The Bible is filled with some of the world’s most beautiful lyrical poetry. Dance NOW! Miami has daringly created a new work inspired by probably the best Old Testament example of this in the world premiere of The Book of Psalms, as part of their evening of work called Contemporanea 2018. The company, South Florida’s leading proponent of contemporary dance, brings its emblematic graceful athleticism and syncretic of-the-moment style to this very special event. The evening also includes the Miami Premiere of Touch Me, the duet XY The Engine of Life, and the World Premiere of Here On Earth.
The Book of Psalms, choreographed by company Artistic Directors Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini, is a contemporary dance journey through the hopes, joys, loyalties, sorrows, doubts and aspirations of the human heart. “It’s especially wonderful for me, a Jewish woman, to engage these ancient biblical texts, as a choreographer and a leader of our company,” says Baumgarten. “While most Psalm-inspired musical works are big choral arrangements, our dance piece will be both musically and thematically more intimate and personal.” The piece will feature an original score from Milwaukee Conservatory of Music percussionist DeLayne Doyle, costumes from Renato Armijo of Chernaya Bridal House, a breathtaking set from Elizabeth Camargo, President of the Miami Chapter of A.I.A., and lighting from long-time company collaborator and Technical Director Bruce F. Brown.
Touch Me is a reconstruction of the choreographer Gerald Arpino’s moving solo, danced to a crackling gospel score, originally created for the Joffrey Ballet in 1977. This is part of Dance NOW!’s ongoing “Masterpiece in Motion” series that brings historically important modern dance works back to life on South Florida stages. XY The Engine of Life, choreographed by Salterini, is a striking duet with a man and a woman who are at once spiraling DNA strands and flesh and blood people, with a return performance from Cuban dancer Isvel Bello, and scored to striking music from Miami-based Federico Bonacossa. Here On Earth, with choreography by Baumgarten, brings the whole company on stage for a playful exploration of our responsibility to one another, with music from Alexandre Desplat, the Books and Gil Scott-Heron.
The Aventura Center is fully wheelchair accessible and with adjacent free parking lots.