Artistry in Rhythm Dance Conference scheduled at MDC’s Kendall Campus

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Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Kendall Campus Performing Arts and Industries Department will host its annual Artistry in Rhythm (AIR) Dance Conference, which seeks to explore the significance of community engagement through the vernacular of dance, Thursday, Mar. 19, to Saturday, Mar, 21.

Titled “As Above, So Below,” this year’s theme is an embodied movement experience that focuses on the visceral ecology of humanity. Through this mindfulness practice in dance, the senses are fully engaged to creatively meet challenges and further connect to the world in which we live.

AIR Dance Conference 2020 will include a host of master dance classes, lectures, demonstrations and performances in Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian, Salsa, Somatics, Body Conditioning, Ballet, Contemporary Modern, Swing, Dance Composition, Acting for Dancers, Afro-fusion and Hip-hop dance styles. Participants will be able to meet world renown dancers, artists, and choreographers, including this year’s conference honoree Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico.

Vilaro, joined Ballet Hispánico in August 2009, becoming only the second person to lead the company since it was founded in 1970. In 2015, he took on the additional role of CEO. He has been part of the Ballet Hispánico family since 1985 as a dancer and educator, after which he began a 10-year record of achievement as founder and artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.


Born in Cuba and raised in New York from age 6, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of cultural diversity and dance education. His own choreography is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual and historical essence of Latino cultures. He created over 20 ballets for Luna Negra and has received commissions from the Ravinia Festival, Chicago Sinfonietta, Grant Park Festival, Lexington Ballet and Chicago Symphony. In 2001, he was a recipient of the Ruth Page Award for choreography, and in 2003, he was honored for his work at Panama’s II International Festival of Ballet. Vilaro was also inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016 and was awarded HOMBRE Magazine’s 2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, he was the recipient of the West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award and was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts. Most recently, he was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award.

This year’s AIR Dance opening choreography will be presented by the 2020 Leaps and Bounds artist Niurca Marquez, a dancer and researcher with a wide range, as a creator and performer in film, site-specific work and staged performance whose work has been commissioned by and presented on various curatorial platforms in Europe and the U.S.

Marquez has worked tirelessly on presenting new works that examine notions of identity, cultural memory and ritual in flamenco within a contemporary framework, as well as, works that delve into the multiple layers of communication and understanding in the form.

Other distinguished faculty to participate in AIR Dance 2020 includes Nicole Clark-Springer (Deeply Rooted Dance Ensemble), Marisol Blanco (Sikan Afro-Cuban Dance Project), Teo Castellan (D-Projects), Nancy St. Leger (NSL Dance Ensemble) and Loni Johnson (YoungArts) among others.

AIR Dance 2020 is coordinated, directed and produced by MDC professor Michelle Grant-Murray, a choreographer, performer, author and social activist whose work has put her in front of audiences in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America and the United States.

Currently she is the Artistic Director of Olujimi Dance Theatre, Miami Dade College Jubilation Dance Ensemble, and coordinator of dance at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus. Grant-Murray is the author of Beyond the Surface: An Inclusive American Dance History.

MDC students, faculty and staff, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), dance professionals, dance studios, colleges and universities are invited to partake in this educational, and exciting celebration of dance. The cost of the conference is $25 for MDC students with an active ID and Miami-Dade County Public School students. It is $50 for all other guests. Daily rates are $15 and $5 per class. The registration fee includes three days of dance and one ticket to each AIR Dance performance.

All conference presentations will take place at MDC’s Kendall Campus, Martin and Pat Fine Theatre (Room M113), 11011 SW 104 St.

For a complete schedule and to register, visit https://tickets.completeticketsolutions.com/MDC/Online/default.asp.

For more information, contact Michelle Grant-Murray at 305-237-2638 or mgrantmu@mdc.edu.


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