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!
Lazaro Godoy’s dance performance Harmonicum Accordion | Act 1 is a dysfunctional family portrait that pays homage to circus life and classics from the silent film era. Set in the dreamy atmosphere of an underworld fairy-tale, this original work delves into the twisted psychology of performers as seen through character tableaus.
Born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Lazaro Godoy, is a professional dancer, choreographer, artist, and teacher who began breakdancing at the age of 11 in the streets of Cuba with a small group of teenagers. Lazaro continued formal training at The National Arts School in Havana, the New World School of the Arts in Miami, and Julliard in New York City where he graduated in 2000. His solo choreography has been presented in festivals in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Israel and Russia. In 2008 Lazaro moved to Israel and created socially engaged projects like StreetStage together with Anderson Braz and Aftican Immigrants. He is co-founder of GodoyPradera Projects, with Carlota Pradera that was formed in 2013. Lazaro has presented work locally at Miami Theater Center Sandbox, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Inkub8, The Bakehouse and The Bridge. He is currently working on new artistic expressions which combines his dance and paintings.
Hattie Mae Williams’ Snatched is a site-specific interdisciplinary theater work made of a series of art installation pieces that incorporate dance, visual art, music and projection. The installations explore the eroticism of the black female body within a society subject to racism, capitalism, and patriarch. In addition, the pieces she has built for this interactive theater work will be documented each night by audience members who are given disposable cameras at the start of each performance.
Miami-based choreographer and dancer, Hattie Mae Williams, is a graduate of both New World School of the Arts in Miami and Alvin Ailey/Fordham in New York City. Hattie Mae is the director of modern based dance company Hattie Mae Williams The Tattooed Ballerinas, whose roots are in site specific dance; infusing film, music, history, visual arts and literature into their repertory. An activist for social change, Hattie Mae compassionately reflects on societal issues while challenging other’s expectations or learned ideas of who, what and where movement can be viewed. Her work pushes the boundaries of perception and community involvement in both performance and process. Hattie Mae has been awarded a grant from the Knight Foundation’s Knights Arts Challenge, choreographed several works for various venues and artists such as playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, and dances for the Emmy Award winning cartoon series The Backyardigans and Bubble Guppies.
Michael Yawney’s Exile Jesus Starbucks is an original theater play based on the life and work of artistic leader, Assurbanipal Babilla or Bani (as his friends called him). Like Bani’s own productions, the work will combine scripted text with material in collaboration with the performers. The piece is a triptych made up of brief scenes tracing Bani’s trajectory from being Iran’s best known artist to an elderly barista making sculptures out of discarded bottles.
Michael Yawney is a Miami-based playwright/director dedicated to creating work that is purely theatrical, expressing itself in an idiom that is only possible in the context of live performance. As a local director, he has worked with Miami Light Project, Orchestra Miami, and Nova University. Nationally his work has been seen at Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall, Austin’s Vortex Rep, the Pittsburgh Performance Art Festival, and many New York venues including HERE and The Brick. His longest production was Heather Woodbury’s 12-hour stand-up novel As the Globe Warms, which was seen at Austin’s Vortex Rep, Los Angeles Redcat and in Miami at Florida International University. His play 1,000 Homosexuals debuted in 2008 at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. He was a resident playwright in Miami-Dade County’s Playwrights Development Program and New York Stage and Film/Vassar Powerhouse. He co-curated the international Iranian Theater Festival in New York in 2011, which presented his production of Assurbanipal Babilla’s Something Something Uber Alles. Michael’s writing has appeared in Theater Week, Propaganda, Playgirl OutTraveler and OFF as well as in the book, Michael Chekhov: Critical Issues, Reflections, Dreams. He received a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University and a Batchelor of Fine Arts from the Experimental Theatre Wing of New York University. He currently teaches at Florida International University and sits on the board of The South Florida Theatre League.
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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