SOURCE: Florida Dance Association

dance, Florida, arts, culture, contemporary dance, dancers, performing arts, modern dance

October 21, 2010 11:37 ET

WinterFest Breaks Cultural Barriers Through Dance

Florida Dance Association's Premier Performance Event Set for Encore in Miami

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - October 21, 2010) -  Nationally and internationally acclaimed modern dance companies will take the stage for Florida Dance Association's third annual WinterFest, Dec. 27-Jan. 28, in various venues throughout Miami and Miami Beach.

The performance lineup includes New York City's Kate Weare Company, Brooklyn's Arch Dance Company, danceAble with San Francisco and Berlin-based Jess Curtis/Gravity, co-produced with Tigertail Productions and award-winning Miami-based productions including a special retrospective tribute to choreographer, Gerri Houlihan.

"Our focus for this year's WinterFest is to provide audiences with cutting-edge contemporary performances that broaden understanding and appreciation of all cultures through dance," says Bill Doolin, director of Florida Dance Association, a nonprofit organization established to support the development of dance in Florida and increase exposure opportunities. "WinterFest is a creative incubator of new ideas for audiences and provides instrumental educational and working opportunities for all dancers."

WinterFest will lead off at New World School of the Arts (Dec. 30) with a retrospective concert of admired choreographer Gerri Houlihan, who directed Houlihan & Dancers in Miami throughout the 90s. Guest artists from New York City, Paul Matteson and former Houlihan dancer Jennifer Nugent, will also be featured. Both dancers currently perform with one of the hottest modern dance companies in the United States, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Miami Dances will follow at the Byron Carlyle Theatre (Jan. 7-8) showcasing the work of Miami-Dade County Choreography Fellowship winners. Invited performers include Heather Maloney, whose work addresses global issues and social change; native Brazilian performer, Augusto Soledade, founder and artistic director of Miami's Brazz Dance Theater; and choreographer Letty Bassart.

Hip hop company Arch Dance will address the "Uncomfortable Truth" with their new work that is an adventure of seven women reclaiming their personal power by looking at their own relationships with their mothers and coming-of-age experiences. Jennifer Archibald, founder and artistic director, is known internationally for her hip hop repertory and teaching. The Arch Dance Company will perform at Colony Theatre for two performances (Jan. 15 and 16).

For the first time in Florida, the critically acclaimed Kate Weare Company will perform two pieces at Byron Carlyle Theatre (Jan. 22): "Bridge of Sighs," a physically and emotionally charged quartet of women and men, looking at both reckless and wise instincts that drive love; and "Bright Land," a series of unpretentious dances that speaks to the human experience set to a score of old-time, soulful music by The Crooked Jades, one of the most talked-about string bands in the country.

Rounding out WinterFest is the national pre-premiere of "Dances for Non/Fictional Bodies," by Jess Curtis/Gravity, co-produced with Tigertail Productions at Inkub8 Studio (Jan. 28 and 29). This 11th annual danceAble event presents an interdisciplinary mixed-ability performance company utilizing artists from Germany, France, Italy, England and the United States. "Dances for Non/Fictional Bodies" is a performance-based project that combines installation, cirque arts and forward-thinking, new performance techniques uniquely set in a studio that examines the roles of imagined societal ideals as a kind of "fictional body" that disables individuals in terms of their ability to see others and to be seen as beautiful, empowered and autonomous people.

A nationally significant dance project started in 2000 by Florida Dance Association, Miami-based Tigertail Productions and Miami Dade College, danceAble focuses on dance as a vital art form and fundamental design of physical expression for individuals with and without disabilities.

"The work by danceAble challenges the notions of who should have access to the stage," says Doolin.

In addition to the five public performances, WinterFest will offer master classes for dancers (intermediate and up) throughout the month taught by top dance professionals. All performances start at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $8-$25; to purchase or for more information, visit: www.floridadanceassociation.org or call 305-310-8080.

Established in 1974, Florida Dance Association is Florida's statewide arts/dance service organization that has built a national reputation for excellence in both educational programming and quality of performances presented throughout the state. WinterFest is a high-performance event exposing audiences to outstanding contemporary dances from Florida and throughout the country.

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