SMDCAC preparing to embark on 2012-13 season of performances

After successfully introducing a brand-new performing arts facility to the South Miami- Dade community in October 2011 and presenting its first full season, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) embarks on its second season of performances.

An outstanding lineup of presentations is planned for 2012-13, showcasing a diverse set of artists and performing art events for all to enjoy.

Highlights include the New York Broadway touring production of A Chorus Line, winner of nine Tony Awards, including “Best Musical” and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. The “singular sensation” comes to South Miami Dade as the last stop on its national tour in March.

In an empty theater, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. For 17 dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It is what they have worked for — with every drop of sweat, every hour of training, every day of their lives. It is the one opportunity to do what they have always dreamed — to have the chance to dance. This is A Chorus Line, the musical for everyone who has ever had a dream and put it all on the line.

Known internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, MOMIX is a company of contemporary dancer-illusionists under the direction of Moses Pendleton, founding member of Pilobolus. The troupe comes to Miami in January to present Botanica, a visual splendor for the entire family, featuring an eclectic score that ranges from birdsong to Vivaldi and serves as a backdrop for this magical exploration of the rhythms of the seasons.

In February, SMDCAC brings Live at Birdland featuring The Birdland Big Band directed by Tommy Igoe (creator of the drumset book for The Lion King). The performance takes place in a setting designed to recreate the ambience and experience of a night at Birdland, the famous NYC jazz nightclub named after Charlie “Yardbird” Parker.

This dynamic new ensemble, straight from the jazz mecca of the Big Apple, provides an unforgettable musical event that goes beyond the traditional and sets the standard for the 21st Century jazz orchestra. World music is explored from every corner of the globe to surprise and delight audiences of all ages while infusing the best of American jazz with excitement that has not been seen in decades.

Featuring New York’s finest musicians and directed by one of the world’s greatest drummers, The Birdland Big Band has become NYC’s most popular weekly musical attraction. Time Out New York said the group is “A completely unique NYC experience. There isn’t another band like this anywhere… a music experience you simply must witness.”

Sweet Honey In The Rock, the internationally renowned, all-female Grammy Awardwinning a cappella singing group will perform at the center in January. Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey In The Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz. The performance includes an American Sign Language (ASL) Interprete.

Country music fans have an opportunity to see Asleep at the Wheel in November. “The Wheel” as they are affectionately called is the famed Western-swing, boogie, and rootsmusic outfit that has played with the likes of Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard and many others for more than 40 years. Winners of nine Grammy Awards, The Wheel presents a concert is a “can’t be missed” for music lovers. South Florida’s Jesse James Band opens the show.

Those are just some of the highlights, but there is so much more. In October, a theater production of The Tragedy of Macbeth by Asolo Repertory Theatre with Shadow Interpretation (actors are “shadowed” by ASL interpreters) offers young people the opportunity to see this Shakespeare classic in a contemporary, shortened, 60-minute format.

Also in October, Haiti’s acclaimed dance company Compaigne de Danse under the direction of Jean René Delsoin performs choreography that captures Haiti now — raw and refined, spiritual and powerful. Bold swaths of color alternate with somber, focused intensity. The earthy, expressive voices of traditional drums interweave with the precise grace of classical ballet. Modern dance aesthetics and a deep love of popular moves meet beats that migrated from West Africa to Haiti.

Holiday performances in December include Miami Youth Ballet’s spectacular production of The Nutcracker and a Christmas concert by South Florida’s Grammy nominees Seraphic Fire.

The innovative Haitian-American composer, performer, violinist and band leader Daniel Bernard Roumain performs in February with members of the Sphinx Orchestra. And February also features The Actors’ Gang, the Los Angeles-based experimental theater company founded by actor/director Tim Robbins (Bull Durham, Shawshank Redemption), with Moléire’s quick-witted comedy Tartuffe.

March brings the nine piece Brooklynbased band Red Baraat, with South Florida’s Latin jammers the Spam Allstars for a thrilling evening of world music that will have audiences musically trotting the globe and dancing in the aisles.

Also performing in March is nine-time Grammy Award winner and Latin jazz and salsa superstar Eddie Palmieri and his band.

Considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, percussionist Zakir Hussain performs in April with Maestros in Concert featuring Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, a world-renowned Santoor (Indian folk instrument) player. Hussain is an international phenomenon and one of the greatest musicians of our time.

A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have established him as a national treasure in his own country as one of India’s reining cultural ambassadors. April also features aerial dance sensation Alison Chase/Performance to Miami. Chase, another founding member of Pilobolus, is known for her breathtaking, kinetic, moving choreography. Also in April, the center brings the internationally famous U.S. Army Field Band of Washington, DC for a free concert. This is the official touring musical representative of the U.S. Army.

In May, the seventh annual All Kids Included Family Festival once again provides a full day of activities and cultural experiences for children with and without disabilities. The annual festival draws more than 5,000 kids and families from across Miami-Dade County for a day of live entertainment, interactive arts activities and community resources for parents. Each component of the festival is designed to be accessible, utilizing technology such as Braille, guided tours, ASL interpretation and Shadow Interpreted Theater.

This season SMDCAC presents a Cabaret Series in the intimate Black Box Theater space which seats up to 130 people. The series includes evening and matinee shows featuring flamenco, jazz, Latin, Broadway and world music artists. The club-like setting has table seating, food, drinks and a relaxed atmosphere. Featured artists include flamenco dancers and musicians from Siempre Flamenco (November and February); Broadway star Andy SeÀor Jr. (December and March); jazz, blues, gospel vocalist Rene Marie (January); Gypsy swing band Hot Club of San Francisco (April) and many more.

The center also presents a Children’s Series with kid-friendly productions at family-friendly prices. In October the bilingual English- Spanish, NY-based, kiddie-rock band Moona Luna will play songs of joy, discovery and perseverance like Piñata Party and Brinca (jump).

In January is Freckleface Strawberry based on the best-selling book by actress Julianne Moore. This wonderful musical adaptation takes children on a voyage inside the book’s pages with Freckleface and friends as they learn to love the skin they’re in.

Tickets for the 2012-13 season go on sale on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Buy tickets online at or call 786-573-5300. SMDCAC is located at 10950 SW211 St. in Cutler Bay.

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