Arts at St. Johns presents Teens for Equality and Dancing with My (Mother’s) Body

Carol Hoffman-Guzman, Arts at St. Johns Founding Director & President of the Board

Arts at St. Johns, a Miami Beach arts program, has long been known for its eclectic and diverse presentations. Two upcoming summer performances reflect the organization’s unique take on the arts as a means of expression, empowerment, social justice, and human rights.

Thursday, Aug. 22, 7 pm: The “Teens for Equality” Performance Ensemble presents its premier performance with the launch of “Be Who You Are.” The mission of the ensemble is to give a visible platform for area youth — to express their talent and personality and to take a stand on social issues such as human injustice, bullying, environmental concerns, teen sex, and gay/straight issues.

The youth, a select group ages 13 – 19, will perform in song, dance and acting, as well as the spoken word. The evening’s performers are the project’s youth leadership group, which is the nucleus for growing a larger performance troupe for future performances. The project is directed by Lloyd Reshard, Interim Executive Director of Arts at St. Johns, along with Christina Alexander as Drama Coach and Hamilton Gutierrez as Music Coach and Pianist.

Tiffany Hanan Madera.

After the performance, there will be a reception to meet the youth, director, and coaches and to talk about how youth can be an influence for social change.

“Be Who You Are” is premiering at the iconic St. Johns United Methodist Church, one of two “Reconciling” Florida Methodist churches (meaning that the church openly welcomes ALL people regardless of race, sexual orientation, physical capability, or economic status). This project has received a City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Gala grant.

The performance is free, but by invitation only. To be placed on the Invite List, contact Lloyd Reshard at 786-309-1275 or by email Location: 4760 Pine Tree Dr, 33140. Parking is onsite and free.

Sunday, Sept. 9, 2 pm. Tiffany hanan Madera presents “DANCING WITH MY (MOTHER’S) BODY,” an exploration of power, nurturance, belly dance and the body. Tiffany was one of the first Artistic Directors at Arts at St. Johns, where she launched the Dance Empowerment Project. Over the years, this project used Middle Eastern dance as a means of personal discovery, empowerment, reflection, and creative unblocking.

The September performance is a rigorous exploration of identity, the body and the ever-evolving relationship of mother and daughter. Through dance, dramaturgy and personal narrative, plus identity construction and empowerment, hanan brings the performers into a deeply personal conversation with their own bodies, through the connection with the Universal Mother.

Performers have prepared dances, monologues and responses to readings and research, plus improvisation with guest artist Carlota Pradera and butoh dance with Helena Thevenot. The performance features work-in-progress pieces created in a month-long workshop, with solos by advanced student performers and a performance by the dance troupe Fusion Gitana, directed by Zizi Zabaneh.

Admission is $10; $5 for Seniors and Students. Location: 4760 Pine Tree Dr, 33140. Parking is onsite and free. – Arts at St Johns has been a member of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce since the organization was formed over 12 years ago.

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