Originally published in SunPost on April 28, 2011
Last Friday at Inkub8, the new white box performance space run by local dancer Heather Maloney in Wynwood, a marathon of performance took place and it was anything but dull. Field Day Performance Marathon was the culmination of a 12-week creative workshop where artists work on new pieces and share their work and feedback with each other. Due to the nature of the program, which showcases works in progress, the quality and cohesion was as varied as the performers themselves. What made the works unique and wonderful, however, was their honesty and transparency.
The Field was created in 1985 by artists for artists in New York City. Now celebrating its 26th year, the format continues to nurture and inspire artists all over the world. Miami is no different. On Friday night, topics such as same-sex domestic violence, grief and mourning, slut shaming, Bipolar Disorder, Vodou, suicide and morbid erotic fetish were tackled. The audience was taken on a wild ride shuffling in and outside of the performance space, which allowed set changes and mental reset buttons to be pushed.
Two performances really stood out. Ana Miranda’s Flamenco was simply outstanding. It brought the full house to a roar and raised the vibration of the space 100 fold. The three-part suite was packed with all of the intensity, technique, emotion, and pressure that makes flamenco satisfying. She took the audience on a journey of feminine power and used shawls, auto percussive foot work, staging and a fine interplay of solo and group work to tell her story. Miranda incorporated two other dancers in the suite and the chemistry between the three was palpable.
The other notable performance was by dancer/writer Annie Hollingsworth (a contributor to artburstmiami.com). She delivered the goods in a Haitian dance performance supported by a cast of Master drummers Ton Ton and Matisou Legba and dancer Brice Charles. In the dimly lit outdoor performance, the night air added to the moodiness and playfulness of the piece. Approaching the audience in a slow and regal gate, Hollingsworth unlocks arms from Charles and busts out in wide legged stances, locking eyes with audience and entering precise reverse undulations of the spine. The performance was a blend of two folkloric styles from Haiti, mascawon and affranchi. Both styles make fun of social airs and plays with the dualism of slave owner and slave and calls on the spirit world of Lwas, in the Vodou cosmology.
The piece was inspired. Hollingsworth is a strong performer and did a brilliant job of blending difficult technique and theatrical embodiment. Both she and Charles brought audience members up in their feet to dance and interact with the Lwas. Local dance scholar and choreographer Michelle Murray was brought up and blessed the space with powerful arm extensions and flexing of her back in a West African style that she has cultivated. Murray made the already excellent performance a celebration.