Monday, November 9, 2009

Sleepless Night Miami

So on Saturday night, Miami was host to an event called Sleepless Night. It is in its second year (with a year hiatus in between due to lack of funding) and everyone was anxious to see if the ambitious 6pm-7am festival would attract a crowd. Well... it seems that "free" was the right price for most of Miami, because at the little event I performed in (The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens), festival go-ers streamed in and out steadily.

I fully intended to take advantage of the free shuttle rides and comb parts of Miami that I haven't seen yet, but alas, a stupid catering truck servicing an out-going wedding reception at our performance site blocked my car in and Saul and I ended up hanging out in the garden for two hours past my performance before we could get the heck out. Then our tired bones drove home to Sunrise because the reality of 12:34am hit and we decided we valued our Sunday morning coffee time more than battling the traffic on the highway back towards the action.

So, what did I see: Well, I performed with Momentum Dance Company and a Video Installation Artist at the Botanical Gardens for a throng of on-lookers. I helped to shape a site specific dance mostly based on interactions with the crowd and with each other suited for a crowd-friendly and interactive performance space. The crowd enjoyed having dancers pause beside them or engage them in passing bits of film from the installation around. They seemed to stop in their tracks and really notice the installation as opposed to when we hid ourselves away in the building and the audience was free to ignore the film and wander (briskly) through the grounds and back out again. I think If I were to do it all over again, I would choose to sprinkle 5-7 minute dances every 10 minutes for an hour. It was a success as a longer piece, but as an installation, the ongoing performances would have served it better.

As a Miami newcomer, I was heartened to see the many art-goers. In the North Country, as I fondly call the upper Midwest, events such as this would be called an Art-Crawl and that Art would be mainly visual art as opposed to the myriad live events offered at Sleepless Night. I applaud Audi's funding of such a needed night that anyone could afford and which highlighted many of the underfunded live art groups peppering Miami. Hooray. Now, if only that nap had held my sleepiness at bay a bit longer because I am ITCHING to see South Beach!