Leads in Miami City Ballet's Romeo and Juliet Delve Into Tragic Teenage Roles

Categories: Dance

Photo by Kyle Froman
Jennifer Kronenberg and Callie Manning in Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo was drenched in sweat, but Juliet didn't seem to mind as she clung to him. In fact, she'd gotten a bit dewy herself going through love's demanding paces. Within little more than an hour, the couple had circled each other at a ball, shared intimacies under a balcony, and flitted about, avid and anxious to embrace in the uncertain aftermath of bedroom bliss.

All in a day's rehearsal at Miami City Ballet for Emily Bromberg and Jovani Furlan, first-timers as leads in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, which opens the performance season for their company.

South African-born Cranko was artistic director of Stuttgart Ballet in 1962 when he choreographed this full-length work to Serge Prokofiev's robust score. It has remained the choreographer's most popular ballet since his death in 1973.

"I tell myself this role is too good to be true. I feel such a great responsibility," says Furlan, a corps de ballet member along with Bromberg and only a student apprentice, fresh from Brazil, when MCB originally staged this work three years ago. Both dancers have benefited from MCB artistic director Lourdes Lopez's invigorating effort to bring newer talents to the forefront. "Luckily," Furlan recognizes, "dancing with Emily has come very naturally."

See also: Miami Dance Sampler: Eight-Minute Bursts of Russian Ballet, Flamenco, and More

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Miami Dance Sampler: Eight-Minute Bursts of Russian Ballet, Flamenco, and More

Categories: Dance

Lazaro Godoy
GodoyPradera Projects
It's that time of the year. South Florida's dance scene is revving up and the annual Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler returns once more to give the community a glimpse into just how varied and rich an array of dancing is available to us to choose from this season.

The sampling includes mini-performances of eight minutes or less from nine South Florida based professional dance companies.

We spoke with sampler organizer, South Florida dancer, and Dance NOW! Director Hannah Baumgarten about what to expect from this year's event.

See also: Dance Sampler: A Preview of Miami's Active Dance Life

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Make Way for Broadway: Nostalgia, Laughs, and Glamour Pack the Arsht's New Season

Hyra George
Euriamis Losada (Ricky Ricardo) and the company of the national tour of I Love Lucy Live on State
This year, our fall Arts & Eats Guide lists all that's timeless and fresh in Miami, from visual art to delicious food. Theater, dance, music, and drinks all make a much-needed appearance throughout the season as well. Pick up one of our printed guides Thursday, October 2, where you'll find profiles, interviews, and detailed event calendars to guide you through the upcoming cultural season.

More than six decades after it premiered, I Love Lucy remains the most popular program in television history.

Lucy, the scatter-brained redhead with stage ambitions; her Cuban bandleader husband, Ricky Ricardo; and squabbling landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz kept America in stitches during the Eisenhower era and are still watched in syndication in more than a dozen languages across the globe.

See also: New Bass Museum Curator of Exhibitions Reflects on Miami's Artistic Boom

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Siudy Between Worlds: Love in the Time of a Flamenco Apocalypse

Categories: Dance

Courtesy of Pablo Croce Productions
Romeo and Juliet struggle through a Mad Max world to the sensuality, discipline and stirring rhythms of flamenco as warring tribes compete for resources in the aftermath of civilization's collapse. No, not a drug-assisted night at an edgy Latin dance club on South Beach but the basic plots of Siudy Entre Mundos (Siudy Between Worlds), Pablo Croce's flamenco production starring Venezuelan choreographer and dancer, Siudy Garrido coming to the Arsht Center this Saturday and Sunday.

Executive producer Pablo Croce, celebrated film-maker and Latin Grammy nominee, took a few moments from preparing for the show's return to South Florida to guide us through this post-apocalyptic land of exotic dance. Originally staged in 2009, following the economic and political troubles Spain experienced, Croce said that events like these were in his mind during the show's development. But then so were so many other recent global events similarly apocalyptic in kind.

"If I were to put together notable events that have occurred over the last 15 years and show them to you in 15 seconds, you would be dramatically affected by the sorts of things that have been happening," he explains.

See also: Flamenco Festival's Celia Fonta: "Flamenco 'Alante' is an Endangered Art"

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Flamenco Festival's Celia Fonta: "Flamenco 'Alante' is an Endangered Art"

Categories: Dance, Festivals

Courtesy Celia Fonta
Siempre Flamenco, a Miami based Flamenco arts organization, is widely recognized in town for the quality of the festivals they have presented. The organization was founded by the husband and wife team of Paco and Celia Fonta -- he is a Flamenco guitarist and singer; she is a Flamenco dancer. Their individual performances as well as their classes have won the organization even more support.

We talked to Celia Fonta about their upcoming festival, which starts weekend at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

See also: Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival Returns to Miami

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Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival Returns to Miami

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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Artist Jenna Balfe Dances in Mangroves, Teaches Healing with Performance and Nature

Categories: Dance

Courtesy of Jenna Balfe
Jenna Balfe climbs through mangroves. Her strong, lean body weaves through the intricately tangled branches. This is her art, her dance, and her healing. She knows that she probably won't fall, but if she does, Balfe, a clear-thinking, creative individual, will take whatever shit situation befalls her, learn from it, and use that new knowledge to help other broken people mend.

For a few years now, Balfe has been committed to her Body Movement class. "I don't want it to be like a normal dance class," she says. And it certainly isn't. Each lesson allows regular folks, as well as those more in tune with their physicality, to explore their and each others' bodies, the space they occupy, and a natural environment. Balfe calls these free classes democratic, adding that the students are oftentimes teachers, that she's merely providing the place and some guidance. But that would downplay her very important role in this complex project, one that continues to evolve with an upcoming performance, People/Trees/Here, taking place in a Coconut Grove mangrove forest.

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Copperbridge Foundation Brings Cuban Artists to Miami Stages

Geo Darder gets down with the culture in Cuba.
Here in Miami, more than in any other city in America, an encounter with Cuban culture is akin to a return to the roots. No matter whether it's dance or art, music or theater, it's the heritage itself that seems to matter most, with the artistic and entertainment elements often affirming a personal connection.

That may seem like a broad-based generalization, but given Miami's population and its sizeable Cuban quotient, there's no denying its accuracy. It's especially true in the case of Geo Darder, the founder and artistic director of the Copperbridge Foundation, an artistic initiative he and a group of partners launched four years ago as a means of facilitating the exhibition and interpretation of artistic works from the Caribbean, Africa, North and South America, and Cuba in particular.

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Hattie Mae Williams Seeks Dancers For Miami Marine Stadium Film Project

Hattie Mae Williams is a Miami-bred badass. After graduating from New World in Miami and then getting a degree with honors from Fordham/Alvin Ailey in New York -- one of the single most respected contemporary dance programs in the country -- Williams established her own modern dance corps, the Tattooed Ballerinas. As a dancer, she's inspiringly self-assured, passionate, and creative. As a person, she's humble, engaging, and quite simply cool.

So it was especially gratifying to see her awarded the Knight Arts Challenge grant late last year in order for her to put together a pair of site-specific pieces in her hometown.

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

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Grace and Environmentalism Combine Simultaneously in the National Water Dance

Categories: Dance

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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