Grace and Environmentalism Combine Simultaneously in the National Water Dance

Categories: Dance

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Water conservation isn't a new phenomenon, but if you attend the Floridian performance of the National Water Dance at the Deering Festival of the Arts, you'll see water conservation in a brand new light.

The National Water Dance is created by Dale Andree, the event's artistic director. With the help of producer Daniel Lewis, Andree imbued the event with history, artistry and, of course, water conservation awareness.

"This kind of project, which is actually a movement choir, was started back in the early 20th century by Rudolf Laban, and I'm part of that Laban community," Andree said. "I was inspired by a woman named Marylee Hardenbergh, who has made these all over the world, but she created one along the Mississippi River. The idea of creating all of these diverse populations through movement along a waterway was very impressive to me and really touched me."

See also: The 11th-Annual Miami Dance Festival Hopes to Inspire Momentum Throughout the Community

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With History House, Niurca Márquez Steps Into 'Nu' Flamenco Territory

Categories: Dance, Dance

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Niurca Márquez is rewriting the history of flamenco. Each dance-step the Miami-native plants marks a new direction for an art form cemented in Andalusian tradition. Her work simultaneously references and breaks from that tradition to create new contexts for both flamenco newbies and aficionados to consider, in a sub-genre known as "nu flamenco."

In her latest work, The History House, which opens Thursday at the Miami Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box Theater, Márquez explores the intersection and fragile nature of ancestral and cultural memory as it exists in contemporary expression.

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Mastermind 2014 Finalist: Brigid Baker Pushes Dance Way Beyond the Traditional

Categories: Dance

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Photo by: Stian Roenning
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30, and finally, nine. We'll be profiling those finalists in the days to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 27 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

The lights come up on the stage, illuminating a wall of boxes lit in yellow geometric shapes. A tinny chime counts the time until guitar riffs roar into the space, seeming to crush and crumble the boxes across the performing space.

That's when you first notice them -- the dancers, once camouflaged against the wall, now moving as one as they settle into place across the stage.

This spectacle is the opening of Duet for 11 or 17, a piece that owes its stunning choreography to Brigid Baker, a native New Yorker who has played a major role in South Florida's fledgling dance scene since she arrived in Miami.

See also: Mastermind 2014 Finalist: Filmmaker Julian Yuri Rodriguez to Premiere C#ckfight in Virtual Reality at Artopia

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Catwalk at the Garret Sends Legs, Wigs and Shade Flying Everywhere (Video)

Categories: Dance

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Photo by: Morgan Coleman
So you think you can vogue? The bad bitches of Catwalk will have the final say on that.

We braved the runway Sunday to check out the Garret's fiercely fabulous monthly, giving local ballroom enthusiasts a chance to strut their stuff and win some cash - if they dare.

There was a lot of shade being thrown around the dark room. The beats were hard and the wigs were whippin' all over the place. We caught up with some of the best voguers on hand, as well as resident DJs Gooddroid and Bonnie Beats to learn a little more about the culture and why this is an event everyone in Miami needs to see for themselves.

See also: Wildfox Model Beach Volleyball Tournament 2014: Sexy Bods, a Good Cause, Jamie Foxx (Video)

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Ana Mendez's Year of the Wooden Horse Campaign

Categories: Art, Culture, Dance

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On Miami New Times' 100 Creatives list, we called artist/choreographer/dancer/sage Ana Mendez "a one-woman pyrotechnic show." That's still true, though it's more accurate these days to compare her to less hazardous elements. She's dynamic and explosive, but also connected to her surroundings in a way that's much more inclusive -- not necessarily bursting from them, but an integral part of them.

She's also expanding her practice. Over the next few months, Mendez is raising funds, via an Indiegogo campaign for two upcoming projects. Entitled the Year of the Wooden Horse, the fundraising action is named for 2014's patron animal in the Chinese zodiac and its corresponding element. The goods you'll get in return for contributing are amazing, and the projects are magical enough to inspire the spirit of giving, anyway.


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MasterMind Award Submission Deadline Extended to December 27

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Justin Namon
MasterMind winner Jesse Perez accepts his award at February's Artopia arts party.
Every year, Art Basel sneaks up on us like a ninja. Then, for one whole week, it takes over our lives, dazzling our eyes, damaging our livers, and generally kicking our asses. Hell, it's almost a week later, and we still feel like we're in recovery.

And all we do is write about the damn thing. Miami artists -- the ones who actually put in the work to make Art Basel such an inspiring, all-encompassing experience -- are likely just waking up from their comas right about now.

So for those overworked souls who are just returning to life, New Times is extending its MasterMind awards deadline to Dec. 27. Now you have two extra weeks to throw your hat in the ring for $1,000, a print feature, and a showcase at one of Miami's biggest post-Basel arts events of the year.

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Miami Dancer Hattie Mae Williams on Guerrilla Dancing and the Tattooed Ballerina Movement

Categories: Art, Dance

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Photo by: MFNY
Hattie Mae Williams in all her Guerilla Glory
You walk into a large room with high ceilings and walls made of massive mirrors. You are dressed in tights and a form-fitting leo, perhaps a pair of garbage bag shorts for the sake of menial comfort, and the floor has a slight spring beneath you. Every day that you walk into this place to hone your craft -- to dance and jump and bend and bound -- your teachers tell you how far from perfect you are, how wrong you and your body are. All of this gets wrapped in a skin of reflections on all four sides of the studio. More often than not, the sense of self that gets bounced back to you is a far less empowered, less complimentary image than you started off with.

There are few art forms, sports, or professions in general for that matter, that involve as much emotional and physical wear and tear as dance.

It's a side of the art that most audience members never seriously consider. But if you spend a significant amount of time around professional dancers, it's impossible not to be affected by what they put themselves through for their passion. And while many people on both sides of the barre would say that that's simply the nature of the beast, others are not content to accept that idea of a subjugated self-image being an occupational hazard of doing what they love.

Hattie Mae Williams is one such dancer.

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LazerFitness: Skip the Gym and Get Your Sweat On at the Club

Categories: Dance

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Liliana Mora
Who knew clubbing could be healthy?
Inside Grand Central nightclub, the lights are dim, and the music is throbbing. On the dance floor, beat freaks jump, bounce, and flail around to the rhythms of the live DJ on the decks. In the corners of the room, onlookers belly up the the bar and sip their drinks. Every so often, the music swells and the dancers go wild in a burst of energy that leaves them sweaty, heart-pounding, and spent.

But this isn't your typical 2 a.m. club night. Outside the doors of the venue, the sun's just beginning to set. And these dancers aren't wasted; they're just high on endorphins.

Welcome to LazerFitness, an exercise program that turns nightclub dance floors into temporary workout zones, due to launch in Miami this fall.

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Dances Made to Order: Online Film Series Does Miami

Categories: Art, Culture, Dance
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Courtesy of Kingsley Irons
Marissa Alma Nick

An appreciation for dance has always required some form of discipline. Whether it's attendance by the observer or practice by the performer, it takes a certain degree of dedication to commit to a work made up entirely of energy and movement. 

In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that." 

So Dances Made to Order is making the experience easier for everyone as it brings breathtaking performances to your fingertips with its monthly online dance film festival. 

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Mastermind 2013 Honorable Mention: Pioneer Winter

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Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Film and dance? Miami native Pioneer Winter manages to combine two art forms not commonly coupled. The conceptual choreographer and filmmaker graduated from FIU Honors College with a BS in psychology and a master's in epidemiology and biostatistics, going on to wow the art world with his work. Winter has presented his work at the Fringe Arts Festival in Scotland, the Bass Museum of Art, the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, and the Deering Estate, just to name a few.

Winter is also the only choreographer to be accepted into the Cannonball Miami/LegalArt 2012-2013 residency program for Miami-based artists, and will be a resident artist at Miami Theater Center/The Sandbox this year. Plus, Winter also helms Project LEAP, a free program for teaching teens how to change the world through art, a theme that runs through his work.

"My work utilizes social and cultural narratives -- my Miami-made underpinnings -- to recall and develop a sense of geo-social identity. Creating dance on film and collaborating with visual artists and other arts presenters, I provide opportunities for accessing dance without needing to worry about barriers like schedule or ticket price. I believe in promoting awareness by discussing topics ranging from HIV and health disparities to gender, ageism, and identity."

Read on for our Q&A with Winters, mad scientists, parties, and Pina Bausch.

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