Originally published in SunPost on March 3, 2011.
Miami’s own Dance Now! Ensemble has been telling stories through movement for years. Last weekend at the Colony Theater, they took the audience through a kaleidoscope of tales during the performance, where some sensual encounters felt sublime and other attempts at eliciting a reaction thudded heavily to earth.
The first half of the show, which showcased guest choreographer in residence Tandy Beal’s work, felt schizophrenic in appeal, elusive, and hard to connect to. “Helsenberg’s Principle” was a polite exception, and Dance Now! Co-founding Artistic Director Diego Salterini’s duet with an oversized balloon had moments of tenderness, nostalgia, and connection. Perfectly timed accents and contact with the balloon provided satisfaction and musings on the nature of gravity, and the never-ending search for meaning and contact. “Mysterious Barricades or The Plot without Thickener” left the audience dry and thirsty.
It wasn’t until Co-founding Artistic Director Hannah Baumgarten’s “Pulverized Habitat” that we felt energized, excited, and moved towards engagement.
The choreography was sexy and it presented fresh new takes on ballet and contemporary dance. It had a cool and relaxed pace and the audience was transported into a very palpable and sensual chemistry. It was as if we were participating in a passionate love story that really took its time to develop into maturity. It felt good.
“Six Characters,” a theatrical work conceived, directed, and choreographed by both Salterini and Baumgarten, was the featured work of the evening. It was a fun and interesting play, with wonderful choreographic moments and excellent direction. The surprise homoerotic twist was beautifully danced and choreographed, and the diva’s solo was captivating.
Here and Now and Miami Made
Another Miami favorite to look forward to is Miami-born, Cuban-American transdisciplinary artist Octavio Campos, during the Miami Made Weekend at the Adrienne Arsht center in collaboration with the Miami Light Project Here & Now Festival. Campos will turn the audience into social activists as he tackles themes of intolerance and same-sex domestic violence with artistic collaborator Bill Spring. His work-in-progress piece is part of the Arsht Center’s Incubator Program. “No Music in this House” is the latest installment of Please Don’t Hate Me!, a series of “cultural interventions, social experiments, and performances.”
Through the weekend, other new works will be offered up on stage from some of Miami’s best, including Letty Bassart and her “Requiem for a Mustard Seed Closes in Song, Act 1;” Teo Castellanos’ latest D-Projects piece, “Fat Boy;” and a new collaboration from Elizabeth Doud and Carlos Caballero.
It’s free first come first seat, but a $35 pass gets you in for sure.
Miami Made weekend March 4 through 6, at the Carnival Studio Theater and Peacock Foundation Studio of the Arsht Center; www.arshtcenter.org.