World culture is illuminated with the Miami Light Project

The Miami Light Project, a non-profit cultural organization that showcases live performances by artist internationally, might illuminate your mind if you give it a try. Their current show at the Gusman Center of the Arts, a medley of dancers, musicians, and comedians, featured a striking performance by Salia Ni Seydou of Burkina Faso, Africa.
A spiritual journey began as soon as the lights dimmed and the African instruments played in the background, therein setting a melodious tone. Surprisingly, the African sounds soon faded and this is what made the show particularly intriguing–there was hardly any music, the bodies created the music themselves. It was a play of dance with no plot, yet with emotional climaxes.
At one point, a performer was bent over with his feet grounded, his back arched, resting on one hand. He seemed completely unbalanced. The whole crowd stared in disbelief as seconds later another performer jumped into a handstand on his back and remained poised on the one hand–all acrobatic feats that flaunted their flexibility, making them almost seem like alien beings. While at times they performed like ballerinas, their movements often seemed like cryptic seizures.
Salia Ni Seydou represented only one of the many types of artists than can be found in the Miami Light Project collection. It hosts performances all year round and has been giving artists international exposure since 1989. In addition to the Contemporary Performance Series which has brought over 300 world-renowned artists to Miami, their other programs include Here and Now, for instance, which presents and tours the work of Miami- based performance and media artists. All in all, this company projects light on city whose provisions for cultural arts have sometimes been declared to be subdued.

Latisha Rowe can be reached at