Floatopia 2014: Miami to Take Massive Ice Bucket Challenge on the Beach

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Photo by Laura Morcate
Gather your air pumps and red Solo cups, Miami. It's time for another Floatopia, the bi-annual celebration of beach, bikinis, and fun floats that make us all feel like boys and girls again.

This year's float fest at South Pointe Park has been challenged to take the ALS ice bucket challenge by the original Floatopia in Virginia Beach. A cringe-inducing task on the regular, Floatopia's event has hot sun, cool ocean, and BYOB booze to soften that freezing blow.

"I think (Miami) is a great venue because it's pretty, the water is right there," the event's organizer said. "At 3:05 p.m., everyone will grab a bucket, bring abuela's bucket, or your nephew's bucket -- hopefully I'll be able to provide the ice -- and we'll all do the ice bucket challenge."

See also: Floatopia Returns to South Beach! Top Five Tips for Successful Floating

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Sofia Vergara's Emmys Skit Proves We Need More Positive Representation of Latinas on TV

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There has been a lot of talk, Tweets, and Instagrams since Beyonce's powerhouse performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday and Sofia Vergara's spinning skit at the Emmys Monday night. The stark contrast between the two showings has caused a stir, with "feminism" and "sexist" hashtag-storming social media.

But let's bring it back home for a second: Vergara wasn't trying to make some feminist statement with her bit at the Emmys, instead she was just flaunting her assets at the request of the chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Bruce Rosenblum. "What truly matters," Rosenblum said while Vergara rotated on a pedestal, "is that we never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch."

See also: Chef Filming in Miami: Behind the Scenes with Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo

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Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival Returns to Miami

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Photo by Nelson Alvarez
"I've got one foot in Miami and one foot in the Caribbean," says Neri Torres, the founder and director of the Ifé-Ilé Dance Company, which will host its 16th annual Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival from Thursday, August 28, through Saturday, August 30. This is true for her culturally, as a Cuban artist living in Miami who is intent on keeping Cuban traditions alive on foreign shores. She also lives part-time in the Caribbean, as a lecturer in dance at the University of the West Indies. But she considers Miami home.

As a teacher, performer and choreographer, Torres has brought high-quality dance and performance to the Miami community year after year through the Ifé-Ilé festival. We recently spoke with her about this year's festival -- taking place for the first time in Little Havana -- and her future creative direction.

See also: Copperbridge Foundation Brings Cuban Artists to Miami Stages

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Photographer Richard Sexton Coming to Miami to Discuss Latest Work, Creole World

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Courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection
Street scene near the Marché de Fer; Cap Haitien, Haiti, 2012; ©Richard Sexton, from "Creole World: Photography of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere"
The concept of "Creole" is far more complex than most people who only had a passing interest in their 8th grade history courses might recognize. To most Miamians, it's a language spoken in Haiti and among the burgeoning Haitian population of the city. That's far too much of a simplification, even if you only want to look at Creole languages, which are defined in one Wikipedia line as "a stable, full-fledged language that originated from a mixture of two or more languages." And while that's a simplification as well, it should give you a sense of the greater scope of culture and people that the term "Creole" encompasses.

From the island of Haiti, to the parishes of New Orleans, to the mountainous villages of the Central American isthmus, the roots and tendrils of Creole identity in the Americas and the Caribbean have been growing and becoming more and more a part of their respective home cultures.

That process and the results thereof have been of great interest to Richard Sexton, a photographer and resident of New Orleans for almost 25 years, whose most recent work is called Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere. Saturday night, he'll give a reading at Books and Books in Coral Gables. New Times sat down and got acquainted with Sexton in order to get you acquainted with Sexton.

See also: Little Haiti Country Club Brings Community to Growing Art Scene, Won't Last Forever

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Miami Jazz and Film Society Presents Free Screening of Trayvon Martin Case Documentary

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Images courtesy Sherry Suttles
A painting about the Martin case as shown by Cindy Philemon, assistant for the Goldsboro Museum. Philemon explains that the red in the painting represents Trayvon Martin's blood.
The world has had its attention on Ferguson, Mo., and the shooting death case of Michael Brown, a young, unarmed black man who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson.

Because of the nature of the case, it's only natural that many would think back to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the young black man, also unarmed, who was killed in his father's Sanford, Fla., neighborhood by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. A documentary analyzing the first days of the investigation into Martin's death, 44 Daze, will give those interested in the Martin case and the epidemic of unarmed black men killed in the U.S., more insight when it's screened for attendees at the Miami Jazz and Film Society's Weekly Film Screenings event this September.

See also: Trayvon Martin's Mom to Michael Brown's Parents: "We Will No Longer Be Ignored"

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Kendallsuyo Book Seeks to Spotlight Miami's Overlooked Andean Roots

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Courtesy Américo Mendoza-Mori
The "Lady of Coracora" Celebration, a traditional festivity that originated in Ayacucho (Southern Andes).
In the wake of the Pamela Druckerman fiasco, it's pretty clear that lots of folks (even former residents) still harbor stereotypes about Miami.

University of Miami Ph.D. candidate Americo Mendoza-Mori thinks that even the city's Latin culture tends to overlook crucial aspects of its own identity. One aspect includes the unique segment of immigrants who originated from Peru and the Andes, eventually forming the Kendallsuyo settlement in Southwest Miami.

To get the word out, he's launched a Kickstarter to support his book project -- a tome focused on the fascinating stories of this singular group and how they've helped shape Miami as a whole.

See also: Miami Book Fair: Daniel Alarcón Recounts His Drive Into the Dark Heart of Peru's Drugland

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Elaine Lancaster to Host Score's 16th Anniversary Bash This Weekend

Categories: Culture

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All photos courtesy of Elaine Lancaster
Miami's fabulous drag queen Elaine Lancaster has been keeping herself quite busy lately. In the next few weeks alone, Elaine will be hosting two parties at Score and prepping for the upcoming 30th Annual White Party.

Since her short-lived days on Real Housewives of Miami (James Davis, the man behind the glamorous woman, is Lea Black's bestie), Elaine starred in the locally produced documentary, South Beach on Heels; she's now working with that filmmaker on a documentary about her own life. She's also continued her philanthropic work. The lady knows how to werk it, which is probably why the Female Impersonators Miss Florida Pageant has established a new award in her honor: the Elaine Lancaster Stellar Award.

Presented to the female impersonator earlier this week, the title celebrates her "outstanding commitment demonstrating true beauty, talent, and class in the female impersonator industry; always the perfectionist, leader, and friend," she quotes from the award description.

See also: Elaine Lancaster Dishes on Miami Beach Gay Pride 2014

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The Palace Bar to Host Robin Williams Tribute with Free Birdcage Screening

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The loss of a great actor is something that affects many people, not just those fortunate enough to have known the talent personally. In the case of actor and comedian Robin Williams, his career and heart touched the lives of many, not only those around him.

His jokes and unique style of delivery can define an entire generation, and his dramatic works proved how deep Williams' talent pool reached.

A man of this caliber deserves to be honored and celebrated. And while in Miami we don't have the Hollywood Walk of Fame to pile flowers over the comedian's star, we do have something equally as fabulous: The Palace Bar.

Tonight, the South Beach establishment will dedicate its weekly drag show and Movies on Ocean event to the late, great actor.

See also: Remembering Robin Williams in The Birdcage

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Romantic Endings Pairs Classic Movie Death Scenes With a Ten-Course Dinner

Categories: Culture

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Photos provided by Diliana Alexander
Pioneer Winter
Love and death are constant themes in life, always ripe for artistic exploration. So get ready for sweet drama next Wednesday with "Romantic Endings," created and produced by Pioneer Winter and Indie Film Club Miami. The event will take guests on a dramatic live of love through 10 of film's most captivating romantic death scenes, coupled with a matching food experience and contemporary dance performance.

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Circ X Seeks A "Kickstart" To Make Regular Burlesque Show At Fillmore A Reality

Categories: Burlesque, Culture

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Photo courtesy of Circ X

Circ X, the traveling Miami-based performance group, is trying to change the local arts scene with a regular burlesque show at the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater. But in order for this dream to be a reality, the group is asking the people of Miami to help out by donating to its Kickstarter campaign.

Diana Lozano is the founder and owner of Circ X, a organization that came about in 2002. Lozano said that Circ X can be best described as, "one part circus, two parts burlesque, a pinch of class and a dash of trash."

The idea is to create an affordable and mainstream burlesque option in South Florida, something that the group thinks is lacking.


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