Teatro Cinema fuses theater and cinema

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On Saturday April 16 at 8 p.m. at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, Chilean Theater Company Teatro Cinema will present Historia de Amor. This is the latest in Miami Dade College’s 25-year-old, MDC Live Arts series. At Live Arts, great, recent Timbalive event, MDC folks were spreading the word. The press release adjectives – mind-bending, wildly inventive, and cutting-edge – sent me into research mode.

It seems Teatro Cinema has been cutting-edge for quite some time; they were founded by a trio in 1987 and have come to fuse theater and cinema. Ergo, the company name.

Chile. There are places that evoke things otherworldly. Usually, the Travel Section serves them up in lists and yearly compilations like this: 1950 – Visit Paris, Venice, and London. 1990 – Visit Berlin, Istanbul, and Helsinki. 2005 – Visit Bali, Tokyo, and Bangkok. 2010 – Barcelona, Seoul, and Brisbane. 2015 – Montenegro, Iceland, and Istanbul.

Unless you are a backpacker or missionary, South America is off your radar, unless, of course, you live in Miami. I am grossly simplifying here, but what is a forgotten continent to too many is right in the center of our wheelhouse here. Even Chile.

Straight up, I don’t wish to simplify it, but we are real lucky when it comes to some sort of elementary comprehension related to the places to our south. (Despite the joke that the further north you go in Florida, the further south you go.)

It’s not just where we travel, but where we come from. Our neighbor comes from Lima. We bump into our friend from Guayaquil at Trader Joe’s. A colleague returns from São Paulo. We watch President Obama in Buenos Aires as we have an Argentinean barbecue and buy meat from Martinez. We visit Pamela’s Delicatessen for the pastel de choclo and Sabores Chilenos for the pebre. We might even listen to two great Chilean bands, the Santiago All Stars or Antoine Alvear’s Metropolitan Salsa Orchestra.

The Arts are no different. We visit Pan American Art Projects in Wynwood. We see Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent at the Tower and meet a shaman in the Colombian Amazon. We watch a documentary on a 70 something Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado. We need not go out of our way to see these things locally – it’s all in a day. We are culturally spoiled.

This very fine event soon occurring is yet another arrow in our multicultural quiver. Historia de Amor is a piece on the subject of love, based on a novel by prize winning, French writer, Régis Jauffret. Explaining what the Teatro Cinema plans to do is futile – too cool and complicated. However, its bona fides are solidly evident in the trailer – it’s black and white.

Miami is hardly otherworldly, unless you are visiting from Topeka, but here, smack dab in a kind of center of the Western Hemisphere, in a kind of virtual center of the Americas, where Spanish language, Caribbean life, Central America, and Latin America all intersect, we are always on a top-rated list. Teatro Cinema should be right at home. Historia de Amor is in Spanish but subtitled in English and is not suitable for younger audiences, so drop them off at Dylan’s Candy Bar and enjoy the experience.

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