a musical solo “commencing with samba, then everything else”. Aside from highlighting the new duet, the evening will offer the audience a sneak peek at a work in progress, called Cordel, plus several of the company’s repertory pieces including Oxossi, Altars, and my favorite, Diaries of an Outlaw. Soledade explains that the audience will experience “a sampling of world cultures through dance and music. We explore different rhythmic structures from different parts of the world and expand that exploration through the interaction of musician and dancer.” Poet Summer Hill Seven (just seen last weekend in a performance during the Miami Made Weekend) will perform with the company what he calls “poemedy,” during the reconfiguration of the repertory number Oxossi. His poem “OXO-Sacrifices are Sacred” will tell the story of French anthropologist Pierre Verge’s iconic work of Brazil’s African heritage; the work that inspired the Oxossi choreography. Brazz Dance presents Mistura Fina on March 10 and 11 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. To reserve tickets, visit www.arshtcenter.org or call the box office at 305-949-6722; tickets are $30. For more information about Brazz Dance, visit www.brazzdance.org.