Miami Beach Dance Festival.

From March 24th through April 2nd, 2006The Miami Beach Dance Festival kicks off its 2006 edition with a unique performance of environmental dance by choreographers from both Dance Now Ensemble and Momentum Dance Company. Dance on the Beach takes advantage of our beautiful South Florida setting using the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop for a dance event you won’t see anywhere else! Live drumming accompanies the dancers as they move with the sand, the water and the clouds. Dance Now will expand the company’s theme for this season in a special iteration of America/america. The work, created by Artistic Directors Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini, looks at America from diverse perspectives. Audience members will be invited to share elements of their own perspective and dancers will create an improvisational work inspired by the audience’s input and adding some of their own. The result is a shared mosaic in dance that validates all of the diverse points of view. Momentum celebrates the second Miami Beach Dance Festival with a work by Dancer Daniela Wancier that explores renewal and evolving life cycles. The company’s dancers utilize environmental elements such as sand and water as well as elements of structured improvisation and modern dance to create an ever-evolving dance that grows and changes as it progresses through its natural cycles. The festival will showcase this year a wide variety of events including presentations, screenings, panel discussions, master classes, etc. Among the dance companies participating are the Lula Washington Dance Company, the National Dance Company of the Bahamas, Dance Now Ensemble, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, among others. Master classes on Jazz are going to be given by Diego Salterini, Afro-Cuban by Irmah Del Valle, Modern Dance by Lula Washington and ballet by Carol Krajacic-Erkesm. One of the highlights of this second edition is the creation of the Miami Beach Dance Festival Awards. These awards are given to individuals and groups that have made exceptional contributions to the field of dance in South Florida. The Festival seeks expecailly to recognize the unsung heroes of dance. Dance Now Dance on the Beach is one of those interactive presentations that audiences may not want to miss. Produced in connection with DNE’s concert season” AMERICA/america”, this work for the Festival’s “dance on the beach” has a structure created by choreographers Baumgarten and Salterini for DNE’s educational outreach which allows the dancers to improvise within the subject matter of America, inspired by the real stories of the participating audience members. Upon arrival to the opening night’s activities, every audience member will be provided with pencil and paper on which they will be asked to answer in few words the following question: “What does America mean to you”. Before the performance begins the dancers will select three answers that most inspire them. Using this element as the motivation for their movement vocabulary, and the sounds of the beach as the accompaniment, the dancers will expound on the answers in a structured improvisation, working collaboratively and individually, expressing the thoughts and feeling of the audience members, hopefully sharing the meaning of America with each other. An interesting question arises generating a panel discussion at the festival: The arts are a dynamic force for tourism, education, and entertainment. But what role can arts play in redeveloping communities? The Miami Beach Dance Festival presents a panel of experts with diverse backgrounds who are currently engaged in planning and executing numerous projects through which artist housing, artist work spaces, exhibition spaces and performance spaces are transforming neighborhoods and bringing inner cities and blighted areas back to life. Moderated by acclaimed architect and urban planner Bernard Zyscovich, this discussion will focus on successful projects in South Florida and beyond as well as looking to the future. Directors openly manifest their enthusiasm and commitment with their endeavor and state: “The Festival has grown tremendously since last year. We are extremely proud of the unprecedented success in 2005 and are looking forward to even greater accomplishments in 2006. In this time of cutbacks to arts funding, diminishing press coverage of the arts – especially dance, and diminishing corporate support – we want to affirm that dance is alive and well! The Miami Beach Dance Festival presents the very best dance originating in South Florida, as well as national and international guest artists. Our goal is to engage as many sectors of the community as possible with this diverse array of dance related programs and activities.” For more information, please call: 305.858.7002

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