From Dec 27th, 2008 through Jan 3rd, 2009. Miami’s holiday season just got something it has lacked in years past – a first-rate cultural festival that is sure to make all dance lovers take notice. The Florida Dance Association, known for its well-respected Florida Dance Festival, is launching their new mid-year event, WinterFest, from December 27th through January 3rd, at venues in Miami and Miami Beach. International, national and local professional and student dancers, choreographers, teachers and dance aficionados join together for this week-long celebration of dance that includes public performances and events, as well as an intense series of master classes and workshops.
WinterFest 2008 opens with a concert on Saturday, December 27 that features the acclaimed German mixed-ability company DIN A 13, and improvisational dance artists Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, from Philadelphia. DIN A 13, which is led by wheelchair dancer Gerda König, will perform Body Distance Between the Minds, a dream-like, sensual and boundary crossing duet between a woman and a man exploring the universal longing for touch. The piece includes nudity. DIN A 13 is co-presented with Tigertail Productions, Florida's pioneer of innovative arts and culture, as part of danceAble, an innovative project that focuses on dance as a vital art form for persons with and without disabilities.
Aiken and Hauser are themselves internationally recognized leaders in improvisational dance that between them have garnered Guggenheim and BESSIE awards. Their work focuses on telling both real and imaginary stories through visceral, primal movement. This joint opening night concert is at 8:00 pm at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road on Miami Beach.
The Festival continues with Florida Dances, a long-time program that focuses on showcasing the work of FDA member dance companies, schools and independent dance artists from the Panhandle to the Keys, on Sunday, December 28. Participating dancers and companies will be announced shortly.
On Tuesday, December 30th the dancers, choreographers and musicians who are leading workshops and master classes at WinterFest 2008 will perform in the Faculty Concert. Performing artists include Jennifer Archibald, Michael Foley, Isa Garcia-Rose, musician Gilles Obermayer and 2008 Guggenhein Fellow Augusto Soledade and his company Brazz Dance Theater.
WinterFest 2008 closes on Saturday, January 3rd with Miami Dances, featuring invited recipients of Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs’ Dance Miami Choreography Fellowships, which provide cash awards to support the artistic development of Miami-Dade County-based professional choreographers for the creation of new work in all dance forms. All three of these concerts take place at 8:00 at New World Dance Theater, 25 NE 2nd Street, downtown Miami.
WinterFest is produced by Florida Dance Association, a nonprofit service organization and dance presenter providing leadership, information and services to dance artists, organizations and audiences throughout Florida for 35 years. “This is our first foray into mid-year, “holiday season” programming, and we are excited about expanding our offerings here in Miami,” says Interim Director Bill Doolin, himself a Miami-based choreographer and Dance Miami Choreography Fellowship recipient.
In addition to performances, WinterFest offers an intense series of classes and workshops for dance students, teachers, choreographers and other professionals in dance/theater (danceAble workshop), ballet, modern dance, Afro-Brazilian dance, hip hop, jazz, improvisation, and Pilates©. These classes draw students, professionals and dance enthusiasts age 12 through adults from across Florida, the U.S. and internationally, and from diverse cultural backgrounds. All classes and workshops are held from Sunday, December 28 through Wednesday December 31, at the downtown Miami campus of New World School of the Arts. This year’s outstanding faculty includes Chris Aiken (contact improvisation, Philadelphia), Jennifer Archibald (hip hop & jazz, New York), Michael Foley (modern dance, Tampa), Isa Garcia-Rose (ballet and Pilates, Gainesville), Angie Hauser (Modern & contact improvisation, Philadelphia), Gerda König and Marc Stuhlmann (dance/theater, Germany) and Augusto Soledade (Afro-Brazilian dance, Miami).
As part of danceAble at WinterFest 2008 there will be a special free screening of Making the Difference: Dance and Taboo in São Paulo, a film that documents Gerda König’s groundbreaking work in Brazil with dancers with disabilities. The screening, open to the public, will take place on Sunday, December 28th, 7:00 p.m., at FIFI Projects art gallery, 167-B N.W. 23rd Street, Wynwood Arts District, Miami. No reservations are required.
Florida Dance Festival’s WinterFest 2008