‘Donkey Show’ features homegrown talent at Arsht Center

Credit: arshtcenter.org

When you step into Club Oberon, you quickly forget that you are at the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts. Instead, you have time traveled back to the 1970s where you are surrounded by strobe lights, fog and booming disco music, while dancers decked out in go-go shorts and glitter spin around you. You have arrived at The Donkey Show.

This spectacular phenomenon has traveled across the world – from New York City to London – and finally to South Florida, where 20 of Miami’s brightest young actors, dancers, singers and acrobats dazzle audiences as the stars of one of the biggest productions of The Donkey Show in the world. As members of this cast, these artists – all Miami residents – have the opportunity this summer to collaborate with Tony nominated Broadway director Diane Paulus, nationally-acclaimed lighting directors Al Crawford (of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) and Zakaria M. Al- Alami (Jazz at Lincoln Center) and many more to showcase their work on the Arsht Center’s international stage.

Further fusing the notion of world-class and community-based, Rosie Herrera – a rising star on the national dance scene who is also a Miami native — leads the dancers as choreographer of The Donkey Show. Following a string of critical successes and national exposure that began with a 2009 commission from the Center for her signature piece Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret, Rosie was personally invited by Arsht Center artistic advisor Charles Reinhart, who served as the American Dance Festival’s (ADF) visionary director, to set the piece on ADF dancers that same summer. The Arsht Center and ADF then went on to co-commission two more of her works, which premiered at the Center in 2011. A graduate of New World School of the Arts and hailed as one of the freshest new talents in dance theater, we are proud to partner with Rosie and showcase her work on our stage once again.

There are many more examples of how the Arsht Center is delivering on its mission to bring internationally recognized artists to the city, to support our brilliant and innovative artistic community and to showcase local talent on our stage.

Each year, the Arsht Center hosts its “Miami Made Festival.” This weekend full of free fun is action-packed with Miami talent. It is a celebration of the new, the young and the wildly creative from South Florida playwrights, dancers, actors and musicians. We also produce our ongoing “Family Fest” – a free series featuring family-friendly outdoor activities and performances by local talent.

The activities provide engaging opportunities for parents to share with their children, while encouraging up-close involvement in the performing arts. In addition, we collaborate with theater. Our Theater Up Close season features collaborations with bold, local theater companies such as Zoetic Stage and Mad Cat; guest residencies by the acclaimed House Theatre of Chicago and a partnership with the University of Miami that offers aspiring actors and theater professionals a unique opportunity to work alongside the Arsht Center team on a professional production each season.

The Arsht Center leadership made a commitment to this community six years ago when it opened and we continue to honor that pledge as we afford new opportunities for our city’s artistic community and new experiences for our audiences.

The Donkey Show is on stage at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht Center through Aug. 12. For more information, visit arshtcenter.org/donkeyshow.

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