September 2008, Volume 12, Number 7

Cultural Spotlight

Cultura del Lobo Series Pushes the Envelope in its 18th Season

Eighteenth birthdays are known as celebrations of independence, risk and mischief, and the 18th season of the Cultura del Lobo performance series is no exception.

For the 2008-2009 academic year, the program will continue to push the envelope of artistic expression and expose South Florida audiences to works they wouldn’t see anywhere else.

“These artists are very much straddling the worlds between tradition and innovations,” said Gregory Jackson, artistic and interim director of MDC’s cultural affairs department. “They are artists that are turning inward and looking at themselves as humans and as global citizens.”

The opening show of the season, which kicks off Oct. 25 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, is Shaker, a performance by Inbal Pinto (a contemporary dance troupe in Israel) and Avshalom Pollak Dance Co.

Taking its inspirations from snow globes, the work has an eerie beauty reminiscent of cold winter days. It juxtaposes the magic and enchantment seen from the outside of the glass with the good, evil, joy and sadness contained within. Blending modern dance, ballet, mime and acrobatics with humor, the performance coincides with the 60th anniversary of Israel.

The anniversary “is definitely something that the college wants to commemorate,” Jackson said. “We can do that through really interesting ways, especially through a group like Inbal Pinto.”

In Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary, at North Campus’ William and Joan Lehman Theater, Nov. 13-16, Marissa Chibas tells of her father, Raúl Chibas, who co-wrote the manifesto for the Cuban revolution with Fidel Castro; her uncle, Eddy Chibas, who was the frontrunner for the Cuban presidency in 1951 before committing suicide during a live radio broadcast; and her mother, Dalia Chibas, the 1959 runner-up for the Miss Cuba title.

Things take on new meaning with Michelle Ellsworth’s The Objectification of Things on Nov. 21 and 22 at the Byron Carlyle Theater. Objectification is “about how we objectify things as humans, what we objectify, and the way we give these things power,” Jackson said of the work.

Spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph brings the living history of the hip-hop generation to life in the break/s, showing Feb. 20 and 21. Keo Woolford’s I-Land, at the Colony Theater on March 20 and 21, weaves Hawaiian hula, hip-hop, Hawaiian talk story and spoken word.

To finish off the season, Cultura del Lobo will present Grammy winner Branford Marsalis on April 4. Marsalis, performing with Jeff “Tain” Watts, Eric Revis and Joey Calderazzo, delivers an adventurous, hard-core jazz set. 

“Each performer is just top shelf,” Jackson said. “Accessibility is always at the top of our mind-set, both financially and in the sense that our students can walk in and see something that is stunning and entertaining,” he said.

— Natalia Maldonado

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