Point of View

November 24, 2010, 9:43 pm
Filed under: My POV

Basel is back, and the Adrienne Arsht Center is thrilled to celebrate the return of the most dynamic visual art festival in the Magic City… and add our own artistic voice to the mix!  This year, we will throw our doors open – presenting a full complement of exciting performances, special events, and educational activities all designed to spotlight the intersection of visual art and performing arts in unique and inspirational moments on every square inch of our campus.  

Kicking off our nod to Basel is the iconic Merce Cunningham Dance Company, appearing at the Center as part of the company’s farewell Legacy Tour, honoring Cunningham’s astounding body of work and remarkable contribution to American modern dance, art, and culture.  Thanks to the generous and visionary support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Cunningham company’s residency features an extraordinary week of six special performances, live music, free community master classes, workshops, and lecture-demonstrations for the entire South Florida community. 

Nurturing the diverse and dynamic talent in our own backyard is part of our everyday mission at the Center, and during Art Basel week we are honored to host the premiere of Miami’s newest local theater company, Zoetic Stage.  In a wickedly funny new theatrical comedy by Michael McKeever called South Beach Babylon, this brand new troupe offers a story of five artists and their madcap adventures in the weeks leading up to Art Basel.  It’s an ode to Art Basel on stage! 

Art is everywhere this month, especially since we recently unveiled Lincoln Center’s List Art Collection in Miami.  On loan from our sister performing arts center in New York, the exhibition showcases more than 30 fine art editions by some of the most acclaimed visual artists of our time.  The collection graces the halls, lobbies, and public spaces of the Adrienne Arsht Center, underlining our goal to serve as a town square for world-class artistic programming and meaningful community building, welcoming each patron and passerby to experience first-hand the transformative power of the arts.   

From Merce Family Hour dance for toddlers to a special photo exhibit by Julian Lennon to a site-specific installation by acclaimed Miami/New York visual artist Daniel Arsham, the Center will present six full days of dance, theater, music, and art – all designed especially for South Florida’s Art Basel adventures.  We hope to see you on our campus for Arsht does Basel 2010! 


M. John Richard,

President and CEO, Adrienne Arsht Center

November 24, 2010, 8:55 pm
Filed under: At the Center

As Art Basel approaches, the Adrienne Arsht Center celebrates the internationally renowned event with Miami’s newest professional theater company, Zoetic Stage, as they co-present the world premiere of Michael McKeever’s South Beach Babylon.  This wickedly funny, sexy new play takes a razor-sharp satirical look at the world of art movers and shakers, as five South Beach artists prepare to shine during the weeks leading up to Basel.   

Clockwise from top left: Erik Fabregat, Stephen G. Anthony, Octavio Campos, Amy McKenna, Rosie Herrera, Andrew Rosenberg, Michael McKeever, Elena Maria Garcia; Photo by George Schiavone.

“We are delighted to host the very first performance for Zoetic Stage, a new local theater company sure to become a driving force in Miami’s vibrant, evolving arts scene,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  “This season of performances in our Carnival Studio Theater provides a unique performing arts experience for South Florida audiences to get a taste of the very best theater, dance, and music — close-up.” 

“I am thrilled to open the doors of Zoetic Stage at Miami’s quintessential home for the performing arts, the Adrienne Arsht Center,” said Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer, who commissioned the play.   “South Beach Babylon is the perfect play for us to premiere as it represents our commitment to produce and develop daring and exciting new work, bring together the best of South Florida theater artists, and produce a great evening of theater. 

We also wanted to present something truly special for our inaugural production,” added Meltzer, “something South Florida audiences haven’t seen before.”  As a result, McKeever has created a piece unlike any of his previous plays. Breaking the conventions of traditional storytelling, McKeever and Meltzer play with time and space, seamlessly combining various scenes at the same time.  The play itself becomes a sort of canvas, with each different storyline adding its own vivid color.  “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had creating a play,” Mckeever beams about his 20th work, “Of all the plays I’ve written, this is easily one of the most personal.  I completely relate to these characters.  I’ve been there.  I know how hard it is to create art and present it to an audience.  It takes a lot of courage.”  It also takes a sense of humor.  The play is full of the quirky humor McKeever has become famous for. 

The 90-minute comedy, presented without intermission, is cast with some of the regions brightest talents: Multiple-award winning actors Stephen G. Anthony, Elena Maria Garcia, Erik Fabregat, Amy McKenna and playwright McKeever are joined by New York actor and comedian Andrew Rosenberg.  “The perfect cast,” says Meltzer, “This type of comedy is so hard, and yet they make it look easy.”  

Adding even more prestige to the production is the addition of South Florida’s premier performance artists Rosie Herrera and Octavio Campos.  Not only will the two serve as actors in the show, they will also perform a piece created specifically for South Beach Babylon.  Together, they have created an irreverent, edgy, comic mini-masterpiece directly tied to the plot of the play.

Add to this mix three of the region’s top designers, a touch of artful nudity, some adult themes and a pinch of human drama, and you have what promises to be a must-see event!

November 24, 2010, 8:51 pm
Filed under: At the Center

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center next week for six unique performances, but the dancing doesn’t stop on the stage… get ready Miami, for a complete MCDC takeover!  The company will share their extraordinary artistry with South Florida in workshops, demonstrations, and even a “Merce Family Hour” aimed at getting even the mini merce set moving in step with the dazzling dancers.  With generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Cunningham Company’s Miami residency is designed to share the legendary choreographer’s oeuvre with dancers and non-dancers alike.  

MCDC will offer two Cunningham Technique Master Classes – one at the Adrienne Arsht Center and one at New World School for the Arts.  The company will also lead a special Lecture-Demonstration for an invited group of 30 Miami-Dade County public high school students at the Center, as well as the Merce Family Hour offering movement adventures for kids ages 5-10 with an accompanying parent or guardian.  The Adrienne Arsht Center is honored to part of MCDC’s farewell Legacy Tour, and thrilled to be hosting more Merce for Miami!

November 24, 2010, 7:49 pm
Filed under: At the Center

In celebration of its 5th Anniversary Season, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County has partnered with New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to present the Lincoln Center List Collection to the greater Miami community. 

This exhibition creates an artistic bridge between the sister organizations – uniting the Magic City and the Big Apple with a wonderful visual art installation. While the List Collection spotlights significant works from the contemporary art world, the campus of the Adrienne Arsht Center represents one of the most stunning architectural performing arts centers built in the last decade.  This melding of contemporary visual art and architecture represents an exciting new initiative, as the Center offers patrons the opportunity to expand their experience of world-class performing arts to now include world-class visual art.

Patron views one of the pieces in the List Collection. Photo by Spencer Strayer; World Red Eye.

Established in 1962 through the generous endowment by Albert and Vera List, the Lincoln Center List Collection encompasses work from leading artists in the contemporary art world.  The List Collection in Miami includes more than 30 works by artists who have defined some of the most important art trends of the 20th century, including abstract expressionism, color field painting, minimalism, pop art, and realism.  Among the highlights of this seminal group of artists are: Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, and Robert Longo.  The list of groundbreaking senior artists and next generation rising stars also includes Richard Artschwager, William Bailey, Jennifer Bartlett, Vija Celmins, Robert Cottingham, Howard Hodgkin, Wolf Kahn, Elizabeth Murray, Jules Olitski, Joseph Rafael, Joel Shapiro, and Terry Winters.

The Lincoln Center List Art Collection graces the halls, lobbies, and public spaces of both the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall and the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House for the remainder of the 2010-2011 Season.  The Adrienne Arsht Center will offer FREE, guided tours, surveying the entire collection, every Saturday at 12 noon, beginning on November 20.

November 24, 2010, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Adrienne Arsht Center thrilled to announce a stellar line up of special education and community outreach events to enhance the historic final engagement of the MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANY at the Center, December 2-4, 2010.  These events will offer the Miami community a unique and exciting opportunity to engage with the dancers and explore the legendary Cunningham technique and repertory. 

The company’s Miami education and outreach activities includes two exciting events at the Center, both free and open to the public.  The Master Class highlighting the Cunningham Technique will be held on Tuesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. An in-depth introduction to the Cunningham Technique, this master class is appropriate for students with intermediate and above movement experience.  The 90-minute session will be taught by Robert Swinston, MCDC Director of Choreography, and will follow the progression of a typical MCDC Company class. 

Families will also be able to join in on the fun with the ever popular Merce Family Hour, a movement-based workshop especially designed for children and their parents, inspired by Cunningham Technique and Merce’s use of chance procedures.  This workshop is appropriate for ages 5-10.  Merce Family Hour will take place on Saturday, December 4 at 11 a.m in the Peacock Foundation Studio of the Ziff Ballet Opera House. 

 Two master classes designed specifically for dance students in Miami-Dade County Public High Schools and New World School of the Arts College will round out the company’s Miami residency. MCDC will lead a master class for New World School of the Arts college level dance students on Tuesday, November 30 at New World School of the Arts.  On December 1st, the Company will also lead a lecture-demonstration workshop in the Peacock Foundation Studio of the Ziff Ballet Opera House for a group of 30 invited dance students from Miami-Dade County Public High Schools.

The education and outreach events, taking place both at the Center and at the New World School of the Arts College, are designed to make these extraordinary artists, not to mention the creative genius of Merce Cunningham—more accessible to a wider South Florida community of students, families, and dance lovers.

Sunday Brunch during Art Basel Miami Beach
November 24, 2010, 6:50 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Sunday Brunch during Art Basel is a tradition in Miami. This year, The Adrienne Arsht Center’s annual Art Basel Brunch, on December 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, has become one of the most sought-after invitations of the weekend.  In celebration of the 5th Anniversary Season, the Adrienne Arsht Center has partnered with New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to present the List Art Collection in Miami, a new exhibition of fine art editions by many of the most celebrated visual artists of our time, including works by Jennifer Bartlett, Chuck Close, Robert Longo, Elizabeth Murray, and Donald Sultan. The exhibition will augment the Center’s already impressive collection of public art from José Bedia, Cundo Bermudez, Gary Moore, Anna Valentina Murch, and Robert Rahway Zakanitch that graces the halls, lobbies, and public spaces, welcoming each patron and passerby to experience first-hand the transformative power of the arts. Also part of the Center’s Art Basel celebration, internationally acclaimed musician, philanthropist and artist, Julian Lennon makes his inaugural visit to Miami to exhibit his personal collection of photography. “Timeless” – An Exclusive and Intimate Exhibition of Photography will be on display in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Next Generation Green Room during Art Basel Miami Beach. 

Barry Fellman leads a VIP Preview Tour of the List Art Collection at the Adrienne Arsht Center; Photo by Spencer Strayer of World Red Eye.

There couldn’t be a better way to end a weekend of gluttonous culture-consumption than to sip Mimosas with fellow arts lovers in the state-of-the-art Adrienne Arsht Center. Brunch is free and includes a guided docent-led tour.  Reservations are requested; Tel.  786 468 2358, or by email at abibeau@arshtcenter.org.

November 24, 2010, 6:24 pm
Filed under: Performing Arts News, Volunteerism

Luis Valenzuela expresses his creativity in many forms:  Adrienne Arsht Center volunteer photographer, professional art photographer, visual artist, and fashion designer.  On October 28, adding to the excitement of our 5th Anniversary Season, the Center’s new uniform jackets and vests, designed by Luis for our ushers, tier leaders and docents, were worn for the first time.  The design of the vests and jackets is unique and according to Luis inspired by the architecture of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  The very distinctive asymmetrical design is unequivocally the Center’s own.   It is a flattering cut which works well on any body shape and size and can be worn for all occasions.  One of our most frequent volunteers, June Weinstein, wrote “How great we will look all decked out in our new uniforms!” and from volunteer Lupe Diaz: “The uniforms look great!

(L) John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center and Luis Valenzuela stands with two volunteers showing off their new uniforms. Photo by Manny Hernandez.

Having been associated with the Center since our opening in 2006, Luis has embraced the vibe of the Center. Who better to design a new look than someone so in tune with our image and energy?  Being a leader in the Green Movement for the last 15 years, Luis brought his zero-waste-in-fashion design concept to the new uniforms.  “I try to push the boundaries, to forge new ideas with my fashionable and provoking works, I pave the (run)way for a more promising and sustainable future with recycled and upcycled materials.” 

The fabric of the uniforms is made of recycled plastic bottles which have been cleaned, smashed, melted and reused. Both the fabric and design are exclusive to the Adrienne Arsht Center.   Aside from bringing a sharp new look to the Center, the new uniforms are manufactured locally and will help us in our pursuit to be a true leader in the LEED Program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). 

Luis’ philosophy is in sync with that of the Center’s with regard to working toward a more environmentally friendly future.  “I think that our role in this Global mission of saving the planet is to create awareness of our environment. The artist has a venue to show people that even their discards can become art.”   And what venue could possibly be a better showplace than the Adrienne Arsht Center.

For more information about Luis Valenzuela check his website: www.luisvalenzuelausa.com

November 11, 2010, 4:00 pm
Filed under: At the Center

For the Adrienne Arsth Center’s 5th Anniversary Season, dancers will be leaping, stomping, soaring, and pirouetting on every stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center like never before!  Dance from Spain, Brazil, and Mexico will captivate and surprise our audiences.  The most esteemed American dance companies  will delight and inspire with new works and repertory favorites.  Emerging choreographers from our own tropical backyard will push the boundaries of contemporary dance into the future with vivid new ideas and perspectives.  It all adds up to making the Adrienne Arsht Center one of the finest destinations for high-quality dance in the nation.  Here’s a brief preview of what’s in store. 

This Friday, dance comes alive with a unique collaborative performance – REPLICA – in the Carnival Studio Theater (in the Ziff Ballet Opera House).  In 2007, acclaimed local visual artist Daniel Arsham and then Merce Cunningham dancer Jonah Bokaer met on the Center’s Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House stage during the Cunningham company’s Merce in Miami performances.  Since then, Arsham and Bokaer have developed a unique and widely celebrated cross-genre collaboration, having since created four international productions combining dance, sculpture, and visual art in fascinating new ways.  REPLICA brings this ingenious duo back to the Center for the Miami premiere of this new work where dancers inhabit a mysterious and evocative stage set, which is built and destroyed during the performance!

Replica; Photo by Michael Hart

The daring and dynamic dancing continues all season long at the Adrienne Arsht Center.  Miami City Ballet celebrates it’s 25h season with live music at every performance and a host of company premieres. Flamenco Festival returns for the fourth consecutive season with Ballet Nacional de España – a company of 40 world-class flamenco performers.  South Florida favorite, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, brings their signature work, Revelations, back by popular demand, joined by other company classics new to Miami.   As part of the farewell Legacy Tour, the iconic Merce Cunningham Dance Company will present a work specifically made for Miami, celebrating the legendary choreographer’s extraordinary contribution to American modern dance and culture – to be performed at the Center during  Art Basel week.

 For a full listing of upcoming dance performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center, please visit www.arshtcenter.org.

November 11, 2010, 3:43 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Who said going green was easy?  Meet Kristina Wong, a nationally presented solo performer, writer, actor, educator, and self-proclaimed “culture jammer” who took on the daunting  mission of living an eco-friendly life when she adopted  a 1981 pink Mercedes Benz that ran on vegetable oil.  “At the time, it sounded pretty cool,” she states, “then reality hit.”   

In their second collaboration, following last season’s acclaimed Broadsword, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and Mad Cat Theatre Company present GOING GREEN THE WONG WAY, a world premiere comedy taking place at the Carnival Studio Theater (inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House) from November 18 through 20.  Created by and starring trouble-making funny lady Kristina Wong and directed by Mad Cat Theatre’s founder and resident prankster, Paul Tei, GOING GREEN THE WONG WAY recounts the hilarious and misfortunate adventures of Wong’s life-long attempt at sustainable living, and the challenges and triumphs of being eco-friendly. 

Kristina Wong, Photo courtesy of Artist Management

In her well-meaning quest, Wong endured a nightmare of never-ending car repairs and near-death pursuits for the used vegetable oil to fuel it. When the car finally burst into flames on an L.A. freeway, Wong lost the largest line item in her monthly budget, and gained the inspiration for this premiere production.  We don’t want to give away all the fun parts of this laugh-out-loud comedy but it’s sure to reveal just how tricky it is to “do the right thing by going green.”

November 11, 2010, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Gala

Last week the stars were aligned as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County celebrated its 5th Anniversary Season with a black tie event in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House.  The evening started with the highly anticipated unveiling of the Grand Donor Wall in the theater’s lobby, honoring the Center’s founding donors and greatest supporters. (Another Grand Donor Wall adorns the lobby of the Knight Concert Hall as well.) 

Immediately following the reveal of the beautiful wall, all 500 of Miami’s arts and cultural movers and shakers  were led  onto the Ziff Ballet Opera House stage where a fabulous three-course dinner, catered by Miami’s award-winning restaurateur, Barton G. Weiss, was awaiting them.  The sumptuous dinner was complemented by  music by a  terrific  dance band, and a show-stopping performance by Miami’s own Broadway star, , four-time Tony Award nominee, Raúl Esparza.

Gala Chairs Mike and Margaret Eidson and Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne bon Haes kicked off the festivities, and Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO John Richard hosted an unforgettable evening. Gala Honorary Chair Adrienne Arsht  gave words to what most of the guests were thinking when she proclaimed the Center “the best performing arts center in the world!”

Click the link below to view the gallery. 


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