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!
A Knight Emerging Artist Series
The 2013 class of Here & Now commissioned artists represent a broad sampling of the exciting and diverse talents in Miami’s field of emerging independent artists. Contemporary dancers and choreographers, emerging theater artists and a composer make up this year’s field of artists.
About the artists and their work;
Shira Abergel is a performing artist of many disciplines: a musician of many instruments, singer-songwriter, actress, dancer, and all around performer. She has a BFA in Theatre Performance from New World School of the Arts. Play’s she’s been in include: "The Donkey Show" (Adrienne Arsht Center), “Brother’s Beckett" (Alliance Theatre Lab), "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (Broward Stage Door), her original one person show “Nictor/Nictoria"(Gablestage/Tower Theatre), “Alice In Wonderland" (Playground Theatre/MTC), the Off-Off Broadway production of “I Only F*ck Stupid Whores" (Manhattan Repertory Theatre), "Death For Sydney Black" (Empire Stage/Thinking Cap Theatre), “My First Time" (Area Stage) and many more. Shira has also done work with Rosie Herrera’s Dance Theatre Company, White Rose Miami, CircX, performance art with Brody Condon and Jen DeNike, is the host for Shameless Burlesque, and performs original music locally as a singer-songwriter, and with her vulgar comedy band Babyhairs.
“Appalachian Squall is a prohibition-era cautionary tale about love, pain, and alcoholism. This piece utilizes old archival & new film footage projections, original music, live performance, and the heartbeat of Appalachian culture - (live) traditional mountain music, to create a black and white theatre/silent film experience.”
Born in Lima, Peru Ivonne Batanero moved to the United States at five years old, and began her dance training at thirteen in Miami, FL. She started taking dance classes at Arvida Middle School under the direction of Carmen Arvesu. Shortly after she joined a nearby dance studio, Just Dance It where she began training under the direction of Alina Lanza. There she was able to light her passion for dance even further. She attended her first summer dance program in 2003 at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and fell in love with it. In 2003 she began to study with Doris Noriega and Brigid Baker. In 2004 she toured to Venezuela as a guest artist under the direction of Doris Noriega. In 2005 she was accepted into University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While at UNCSA she studied under Brenda Daniels, Sean Sullivan, Trish Casey, Diane Markham, Diego Schoch, Warren Conover, Ethan Stiefel, Christine Spizzo, Frank Smith, Helen Simoneau, Nigel Burley, and Ryan Hill and has performed works for Janice Brenner, Molly Shanahan, Jonah Bokaer, Sonia Dawkins, Ivy Baldwin, Murray Lewis and Lar Lubavitch. Her creative work is courageous, well crafted, kinetic and witty. Ivonne was awarded the 2009 Semans Art Fund and traveled to Vienna, Austria to attend Impuls Tanz Vienna International Dance Festival. Since then she has been creating her own work as well as performing works by local artist such as Joanne Barrett, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Karen Peterson and Dancers and Letty Bassart. Ivonne has currently started the process of choreographing her first solo evening.
“My work, Project: Invasion, is a dance piece that is inspired by the subject of cancer. It is an exploration on metastasis of the abnormal, and brings some light heartedness to this very strange and deadly disease.”
Liony Garcia is a Cuban born choreographer/dancer based in Miami, Florida. He holds a B.F.A degree in Dance performance from New World School of the Arts. As a professional dancer he’s performed with Freddick Bratcher and Co., Brigid Bakers Whole Project, and has premiered new work by Choreographers Guy Weizman and Roni Haver (Club Guy and Roni) as a member of Los Angeles based repertory company BodyTraffic. Liony is a founding member of Rosie Herrera’s Dance Theater and currently performs with her troupe. His choreographic work has been shown at New World School of Arts, The Florida Dance Festivals Winterfest 2009 as part of “Miami Dances” and recently choreographed a solo in collaboration with New World Symphony Orchestra. He has also shown work at Gallery Dot51 as well as Cando Arts Co-op.
“In Lieu Of Flowers is a performance that takes its influence from the composition of emblems. It focuses on the ephemeral using symbols and images that epitomize transitory human life.”
Matthew Evan Taylor is an enthusiastic citizen of the world of music. Since he first picked up the saxophone at age 9 in Birmingham, Alabama, Matthew has enjoyed the journey of becoming a better, more sensitive musician. Now a composer in Miami, Florida, Matthew has been able to share his music in the United States and Europe. His piece, The Sphinx’s Riddle, premiered to rave reviews in New York City as part of the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival’s Visionaries Concert. He recently was awarded a commission by the Miami Light Project to stage his ballet, Elvrutu’s Fall, in Februrary 2013.In addition to being selected for the Here and Now: 2013 showcase, Matthew is also a recipient of Tigertail Productions’ Miami Artist Access Grant, recognized as an Emerging Composer by Festival Miami, and has collaborated with Elliot Sharp, Pablo Cano, Katherine Kramer, and Joanne Barrett.
Matthew is currently teaching music theory and ear training at the University of Miami, Frost School of music, where he is also pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He is also the cofounder of the Vanguard Miami Festival of New Music, a new event in Miami showcasing up and coming composers.
“My work, Elvrutu’s Fall, is an origin myth that I composed using influences from West African, Greek and Norse mythology. Elvrutu is the princess of Avianalia (Land of the Birds) who must choose a husband for the good of the land. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and Elvrutu is betrayed by her betrothed.”
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.
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