What makes a body beautiful? What makes a dancer’s movement’s graceful and artistically meaningful? Contrary to the responses most of us might venture, the dance companies and individuals participating in the second annual Forward Motion Physically Integrated Dance Festival & Conference, taking place in Miami from September 25 through the 28, 2019, share some unique perspectives. They are part of an exciting and growing approach to performance that is inclusive of those with and without disabilities and seeks to redefine dance vocabulary and the way in which choreographers use the human body. Produced by Florida’s own groundbreaking integrated dance pioneers, Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD) (named “Best Dance Company” in Miami by the New Times for 2019), this second festival promises to be even more exciting than last year’s first edition, featuring some of the best dance companies of any kind, in performance, in discussion and holding workshops.
With ongoing leading support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and increased funding this year from the National Endowment of the Arts, KPD has put together a powerful line-up that will appeal to Miami audiences, as well as help define what physically integrated dance is in 2019. Visiting companies who will perform, in addition to KPD, are:
- New York City’s Heidi Latsky Dance, whose mission is redefining beauty and virtuosity through performance and discourse, uses performers with unique attributes and incorporates those with disabilities. They have received numerous awards, commissions and residencies.
- California and New York-based Kinetic Light, whose artistic leader is Alice Sheppard, a former dancer with the iconic AXIS physically integrated company, works in the fields of art, architecture and design, creating, performing, and teaching at the intersections of disability, dance, and race.
- London’s Step Change Studios is an award-winning, pioneering dance company committed to making dance accessible for everyone, and includes disabled and able bodied dancers. They work in a variety of styles, including creating physically integrated ballroom dance performances.
“We are so excited to continue this unique event for a second year, one that truly breaks open our ideas of what contemporary dance can be,” says Karen Peterson, Founder and Artistic Director of both her own KPD company, and the Forward Motion event. “Working with these artists, who are pushing the boundaries of their own physical and audience expectations, gives us a glimpse of a world built on diversity and inclusion that is rich and satisfying for me”.
The Forward Motion schedule includes a conference, a free collaborative performance, and workshops and classes for a range of students and communities. Two major performances featuring the dance companies will take place at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. The schedule to-date is:
Wednesday, September 25Afternoon and EveningAll Dance Companies ConvergenceA closed-to the-public convergence of the international physically integrated dance companies attending Forward Motion, with group classes, workshops and welcome events. Location Koubek Center-Miami Dade College.
Thursday, September 263 pm – 6:30 pm afternoon “Forward Motion Conference”This half-day, afternoon conference is geared towards dance professionals and students, people with disabilities, and those who work in the educational, health and service fields. With a keynote speech by the pioneering Judith Smith, Founder and Director Emerita of AXIS Dance Company, the leading physically integrated ensemble in the United States; panel discussions, and more. Registration is $25, with special discount packages available. Location Koubek Center-Miami Dade College.
7:00 pm evening “Miami-London Exchange Performance”Immediately following the afternoon conference, there will be a free open-to-the-public evening performance of, and discussion about, a short international collaboration between Miami’s KPD and the U.K.’s Step Change Studios, choreography by Ivana Ostrowski. It will be developed during a residency by KPD in Britain, and originally to be performed at the National Theatre of London’s summer outdoor stage series. Followed by a light reception for all. Free but RSVP suggested at www.ForwardMotionMiami.com. Location Koubek Center-Miami Dade College.
Friday, September 27, 8:00 pmThis evening features Heidi Latsky Dance and Step Change Studios on the main stage at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Performances include the Southeast premiere of Latsky’s Unfinished, which combines music, high fashion and immersive dance sequences, and their ongoing commitment to diversity and accessibility, with choreography by Latsky and the company; and the U.S. premiere of Step Changes’ Fairy Tales, which interprets the universal themes of childhood tales through ballroom and Latin-inspired dance, produced by Rashmi Becker. Tickets are $30, with special discounts and ticket packages available.
Saturday, September 28, 8:00 pmThis evening features Kinetic Light and Karen Peterson and Dancers on the main stage of the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Performances include the Florida premiere of Kinetic Light’s Under Momentum, which daringly combines ramps, wheelchairs and choreography by Alice Walker in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson; and the world premiere of KPD’s Untold Stories, which mixes choreography by Karen Peterson and video from artist Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez to delve into the most intimate parts of the lives of human beings. Tickets are $30, with special discounts and ticket packages available.
Public workshops and Classes September 27 through 28 – Workshops and classes for the general public, for those with disabilities and for dance professionals and students, will be held. Friday, September 27 at 10:00 am led by Heidi Latsky Dance, at 3:15 pm led by KPD, and 4:30 pm led by Kinetic Light; and Saturday, September 28 at 10:00 am led by Step Change Studios. Location ArtSpace/Studio at the Koubek Center-Miami Dade College. Tickets are $10, with special discounts and ticket packages available.
Visit www.ForwardMotionMiami.comfor full Forward Motion information, schedule and ticket purchase links.Friday and Saturday shows are each $30 general admission, $20 for students with ID, seniors 65 and over, and people with disabilities; special discount ticket packages that include both performances, conference and workshops available. Show tickets through Ticketmaster or in-person at the Auditorium box office. For registration for the conference, which is $25, and $20 for students with ID, seniors 65 and over, and people with disabilities; and workshops, which are $10 for everyone, and special ticket packages, visit www.ForwardMotionMiami.com. Tickets go on sale starting July 1. The Miami-Dade County Auditorium is located at 2901 West Flagler Street, in Miami, is fully wheelchair accessible, and has free onsite parking. The Koubek Center-Miami Dade College is located at 2705 SW 3rd Street, in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, and is fully wheelchair accessible, with on-site $6 valet parking for conference day and free parking for workshops days. To arrange for group sales discounts (10 or more people), for any questions, and to request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any disability accommodation call (305) 298-5879 or email ForwardMotionMiami@gmail.com
Support for Forward Motion comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the National Endowment of the Arts; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Citizens Interested in the Arts; Funding Arts Network; The Miami Salon Group; Best Western Premier Miami International Airport Hotel & Suites Coral Gables; WLRN; and other donors.
WHAT: Second Annual Forward Motion Physically Integrated Dance Festival & Conference
- Thursday, September 26, 3:00 to 6:30 pm conference & 7:00 pm London-Miami Dance Exchange and reception
- Friday, September 27, 8:00 pm, performance by Heidi Latsky Dance and Step Change Studio
- Saturday, September 28, 8:00 pm, performance by KPD and Kinetic Light
- Friday, September 27 through Saturday, September 28, workshops, various times
- Friday and Saturday shows, Miami-Dade County Auditorium main stage, 2901 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL, 33135
- Thursday conference & Dance Exchange, and Friday & Saturday workshops, Koubek Center-Miami Dade College, 2705 SW 3rd Street, Miami, FL, 33135
- Thursday evening Dance Exchange & Reception free and open to the public, but RSVP suggested at www.ForwardMotionMiami.com.
- Friday and Saturday performances are $30 general admission, $20 for students with ID, seniors 65 and over, and those with disabilities
- Conference registration is $25 general admission, $20 for students with ID, seniors 65 and over, and those with disabilities; workshops $10 registration for everyone; and special ticket packages that include performances, conference and workshops available.
- Show tickets through Ticketmaster or in-person at the Auditorium box office; other tickets, conference and workshop registrations and special ticket packages, visit www.ForwardMotionMiami.com.
FOR MORE INFO: www.ForwardMotionMiami.com
(305) 298-5879 ForwardMotionMiami@gmail.com