Miami Light Project's Here & Now Festival Experiments With Cancer, Happiness

This article courtesy of Artburst Miami.

By Neil de la Flor Here & Now, Miami Light Project’s annual commissioned experimental work by South Florida artists, will transport audiences across emblematic landscapes -- the Land of the Birds, the Appalachian mountains, the molecular world -- courtesy of performers Shira Abergel, Ivonne Batanero, Liony Garcia and Matthew Evan Taylor.

Peruvian-born choreographer and dancer Batanero makes her second appearance at Here & Now with “Project: Invasion.” Her work plumbs into the discomfort of cancer -- and the fear, death, loneliness, rejection and isolation associated with it -- and examines how these emotions propel us in ways we are almost always unaware of.

Sounds fun, right?

Well, if you've seen Batanero's work before, it'll be worth every second. Cancer spreads and takes over a body in motion. “’Project: Invasion’ is an exploration on metastasis of the abnormal,” Batanero says. “And brings some light-heartedness to this very strange and deadly disease. The piece takes you on an abstract journey of an invasion experience on a molecular level.”

Life is transitory and temporary, fragile and fleeting. Sometimes this fact blocks us from taking big risks before our time is up. However, taking risks is often the birthplace of innovation. Enter: musician, composer and risk-taker Matthew Evan Taylor.

“This is my first ballet!” Taylor exclaims when he talks about his new work “Elvrutu's Fall," the multi-layered story of Elvrutu, princess of Avianalia (The Land of the Birds), whose happiness depends on the brute kindness of the stranger.

Taylor's work delves into a self-image that is shrouded, fractured and incomplete, and controlled by dark forces. “I'm very concerned with the boundaries in this story; the boundary between Elvrutu and her suitors, between movers and marionettes, even between cast and musicians.”

Meanwhile Liony Garcia smuggles us into a human life that is benignly unaware of its own composition and mortality. In his work “In Lieu of Flowers,” the Cuban-born choreographer and dancer explores this paradox of a body moving through and against time. Garcia uses ephemera to capture the transitory nature of life.

Freedom can be costly, but freedom from love, pain and alcoholism is what Shira Abergel's work “Appalachian Squall” is about. Abergel weaves the myth, legend and music of the Appalachians, a landscape foreign to most Miamians, with the precision of a cosmic magician.

“Squall” is a textured, multi-disciplinary theater experience that examines the ties that bind and cripple us from reaching who we want to be, verses who we think we are -- the common theme that unites the four works at Here & Now for 2013.

Here & Now takes place February 7-9 and 14-16 at 8 p.m. at Miami Light Project’s Light Box at Goldman Warehouse. Tickets cost $25.

Here & Now Festival 2013
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