Miami Light Project launched Here & Now in 1999 as the first of its kind program dedicated to the commissioning of South Florida based performing and multi-media artists. In addition to a commission fee, artists who are selected for a Here & Now receive free rehearsal space, technical assistance and professional development from Miami Light Project, that extends beyond their Here & Now performance.
Since its inception, Miami Light Project has commissioned work from more than 75 South Florida-based artists, whose work has contributed to the growing reputation of Miami as a cultural center of international importance. Over 30 of those artists have gone on to perform that work in 14 states and 16 countries for an estimated world wide audience of over 25,000!
Inspired by ritualistic writing done two hours every night for the past two years, Unnamable sets Letty Bassart's original writing on a collision course with anonymous texts, and the countless anonymous blogs, videos and posts that live in cyberspace today. The work features an original score by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, live vocals and movement by dancer Shaneeka Harrell.
Letty Bassart is a Miami-born and Miami-based choreographer that demanded ballet lessons at the age of three and fell in love with text watching her mother type radio ads for a penny a minute. Her choreography has been commissioned by the Adrienne Arsht Center; City of Miami Beach; and Miami Light Project to name a few. Accolades include Miami-Dade Choreographer Fellowship awarded by a national panel of dance experts (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) and a National Endowment for the Arts dance writing fellowship (2011). She is the founder of Thought Loom, which was awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant in 2013.
Abel Cornejo's UTOPIA D2H is an interdisciplinary theater work that explores issues of perfection, chaos, and the quest for happiness. Drawing inspiration from the hijackings of the 1970s and 1980s of planes from the United States to Cuba, UTOPIA D2H explores the human desire for fitting in and finding utopia and explores the questions: Why do Utopias fail? Do all Utopias self-destruct? Or is there an external factor that destroys it?
ABEL CORNEJO is a multimedia artist who has lived and worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Miami. In San Francisco he managed the small performance space, A.P. Gallery, where he programmed and booked numerous events including theatrical plays, painting exhibitions, performance art shows and social conferences. As a filmmaker, he produced and performed in Corazon de Vegetable which won honors at the San Antonio Cinefest for best emerging artist. His play, Sabanas: Life through Dreams, a sexy experimental drama was featured in the New York International Film Festival and his solo piece Suspicious Activity was commissioned by Miami Light Project for Here & Now: 2002, and was a critical response to the way artists are commonly held in suspect during times of crisis. He is the writer and director of The Latina Project based upon a 200 interviews and surveys from women sharing their stories, experiences and perspectives, and was featured in the San Antonio Teatrofest. Most recently, as a participant in The Field held in Broward County, he presented his new play, Collide: Galaxies In Motion, a visceral intersection of drama, movement and science.
Inspired during a summer residency in the Florida Everglades, Ana Mendez' Portal is a ritual dance performance exhibiting the future culture of a human race highly integrated with their animal and spirit nature. Set to a score featuring performances by Sun Ra Arkestra musician, Ed Wilcox, and the notorious Blowfly, Portal takes three characters through a Shamanic journey into a timeless void that is a meld of the past, present and future.
Born in Miami and a graduate from the University of Illinois, Ana Mendez, is a professional dancer and performance artist. She is cofounder of the artist collective, Psychic Youth with artist, Federico Nessi that was formed in 2008. She has been commissioned by Miami Light Project and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade for Here & Now: 2011, the de la Cruz Collection, Miami Art Museum and the Bass Museum. In June of 2013, she was an artist fellow for the Artist in Residence in the Everglades program. Ana has also performed for Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Natasha Tsakos, Octavio Campos, Miami Contemporary Dance Company and Circ X. She is currently an exhibiting performance artist at Spinello Projects.
Collaborators David Rohn and Danilo de la Torre surrealistic theatrical work, Sexual Offenders, recounts a 2008 incident in a small Florida Keys town where a husband/father/local government official announced that he would begin sexual re-assignment therapy, the way his family and the small community reacted to this news, and the resulting Supreme Court case that determined a person cannot be fired for undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
David Rohn grew up in the suburbs of New York and studied Architecture, Art and Urbanism at NYU, the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and Pratt Institute. In 1989, he moved to Paris, and in 1992 settled in Miami where he began to exhibit paintings, videos, installations, and performances. Currently associated with Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art, Miami, his work has been displayed in museums and collections both public and private. He exhibits and performs his original performance works regularly at Carol Jazzar Gallery, the Scope Art Fair in New York and Miami and The Miami International Performance Festival. David Rohn is also an art contributor for Artlurker and Whitehot Miami.
Born in Havana, Cuba, and trained in classical ballet, Danilo De La Torre has worked in musical theater and cabaret since he was 17. In 1985, he joined the Le Ballet Theatre de la Seine in Paris, where he continued to work in contemporary and modern dance. After reclocating to Miami, he became Adora, an icon whose outrageous bouffant wigs, extraordinary make up and captivating stage presence made him/her the undisputed "Queen of South Beach" ,a title that survives even in that somewhat changed Scene. Adora's repertoire of lipsync interpretations includes a variety of music from Yma Sumac to Opera, Edith Piaf to La Lupe.
In 2008, David Rohn and Danilo de la Torre formed:”Homo-Sapiens (Art for Evolution) with collaborator Danilo de la Torre for the creation and production of a variety of performance, video, and photographic projects, typically with themes related to social issues. Their first project, Silencio, was a performance piece about a Guard and Muslim inmate in a Gitmo style Detention Camp who fall in love; it was performed at the Miami Beach Cinematheque and the Wolfsonian, Miami Beach.
Juan Carlos Zaldivar’s Hesperus is Phosphorus is a series of phosphorescent paintings on glass that must be directly illuminated in order to be seen by human eyes. These paintings re-contextualize popular, iconic figures from classical and baroque iconography by re-inventing their surroundings and altering their forms in comparison to the duality of the Eastern deity, Shiva. In addition to the paintings, this interactive exhibit will feature a light sensitive mural, a downloadable 3D audio experience and a nightly short performance.
Cuban-born, Juan Carlos Zaldívar lives and works in the United States. He completed both his BFA and a Masters of Fine Arts at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he has also taught as an adjunct faculty. He started his film career as a sound editor and designer, his work can be heard in Academy Nominated films such as Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility and the HBO’s America Undercover special, On the Ropes which garnered him an Emmy nomination.
His film and video art works have screened at many festivals worldwide and broadcast on PBS, ABC, IFC, Showtime and WE. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. His directing credits include "90 Miles" (PBS), "The Story of the Red Rose" (Showtime), "Palingenesis" and "Soldiers Pay" (IFC), co-directed with David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter) and Tricia Regan (Autism, the musical). He has served as a Juror for several mayor film festivals including the Sundance International Film Festival, and is a Sundance Film Institute alumnus. He currently teaches at Miami International University’s Art Institute.
His latest film, SHIFT, is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and premiered at the Shorts Corner at the Cannes Film Festival 2013.
TKnight Emerging Artist Series is funded through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, which funds the best ideas for bringing South Florida together through the arts.
For more information, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
© 2014 Miami Light Project. All Rights Reserved.