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Dance Now! Miami Invites Escape in Its Season Opener

Dance Now! Miami welcomes audiences to escape the outside world and become immersed in "Program I."
Chronicles with choreography by Dance Now! Miami cofounder Diego Salterini will be performed as part of the company's season opener.
Chronicles with choreography by Dance Now! Miami cofounder Diego Salterini will be performed as part of the company's season opener. Photo by Jenny Abreu
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Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini founded Dance Now! Miami 24 years ago, and for the upcoming season, the pair says they are expanding the company's horizons.

"Our performances will take place in various venues, including theaters, outdoor spaces, gardens, museums, and historical sites, showcasing the diversity of our repertoire and the versatility of our dancers," Baumgarten says. "We also welcome new dancers to the company, bringing fresh energy and perspectives to our group and inspiring us as creators."

For its first program of the 2023-2024 season, DNM will perform in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, December 3, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and on Sunday, December 10, at Sanctuary of the Arts in Coral Gables.

The program will include two repertoire works, Chronicles, a piece choreographed by Salterini that dates back to 2005, and Random Pattern of Falling Leaves, a work the pair created in 2011. The world premiere of Tethered, a new piece by Baumgarten, rounds out the program.

As the season opener conveys, Baumgarten and Salterini have alternated creating works individually and those they have worked on together in the more than two decades of their dance partnership.

Baumgarten says their "individual choreographic voices have developed over the years," adding that they are both versatile in their practices. "It has been said that I am more of a storyteller, while Diego has his forte in creating beautiful movements...When we work together, we have a synergy that brings both things together."
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The cast of Dance Now! Miami in Random Patterns of Falling Leaves
Photo by Jenny Abreu
Salterini adds, "We are fortunate to have creativity that can be expressed in a more personal and shared voice. Not many artists have the stomach to get on that train, but we love the process, its moments of total complicity, as well as those of firm resistance to each other's ideas."

In Tethered, Baumgarten says audiences will see a work that is more influenced by ballet — although dancers won't be en pointe — than what the company usually performs.

"I felt a calling to return to my contemporary ballet days. I was missing an aesthetic that I love, and I wanted to recover that aesthetic and that vocabulary for myself and the DNM audience," she says.

Davidson Jaconello created the score for Tethered with Felix Rosch. Dancers featured are Austin Duclos, Rae Wilcoxson, and David Jewett, returning artists with DNM, and one of the company's newest additions, Natalia Uribe.

Describing the two repertoire pieces, Salterini says that Random Pattern of Falling Leaves is a tribute to the beauty and magic of the autumn landscape. "There is a certain mystique in the changing of seasons," he says, "and we wanted to capture that essence in a symphony of movement. As the leaves fall and the trees become bare, we witness the passage of time and the beauty of impermanence. It is a poignant reminder that all things, no matter how great, must come to an end to be reborn again in a new cycle."
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Colleen Farnum and Ana Bolt in Chronicles
Photo by Jenny Abreu
Salterini says the other repertory piece in the program, Chronicles, is deeply personal. "As an Italian from Rome who ended up living in Miami, my life had always been full of chaotic and hectic environments. But in 2004, when my husband, Larry, took me to his family's home in Medina, Ohio, I experienced a different rhythm and pace."

He recalls visiting a home filled with family, "each with a clear and silent role to play" in a 90th birthday celebration.

"As I watched all the moving parts working together perfectly, I couldn't help but be reminded of a clock's intricate but effective workings, with each part playing its part to create a simple, peaceful, and reliable tick-tock. Chronicles is my interpretation of the American Midwest, a place of calm and tranquility," says the choreographer.

The pair hopes audiences can escape the outside world and become immersed in Program 1.

"In a time full of constant news about war, death, and political unrest, we wanted to take our audience to a place full of beauty and art. This show offers a brief respite from the chaos around us and invites audiences on a journey of pure imagination," says Salterini.

– Orlando Taquechel, ArtburstMiami.com

Dance Now! Miami "Program I." 6 p.m. Sunday, December 3, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; and 6 p.m. Sunday, December 10, at Sanctuary of the Arts, 410 Andalusia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-975-8489; dancenowmiami.org. Tickets cost $15 to $50.
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