September 2014, Volume 18, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight

 

Around the World and Back

MDC Live Arts will kick off its 24th season of outstanding programming with two free, live performances in September, first welcoming singer/songwriter Ester Rada to MDC’s Wolfson Campus. Her cross-cultural sound emulates early 20th century soul icons and is a reflection of the Israeli-born songstress’ Ethiopian heritage. Next up, as part of Dwntwn Art Days, MDC Live Arts presents Afro-Cuban funk band PALO! Composed of several Latin Grammy-nominated artists, the group performs unique, danceable sound blending the allure of Cuban music with funky beats and jazzy improvisation.

In November, MDC Live Arts co-presents Jazz Under the Stars at Kendall Campus. This year’s headliner is the legendary Eddie Palmieri, whose career as a charismatic bandleader of salsa and Latin Jazz orchestras spans more than 50 years and nine Grammy Awards.

Shen Wei, one of the world’s most prestigious artists, is perhaps best known as the lead choreographer for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. MDC Live Arts brings his talents to Miami in December with a world premiere performance and exhibition presented in partnership with MDC’s Museum of Art + Design. This thrilling event will combine his award-winning choreography with a groundbreaking new series of large-scale works to be unveiled during Art Basel Miami Beach at the College’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower. 

New Year, New Perspectives 

January will usher in The Nile Project, an inspirational collective of master musicians from throughout Africa’s Nile River basin. This one-of-a-kind ensemble has created new music that weaves together pointed melodies and deep grooves with the classical Arab traditions of Egypt and Sudan and the rarely heard rhythms and melodies of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.

In February, MDC Live Arts welcomes back Austin, Texas, theater mavericks Rude Mechs with their new show, Now Now Oh Now. Inspired by new theories in evolutionary biology, the play portrays an intimate evening that weaves together a locked room puzzle, a lecture on “aesthetic selection” and interactive role-playing to reflect on how choice, chance and beauty impact our lives and shape the world around us.

Social Consciousness

MDC Live Arts then rides into Miami’s cycling scene with Taylor Ho Bynum’s The Acoustic Bicycle Tour, a performance journey incorporating public space performances and music demonstrations presented solo as well as in collaboration with area artists.

The upcoming season will also focus on the issues facing veterans post-deployment in the season-long initiative Basetrack, which includes a multimedia performance based on the real words of modern-day Marines and their families. The piece shares stories and images of those stationed abroad and their families as they struggle to cope with the uncertainties of war. The live performance is the centerpiece of a yearlong veteran arts initiative that includes a Miami Book Fair International panel with veteran authors.

Rubberband Dance Group will enter the Miami scene to close MDC Live Arts’ eclectic season. Led by the remarkable duo of Victor Quijada and Anne Plamondon, the Montreal-based group features six exceptional performers whose backgrounds range from classical, contemporary and urban dance to circus arts.

“As always, we represent diversity of aesthetic, of spirit and of culture featuring virtuosic artistry and community-rooted arts for social change,” said Kathryn Garcia, MDC Live Arts’ executive director.

— AMS


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