September 2013, Volume 17, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight


Storytelling and Spectacle

MDC Live Arts continues its legacy of bringing standout, diverse artists from around the world to South Florida as it launches its 23rd season of phenomenal programming. More than just a series of memorable performances, this year’s remarkable lineup promises productions like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

“We are thrilled to enter into yet another season of dynamic, thought-provoking performances designed to inspire audiences and broaden their view of the world,” said MDC Live Arts Executive Director Kathryn Garcia. “With each presentation, we offer a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the people of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences.”

Global Sounds

In an exciting opening, MDC Live Arts will bring together an eclectic group of Latin artists for its inaugural OLA Music Fest in October, which celebrates a new wave of Latin music popping up across the globe from London to São Paulo to Miami and beyond. Uniting electropico, funk, dancehall, hip-hop, cumbia and psychedelic sounds, this pioneering night of music features several noted artists from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Colombia’s Meridian Brothers, Peru’s Dengue Dengue Dengue!, Puerto Rico’s Chinchillos del Caribe and Miami’s Elastic Bond and Mr. Pauer.

Following in November is another thrilling night of music as Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble take center stage for Kendall Campus’ long-running Jazz Under the Stars concert series. O’Farrill, his band and special guests will take audiences to new heights in Latin jazz standards and make even the most dizzyingly complex pieces feel effortless.

On the heels of Jazz Under the Stars is The Manganiyar Seduction – equal parts rock concert, global music performance and dazzling theatrical experience. Taking audiences on a spellbinding journey, this exotic show juxtaposes the sounds of Rajasthan, a desert region in India, with the visual seduction of Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not to be missed.

After wowing local audiences two years ago with her first MDC Live Arts performance, renowned choreographer and dancer Nora Chipaumire returns in January with the South Florida premiere of Miriam, a character-driven work inspired by South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba with original music by Cuban pianist Omar Sosa.

Then in February, the National Theatre of Scotland will delight with their production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, hailed as “life-affirming and touchingly beautiful.” This unique production offers an immersive theatrical experience and will take place in a most unexpected place – a real-life pub. So pull up a chair and a drink for this lively show.

Cutting-Edge Talent

March will usher in a unique collaboration with The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, a new “live documentary” by Academy Award-nominated director Sam Green featuring a live score by the legendary indie rock band Yo La Tengo. In a singular performance piece, Green narrates the film while Yo La Tengo performs their original score, creating an unforgettable live event.

April brings the Trey McIntyre Project, one of the most in-demand and celebrated dance companies in the U.S. McIntyre, a highly sought-after choreographer, has created a canon of more than 90 works for companies such as American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Ballet de Santiago (Chile). His company connects deeply with audiences through dancers who are exceptionally athletic, music that is unpredictable, and unique choreography that is richly inventive and emotional.

To close the season, MDC Live Arts takes us back to the future: where the lyrical edge of hip-hop’s pioneers meets classic Congolese rumba and ’60s soul with Baloji & L’Orchestre de la Katuba. Baloji redefines what those living in the Western Hemisphere typically associate with music from Africa. “Through his mic skills, visual style and sheer charm, he’s able to seem contemporary but vintage at the same time,” according to The Guardian.

Several of the season’s artists will engage in weeklong residencies with MDC students at various campuses. Although less visible than the performances, the residency component of MDC Live Arts is vital to the mission of the organization, which strives not only to present excellence in the performing arts, but also to develop future artists and audiences through educational engagement.

— AMS


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