September 2012, Volume 16, Number 4

Cultural Spotlight


Putting the World on Stage

MDC Live Arts once again casts a limelight on an impressive array of performances as it assembles its 22nd season of exceptional programming. Representing diverse cultures, mediums and genres, the artists featured this year have roots on three continents, hailing from countries including Spain, Israel, Chile, Argentina and the United States.

“This season is a perfect reflection of our mission to be both a mirror of our diverse communities as well as a beacon, shining a light on international stars who are forging new and innovative languages in a variety of disciplines,” said MDC Live Arts Executive Director Kathryn García.

On the Vanguard

At the forefront of emerging trends in Spanish dance and flamenco, Nuevo Ballet Español opens the season on Oct. 5 with their latest show, Cambio de Tercio. Much as its Spanish title implies – which describes the dramatic moment when the action is handed off from one powerful bullfighter to the next – Cambio de Tercio is a dazzling mix of traditional and contemporary styles, created by two of Spain’s most influential choreographers who perform alongside four sultry dancers to the accompaniment of a live flamenco band.

November will then usher in the kaleidoscopic sounds of the Grammy-winning conga player Poncho Sánchez, who will headline this year’s Jazz Under the Stars at Kendall Campus. Next, making its South Florida premiere on Nov. 10, Yemen Blues will showcase its unique, edgy blend of music, combining elements of pop, funk and Southern blues, along with Middle Eastern and West African influences.

The renowned Rennie Harris Puremovement company, an ensemble of self-taught street dancers turned professionals, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a tour of hip-hop history that includes a stop in Miami on Nov. 30.

In the new year, audiences will see the lofty heights reached by one of Dance Magazine’s former “25 to Watch” when dynamic choreographer Kyle Abraham brings his acclaimed company, Abraham.in.Motion, to perform his latest work, Live! The Realest MC.

Next, the curtain will open in February on Rude Mechanics, the Austin, Texas-based company heralded by The New York Times as one of the three in the country “making theater that matters.” They will present a wild, inventive look at the cult of acting in The Method Gun, a satirical yet simultaneously celebratory piece exploring ideas of togetherness and loss.

In March, MDC Live Arts’ compelling theater offerings will continue with the U.S. premiere of Chile’s Teatro Cinema in Sin Sangre (Without Blood). Using the medium of video art, the six actors’ innovative style melds live theater with cinema to create a powerful hybrid performance experience with all the darkness and tension of a classic 1960s B-movie thriller.

In April, the season will offer a captivating finale with Argentina’s Pablo Aslan Quintet, lauded by critics for bringing the iconoclastic music of tango master Astor Piazzolla to life.

Community Engagement

Although less visible than the performances, the residency component of MDC Live Arts is a vital component of the mission of the College’s Cultural Affairs Department, which strives not only to present excellence in the performing arts, but also to develop future artists and audiences through educational outreach.

All artists performing each season share their experiences and talents through extended residencies, master classes, discussions and demonstrations for Miami Dade College students and the community. 

Among this year’s programs will be a weeklong residency by Urban Bush Women, which is being presented in partnership with the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. The inspiring dance company, founded in 1984 to give voice to the disenfranchised, will utilize the arts to explore issues of civic engagement focusing on the question Are We Democracy? The residency will culminate with a student performance designed to spark audience interest in examining the aspirations and challenges we all face when confronting social injustice.

Season at a Glance

Nuevo Ballet Español
Oct. 5 – 6
Poncho Sánchez
Nov. 2
Yemen Blues
Nov. 10
Rennie Harris Puremovement
Nov. 30 – Dec. 1
Abraham.in.Motion
Feb. 1 – 2
The Rude Mechanics
Feb. 8 – 9
Teatro Cinema
March 15 – 16
Pablo Aslan Quintet
April 19

— AMS


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