Point of View

Year in Photos 2010
December 29, 2010, 3:40 pm
Filed under: At the Center

2010 was an epic year for the Adrienne Arsht Center. With over 300 performances, public programs and special events as well as some history-in-the-making moments, the Adrienne Arsht Center has left a lasting imprint in the arts community, both locally and nationally in 2010. Have a look at our Year in Photos below and relive some of these timeless moments again.

Photo credits for the slideshow:
Manny Hernandez
Seth Browarnik, Spencer Strayer, S. Dixon, and Alex Markow for WorldRedEye.com
Justin Namon
Courtesy of Cavalia
Jipsy Castillo
Gregory F. Reed
John Grigaitis
Gio Alma
A. Thorne
Joan Marcus

December 10, 2010, 5:04 pm
Filed under: At the Center

One of the most cherished holiday traditions is spending time with friends and family, and the Adrienne Arsht Center is once again one of the most exciting places in Miami for a memorable family outing. The magic of the holidays will be alive and well on all our stages with an exciting family-friendly lineup that includes the season’s classics as well as Miami’s newest holiday traditions.

For the fifth consecutive season, Miami City Ballet inaugurates the festivities at the Center with one of the most enduring shows of the season – the beautiful sets, lavish costumes and magical special effects of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.  This year’s production will feature a large cast of local children dancing side-by-side  international ballet stars to the magical music by Tchaikovsky. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ runs from December 17 through December 23 in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. 

Building on the tradition of presenting dazzling Broadway productions over the holidays, which began with the legendary Cats and continued last season with the loveable 101 Dalmatians, the Adrienne Arsht Center’s musical treat this season is the romantic and enchanting Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The Broadway musical for all generations based on the Academy® Award-winning animated feature film will make its Miami premiere at the Adrienne Arsht Center from December 28 – January 2.  This classic love story is an eye-popping spectacle that has won the hearts of more than 35 million people worldwide and will wow Miami audiences into the New Year!

Liz Shivener as Belle and the cast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Joan Marcus.

In what has become another Miami tradition, Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra will grace the stage of the Center’s John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall for a fourth time with a stirring performance of Handel’s Messiah on December 18. Messiah, Handel’s most celebrated composition, has been thrilling audiences during the holiday season for more than 250 years. 

Joining the Center’s stellar holiday lineup this year is the Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller on December 26. Mannheim Steamroller, now celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their annual Christmas tour, will perform versions of some the most popular Christmas music of all time, including classic hits such as “Deck the Halls” and “Silent Night.” It’s “a magical experience,” says the South Bend Tribune.

Choir photo by Sound Trak Inc.

The festivities continue into the New Year when the annual Salute to Vienna recreates on January 2 in the Knight Concert Hall the beauty and excitement of spending the holiday in the Austrian capital with gorgeous music, beautiful costumes, singers, dancers, and a full orchestra.

With nearly 20 performances from which to choose, the Adrienne Arsht Center is a terrific option for spending quality family time over the holidays.

December 10, 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at any given moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself –and others—by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine, a bit of unscheduled pleasure. That’s what Random Acts of Culture (RACs) is all about.

The Knight Foundation is bringing short, spontaneous bursts of classical music, theater, dance and opera to the streets in eight communities: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit, Mich.; Macon, Ga.; Miami, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Jose, Calif. and St. Paul, Minn. Thanks to this new initiative, you might just experience a bit of culture where you less expected it—think Mozart at the mall and La Traviata in the market. More than 1,000 RACs have been planned for the next three years.

The Knight Foundation’s arts program invests in projects that enrich and engage communities. “Not everyone can make it to see the opera, or the ballet. But when you get a taste of it – even for just a few minutes – you feel the magic that the classical arts bring to our lives,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.

Many supporting the program believe that arts are the highest form of human expression. They describe beauty, speak to our soul, engage and enrage. They celebrate our community’s diversity and etch our shared experience. The arts inspire. These  Random Acts of Culture are already happening in public places like airports, malls, and business meetings. They have already generated more than 500,000 views on KnightArts.org and three million YouTube hits.

 In November, Random Acts of Culture hit Aventura Mall as the Frost School of Music from University of Miami performed six spontaneous jazz moments on a busy Saturday afternoon.  Pleasantly surprised audiences talked about how these acts were very touching and appealing—and a welcome respite from everyday routine. “I felt all these random people in the mall come together as one to share this wonderful experience,” said one beaming shopper.

Also in November, mingling in plain clothes throughout the crowds, more than 650 Philadelphia singers burst into a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah at a downtown Macy’s. Mouths dropped. Shoppers pointed, laughed and smiled – joining a growing group of people witnessing “Random Acts of Culture” in eight cities across the United States.

By providing much-needed resources for these Random Acts of Culture, Knight Foundation extends the reach of the classical arts beyond our theaters and allows new audiences to experience the joy of performances in a most visceral and unforgettable way.

To watch some of the videos of the performances go to www.RandomActsofCulture.org

December 10, 2010, 4:57 pm
Filed under: At the Center

After three consecutive sold-out seasons, Flamenco Festival Miami returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center for a full week of performances, featuring the only American engagement this season of Spain’s foremost ambassadors of flamenco—Ballet Nacional de España.  Their appearance at the Center marks the first Miami performances of this thrilling company in nine years. And for the first time, Flamenco Festival Miami moves to the grand stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House to do full justice to the company’s extraordinary theatricality. Founded in 1978 by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, Ballet Nacional de España shows off more than 40 of the world’s greatest flamenco artists.  Under the artistic direction of José Antonio, the critically acclaimed company fuses the time-honored traditions of flamenco, while incorporating fresh modern elements, resulting in a dramatic and passionate contemporary art form.

La Leyenda por Jesús Vallinas

The Ballet Nacional de España engagement is just the latest coup for the Center’s programming team,  consistently strives to secure top notch talent, bringing the best acts in the world to the stages of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  It is particularly exciting to attract such a large dance company from Europe and to be their exclusive stop in the United States.

Jesus Robisco

Each performance of Ballet Nacional de España includes two spectacular works—La Leyenda, choreographed by José Antonio, and Dualia, by the award-winning choreographic team of Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez. Both works showcase the full company in all its glory, once again making Miami—and the Adrienne Arsht Center—one of the most exciting places to see flamenco in the world.

December 10, 2010, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition

The John S. and James L. Knight Masterworks Season  of dance, classical music and pops at the Adrienne Arsht Center wows Miami every season by presenting the world’s best orchestras, dance companies, and soloists.   Now the dynamic spirit of these creative masters—and the Masterworks series that brings them here—will be captured in art prints created by a recognized artist, with limited editions of the print available for purchase to benefit the Center.

The Adrienne Arsht Center was one of 27 South Florida artists and arts organizations to receive a 2010 Knight Arts Challenge Miami grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation this month, the second year in a row one of the Center’s ideas has won this award for artistic innovation. The $90,000 grant will help the Adrienne Arsht Center commission a prominent visual artist to create a work of art inspired by the Masterworks Season.  Each season, a new work of art by a different artist will be created, bridging the performing and visual arts worlds and building a series of commemorative prints that will be known as the Knight Masterworks Collection.

“It is thrilling for the Adrienne Arsht Center to embark on this new initiative – a creative endeavor whose reach will be felt well beyond the walls of our campus – creating a spectacular art collection that South Florida will be able to enjoy for years to come,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  “We are extraordinarily grateful to the Knight Foundation for supporting our efforts to build a new tradition linking the power of visual and performing arts in a meaningful way for our community.” 

The Knight Foundation’s grant awards, announced in a ceremony on the Center’s Knight Concert Hall stage on Nov. 29, came as art lovers filled Miami for Art Basel and the Center kicked off its exhibit of the Lincoln Center List Art Collection, a retrospective of more than 30 works of art commissioned over the past 48 years by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. The works of Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg and other celebrated artists of our time are now on display throughout the Center’s halls, lobbies and public places, the first time this esteemed collection has been featured outside Lincoln Center. Galvanized by the historic art collection, the Knight Masterworks Collection will reflect the same inventive talent – Miami-style. 

Chuck Close; Self Portrait; 2007

“The List Art Collection has been part of the fabric of Lincoln Center’s culture and patron experience for nearly 50 years and remains at the forefront of art trends,” said Karen Davidson, Visual Art Director for Lincoln Center.  “We feel sure that the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Masterworks Collection will follow this same pioneering path.” 

The matching grant that will help make this possible is the latest gift to the Center from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, whose generous support and mission to make the arts accessible to all of South Florida is evident in not only the name of the 2,200-seat Knight Concert Hall and the Knight Masterworks series, but in a significant number of projects that entertain and enlighten Miami’s diverse community, including the Center’s extremely popular Free Gospel Sundays series. Over the next few months, the Adrienne Arsht Center will consult with Thomas Lollar, Lincoln Center’s former director of visual arts, and select the first artist to contribute to the Knight Masterworks Collection.

“The Adrienne Arsht Center’s visual art series will reach into the talented ranks of Miami artists and give them a major venue to display their work,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.

December 10, 2010, 4:52 pm
Filed under: At the Center

The Magic City has been turning out major performing artists recently — from dancers to singers to theatrical divas — many of whom are performing all over the country and returning to Miami to take a star turn on the Adrienne Arsht Center’s stages. 

Recently the Center celebrated its 5th Anniversary Gala with Miami-native and multiple Tony Award-nominee Raúl Esparza performing for an enraptured crowd of major donors.  FIU alum and American Idol favorite Syesha Mercado wowed audiences as the lead in Dreamgirls, and tweeted all week about how happy she was to be back in Florida and on stage at the Center! 

DJ Carmel Ophir and Dreamgirl's Syesha Mercado at the Adrienne Arsht Center Opening Night Cast Party. Photo by Jipsy Castillo.

This month, the Center welcomes two Floridians—one   in a virtuosic dance performance and the other in a hilarious comedy revue.  Born in West Palm Beach, FL, Penny Saunders trained at the Harid Conservatory in Boca, went on to study at the prestigious American School of Ballet, and is now a principal dancer with the acclaimed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago company, which made its Miami debut at the Center on December 11.  Miami-native Gina Kreiezmar has been involved with the Forbidden Broadway phenomenon since 1992, starring in the side-splitting savagery from New York to Texas to Japan.  She returns to her hometown for more roasting and toasting of Broadway’s biggest hits when Forbidden Broadway plays the Center’s Carnival Studio Theater December 14-26. 

Gina Kreiezmar as Mary Poppins; Photo by Carol Rosegg

Join us in welcoming home these wonderful artists!

December 1, 2010, 6:35 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Julian Lennon, internationally acclaimed musician, philanthropist and artist, is making his first visit to Miami to exhibit his personal collection of photography during Art Basel Week at Adrienne Arsht Center.  Produced by Awesome Global Events, in association with ACT Productions and Soulfrito Arts Foundation and presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center, Timeless is Lennon’s own edited collection of more than 30 pieces of hand-signed portraiture and landscape photography, some of which will be exclusively on sale during the five-day exhibition. 

The exclusive South Florida premiere of Lennon’s limited edition exhibition is curated by one of the world’s most sought-after celebrity photographers, Timothy White, and the exhibition will primarily showcase Lennon’s landscape work, but will also take us into the studio, where he recently photographed U2, as well as his brother Sean Lennon.

The highly anticipated exhibition will take place on December 1 through December 5 at The Next Generation Green Room, in the Ziff Ballet Opera House.  The exhibition will be open to the public daily from 12 noon until 10:00 p.m., with private, invitation-only viewing events on select evenings.

To see images from the exhibition, visit  www.tableaufineartphoto.com

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