Wishing you could easily visit Europe after two years of a public health crisis that has made travel difficult? Then Saturday, April 2, 8:00 pm event is a don’t miss event, when Dance NOW! Miami (DNM) will bring a taste of Lisbon’s vibrant cultural scene to their Program II of the season with special guests Portugal’s Dança em Diálogos (DeD), in their Florida debut. Taking place at the Miami Theater Center, in Miami Shores the evening will include both a choreographic collaboration between the two companies, along with pieces from each separately. 

Dance NOW! Miami visited Portugal last June to collaborate and perform with contemporary ballet ensemble Dança em Diálogos as part of a Sister Cities exchange between Miami Beach and Cascais, and develop a new interpretation of DNM Co-Artistic Directors Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini’s Anusim, What is Hidden is Never Lost. The reshaped piece, now credited as well to DeD choreographer Fernando Duarte, will have its U.S. premiere on this April’s program, with dancers from each company performing together. It is inspired by a rarely told story in Jewish history about the 1497 decree in Portugal forcing all Jews to be baptized as “New Christians.” It includes an original score from long-time collaborator Federico Bonacossa and vocals from local Sephardic singer Susana Behar.

“We are so excited to share a Miami stage with our friends and colleagues from Dança em Diálogos, and to continue the artistic conversation that began last year,” said Salterini. “Art always serves as a mirror of society and, in these challenging times, dance and shared performance can be a bridge and an inspiration.” 

The evening also features two contemporary ballet works by Duarte, performed by Dança em Diálogos. Não Canteis A Valsa (Don’t Sing the Waltz), a U.S. premiere, is inspired by the work of Portuguese visual artist Helena Almeida, with music by legendary Portuguese composer Fernando Lopes-Graça. Prelude, a Florida premiere, is a duet performed to the timeless music of J.S Bach, played live by the South Beach Chamber Ensemble. Dance NOW! Miami has two of their own pieces on the program. The new work E/Motion, from Salterini, features video and live performance, and is a commentary on isolation and the need for human connection. Grace is a repertory work from Baumgarten that tells the moving story of the Biblical character Hannah. 

During their week in South Florida, Dança em Diálogos will also offer classes in public schools for youth throughout Miami-Dade County, as well as master classes for professional dancers at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. For more information visit www.dancenowmiami.org.

Tickets are all open seating and are $45 for the general public, $25 for Miami Shores residents and $15 for students, with IDs. Advance tickets can be purchased only at www.dancenowmiami.org/events/anusim.

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