Miami Dance Festival delivers dances from Bollywood to Brazil

With pulsing music and electrifying moves performed by some of the most talented dancers in the area, the 2009 Miami Dance Festival is sure to thrill.

This six-week celebration of dance runs from April 1 to May 9 and includes the works of seven dance companies. Presented by the Momentum Dance Company, the festival is held throughout Miami and Miami Beach. Originally called the Miami Beach Dance Festival, the event is now in its sixth year.

Festival-goers have the opportunity to attend countless performances, take master classes and appreciate the arts. Many different styles of dance will be showcased, including modern, ballet, Afro Cuban, Bollywood, Flamenco, and Brazilian movements.

The festival began April 1 with a world premiere of a Flamenco dance/drama based on Shakespeare’s King Lear, performed by internationally recognized Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. Founder Ilisa Rosal also serves as artistic director. With the hard work of Rosal and her company, the classic themes of love, loyalty, betrayal, rivalry, righteousness and greed are brought to life.

Joanie Oben, a member of UM’s Miami Motion Dance Team, thought that the performance was an innovative representation of the play, which has historically been associated with more medieval images.

“It’s really interesting to see how they incorporate Latin dance into a very English play,” she said.

For those fans of Slumdog Millionaire and Indian culture, a Bollywood piece will also be performed on April 7. The show will be followed by a screening of Hum dil de Chuke Sanam, an award-winning Bollywood musical at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. Noted Indian dancer and teacher Geeta Dias will give an informal presentation on this dance style prior to the screening. A Bollywood dance master class is also available on April 26 at the Performing Arts Network in North Miami.

Another highlight of the festival is Momentum’s performance of a comedic piece, inspired by the current economic crisis.  In a series of four movements, dancers portray “Belt Tightening and Budget Stretching” by squeezing themselves into  humorous costumes, a comedic duet featuring “Freddie and Fannie,” the “Golden Parachute” with bursting balloons representing investment savings and retirement, and “Obamanomics” which includes confused dancers trying to create a complicated routine.  The satirical show concludes with money raining from the ceiling.  The performance can be viewed along with other pieces by Momentum, on April 3 and 4, at the Manuel Artime Theater.

From novice to expert, dance-obsessed to appreciator of the arts, there is an event for everyone at the Miami Dance Festival. All who attend are sure to learn something new from this showcase of art in motion.

What: 2009 Miami Dance Festival
When: April 1 – May 9
Where: Various locations throughout Miami and Miami Beach
Cost: Varies depending on event from $8 to $20, although some are free (Student discounts are available, so don’t forget a student ID)

For more information about the festival, times, locations and ticket prices, call 305-858-7002, or visit www.momentumdance.com.

April 1, 2009


Danielle Kaslow

Senior EDGE Writer

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