Setting the Stage: Site-Specific Performance in the Design District
How to make Zaha Hadid’s “Elastika” installation in Miami’s distinct Moore Building come alive; who was Peter Pan before he became THE Peter Pan; and how to meld psychedelic funk, rock and reggae with slam poetry. All questions asked and answered at Miami Design District’s September “Site-Specific Performance Series,” which featured roving acts by Mad Cat Theatre Company, the cast of Peter and the Star Catcher (a musical slated to open in October at the Arsht Center with University of Miami’s School of Theatre), and the crew from Speakfridays.
The Design District’s monthly happenings have become welcome theatrical interventions in the city’s ever-evolving arts scene. The curious are invited to hop from one site to another to experience a vignette from a play, performance piece or live music – a route that often comprises the Garden Rooftop, various areas of the Moore Building, and the incognito rooms in between.
Perhaps most interesting about the Site-Specific Performance Series is how its immersive effect brings revelers together in such a dynamic environment. Encountered with brilliant acts that pull from the existing architecture of DACRA properties and that uses the District’s still-in-development and raw spaces as improvised stages, the audience is given the important role of willing participants who are to follow, laugh and dance on cues prompted by the performances. It all feels very clandestine and ephemeral; and in ways not always akin to the visual art world, this busking style moves us to experience new places and people in the neighborhood.
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