These films reveal – not a unified style, we’re far too diverse – but a sensibility shaped by this unique place. In all sorts of ways, these films feel intensely Miami: filled with our swampy gothic tropi-scape; the harsh brilliance of our sun-baked streets; dancing that mixes hiphop and Afro-Caribbean impulses with a lusciously full-bodied physicality and confidently original way of moving. Filmmakers and performers who are almost all people of color. Films that fearlessly dive into meaning and feeling – even in the way they have fun.
Landscape looms. In Liliet Reyes’s Gumbo Limbo Becoming, created by Dance Now! Miami’s Hannah Baumgarten with gorgeous dancer Anthony Velazquez, he’s a straitlaced suit seduced by a dense tropical forest. In Dale Andree’s Such Rooted Things, part of this longtime choreographer’s creative project to raise awareness on climate change, dancers seem at one with a mangrove swamp, a metaphor for our interconnectedness with our bizarrely beautiful environment.
Our distinctive urban landscape is another strong presence. Maya Billig and Enrique Villacreses’ PLUR vibrates with the energy and attitude of its three insouciantly charismatic young dancers, strutting in bright colored outdoor settings to a pulsing electro-dance soundtrack; it’s consciously cool, with a hint of playful irony. Liony Garcia parties alone in his lockdown-era Control Remoto, making his own quirky disco world in a blank white garage, while gorgeously leggy Sky Bison is liberated by an empty nighttime garage in her and Amadeus Mccaskill’s Car Park. There are three adolescent girls dancing through attitude and angst in another lockdown piece, Kayla Castellon and Patricia Suarez’s Teen.
When the films move indoors, you see emotional and physical passion, a lovingness for the individuals at their center. Hattie Mae Williams makes a metaphorical Covid and life journey in Marooned; her powerful body arching, spinning, glowing in vivid red and orange in an empty white space, pulling us into her intense interior trip. Yearning imbues a masked Roxana Barba’s floating waltz with Aurora Molina’s soft sculptures in the surprisingly poignant Malafama. GeoVanna Gonzalez frames the female artists in How To: Oh, look at me – two poets, a musician, the two dancers credited with creating the precisely idiosyncratic movement on a scaffolding-like set – with intent, loving clarity.
Miami’s dreamy weirdness also comes through. Rosie Herrera and Randy Valdes’ Piel Fiel luxuriates in an unnerving, idiosyncratic intimacy and sensuality; fans blowing across a woman’s damp, naked body; squelching mangos; an arm sandwich; landscapes of rounded hips and vulnerable stomachs. In her surreally compelling Femme, Carla Forte uses her face, in a series of Carnivalesque fantastic/grotesque masks, to convey intense, unknowable emotion.
In GOOD ENOUGH the dancer/actor/poet/playwright and longtime MLP artist Rudi Goblen, here working as choreographer/director, creates an extraordinary portrait with and of dancer Joseph “MN Joe” Tran. Boxed into a claustrophobic cube, Tran moves with gut-wrenching intensity and riveting individuality, alternating with images of him with friends and family; to tell a wordless, rich story of struggle and expansive humanity. A story that’s so Miami.
What: ScreenDance Miami 2022 Special Edition
When: June 9, 2022 at 8 pm
Where: North Beach Bandshell
RSVP: FREE entry at northbeachbandshell.com
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Eventz Paul is currently the Technical Director and Productions Manager at Miami Light Project. He has been a part of this organization since 2011. He participated in Miami Light Project’s first class of the Technical Fellowship Program held at The Light Box. He joined this program hoping to improve his existing theater skills. He received training from experts in the industry that mentored and further his theater technical skills. Now, he has successfully used his professional knowledge and has had the opportunity to work with various arts organizations and venues throughout Miami including Miami Theater Center, National Young Arts Foundation, the Colony Theatre and many more. He has become an instructor and conducts audiovisual classes to incoming technical fellows.
Beth Boone has been the Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project since 1998, developing critically acclaimed artistic programs that have asserted the organization as one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida. These programs include: the establishment of Here & Now, South Florida’s most respected commission and presenting program for community-based artists; premiere presentations of internationally acclaimed; pioneering historic international cultural exchange with Cuba; and the creation of The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, a multi-use performance and visual art space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. She previously served as Associate Director of Development for Florida Grand Opera, Deputy Director for the Department of Cultural Affairs at Miami Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus, co-founded an Off Broadway theater company (New York Rep), and served for six years as a Program Associate in the Arts & Culture Program of the AT&T Foundation. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and a MFA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University in Boston, MA.