The Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler was a mixed bag of performances that introduced audiences to contemporary dance, ballet, new flamenco and traditional African dance forms. The performances, billed as six- to eight-minute samplers, highlighted the scope of dance talent that exists in Miami. Produced by Dance NOW! Miami and Miami Dance Futures, the goal of the sampler is to give local talent exposure and to expose audiences to dance forms that they wouldn't normally seek out.
The most coherent, well-choreographed performance of the evening came from the Stephanie Fuentes of the New World Dance Ensemble. The concept for the performance centered on the idea of gender-equality and cunningly communicated this message through the physique of the dancers, their balanced movements and "de-genderfying" costumes. The costumes, minimalist and all black, consisted of a black strip of fabric that hid any notion of breasts and chest and a flowing black skirt/pant-like bottom that was neither masculine nor feminine. The choreography amplified what it means to move as a being across space, not what it means to be a man or woman moving their body through space.
Niura Marquez/Nu Flamenco Collaborative's “La Nina de mis Ojos” brought together two elements—live, original music composed by Jose Luis Rodriguez and the experimental flamenco of Niurca Marquez. Marquez, wearing all red, expressed the passion and confidence inherent in Flamenco through a new lens that deconstructs and reinterprets traditional Flamenco movements while retaining its fiery essence. Rodriguez, whose ephemeral yet lush guitar composition enters your skin first and then the ears, gave the performance a sense of balance and stability as Marquez's lustful footsteps challenged the music, and the audience, to keep up.
For more information on Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler or Dance NOW! Ensemble, visit www.dancenowmiami.org.