Miami Dance Futures

High Lights History


In 1987, following numerous discussions with individual artists, administrators and cultural leaders in the South Florida community, it became evident that there was a need for an organization that would take over the task of developing opportunities for dance education, audience development and performances in the area In February, 1988, Sidney Brien (associated for eight years with the Boston Dance Umbrella) and Daniel Lewis (internationally recognized for his work with José Lim n and the Juilliard School of Music) established Miami Dance Futures, Inc. (MIAMI DANCE FUTURES). MIAMI DANCE FUTURES's goal was to present modern and new dance to audiences whose interests lay between the balletic classicism of Miami City Ballet and the avant-garde programming of Tigertail Productions. Other cultural and artistic goals were identified as well. 1) to enrich and expand the current professional modern dance community and its audiences through education and performances; 2) To provide professional performance opportunities for outstanding Florida dance and dance related artists; 3) To support the development of performance opportunities for new works created by collaborating artists from different ethnic backgrounds; 4) To attract emerging and professional modern dance students from all ethnic and economic backgrounds to Miami as a major center for learning modern dance; 5) to offer interested children, the next generation of audiences and dancers, the opportunity to learn about dance from the performances of multi-ethnic, world-class artists based in Florida, as well as the United States and the rest of the world.
The 1988 LIMON SUMMER DANCE PROGRAM, co-produced with the New world School of the Arts, was the first project programmed toward meeting these goals. Over 100 talented students enrolled in the program and learned classic and new repertory from national figures in dance education, including "Bessie" award winner Robert Dunn, Alfredo Corvino, and Daniel Lewis. The José Limon Dance Company was in residence for 3 weeks teaching classes every day, presenting (free to the public) 7 lecture/demonstrations in Dade and Broward counties, as well as presenting 3 reduced admission concerts. These events were attended by over 3000 dance enthusiasts.
The MIAMI BALANCHINE CONFERENCE, co-produced with the Metro Dade Cultural affairs Council, the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Art, Miami City Ballet, Miami Dade Community College, New World School of the Arts and the Florida Dance Association, drew 250 participants from all over the world. It brought major American and Russian dance historians, critics and scholars to South Florida. Presentations were delivered by Vera Krasovskaya of the Vaganova Institute, New York critics and dance historians Arlene Croce and Anna Kisselgoff, Balanchine dancers Edward Villella and Suzanne Farrell, Director of Jacob's Pillow, Liz Thompson and Sally Ann Kreigsman, director of the National Endowment for the Arts. The conference, developed to explore Balanchine's early choreographic roots and his influence on the development of neo-classical dance in the 20th century, surpassed all expectations.
In December 1990, MIAMI DANCE FUTURES began its association with the Spanish dance company BALLET ESPAÑOL ROSITA SEGOVIA and the emerging contemporary dance company, HOULIHAN & DANCERS. MIAMI DANCE FUTURES acted as a presenter for all their performances in 1991 and began an experimental role as administrator. MIAMI DANCE FUTURES presented performances of SEGOVIA and HOULIHAN in 1990-91 season at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts and The Colony Theater and the New World Dance Theater at New World School of the Arts.
In February 1991, with the Society of Dance History Scholars, MIAMI DANCE FUTURES co-produced the CONFERENCE ON DANCE IN HISPANIC CULTURES. The conference fostered an open dialogue on the cultural legacy of the pioneers in modern and multi-cultural dance. In the summer of 1991, the first MIAMI DANCE FUTURES Scholarship Fund award was presented to a young black dancer, Gelan Lambert, who was able, as a result of the scholarship, to study at the Joffrey School in New York, and who is now on full scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music.
Despite the devastation left from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, MIAMI DANCE FUTURES was able to present 4 performances of HOULIHAN & DANCERS and 10 performances of BALLET ESPAÑOL ROSITA SEGOVIA. It co-produced the CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL GUILD OF MUSICIANS IN DANCE in January, provided dance support of the Greater Miami Opera and supported performances of the Isadora Duncan Dance Ensemble at New World School of the Arts in March. Over 2100 children attended free performances during the year as part of the educational and community service portion of Miami Dance Futures.
In 1993-94 the first MODERN DANCE SAMPLER was presented to cross pollinate audiences and develop awareness of modern dance in South Florida. 10 of South Florida's outstanding modern dance companies participated in this now annual event. THE 2nd NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DANCE FESTIVAL, coproduced with New World School for the Arts and the National Dance Association, drew over 800 students from across the country and Australia. The students attended master classes with nationally renowned dance instructors, attended lectures and seminars on dance history, injury prevention, and performed in and watched two gala concerts with their contemporaries. These free performances were also attended by children from the Dade County Public Schools.
Because of MDFs support HOULIHAN & DANCERS has been able to expand their horizons to a more national presence on the dance scene.. They were invited onto the roster of New York based Pentacle, Inc., a nationally known and respected non-profit booking agency, as well as receiving a prestigious DanceLink Grant to develop its touring capabilities and create an awareness of the company outside the region. With the assistance of MIAMI DANCE FUTURES, the ISADORA DUNCAN DANCE ENSEMBLE was presented by the Kennedy Center in January of 1996. In addition, MIAMI DANCE FUTURES, with the Community Concerts Association, co-produced the successful joint concert of ROSITA SEGOVIA BALLET ESPAÑOL and HOULIHAN & DANCERS at the Gusman Center of the Performing Arts, included the commission & premiere of a jointly choreographed piece by artistic directors Rosita Segovia and Gerri Houlihan. In the spring of 1996 Miami Dance Futures again co-hosted the 3rd NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DANCE FESTIVAL.
in 1995 we produced the CONGRESS ON RESEARCH IN DANCE (CORD): An international conference was hosted by Miami Dance Futures, New World School of the Arts and Intercultural Dance and Music Institute of Florida International University, November 2-5, 1995. the Topical Theme of the Conference: Dance, Myth, and Ritual in the Americas. Two hundred and eighty-five participants from around the world attended. There were performances at the New world School of the Arts and Florida International University by both local and national companies. AMERICAN COLLEGE SOUTHEAST REGIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL, two performances at the gusman theater for the performing arts, master classes, lectures. This 3 day festival brings students and teachers from all over the southeast to exchange ideas and see choreography. THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF FINE ARTS DEANS, The Annual conference provides an opportunity, in formal and informal settings, to network with colleagues and guests about developments in the arts or other general topics of interest. IADMS The Tenth Annual Meeting of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.

1996-98 have been productive years for MIAMI DANCE FUTURES. Through the Dance Sampler and the newly formed Florida Dance Series, MIAMI DANCE FUTURES presented over 35 local companies and solo artists. Miami Dance Futures presented the gala concert of the American College Dance Festival which was held at the New World School of the Arts. We produced the 4th NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DANCE FESTIVAL, with over 1500 student and faculty attending. These students attended master classes with nationally renowned dance instructors, attended lectures and seminars on dance history, injury prevention, and performed in and watched two gala concerts and two showcases with their contemporaries. These free performances were also attended by children from the Dade County Public Schools.
1998 and 2006 Miami Dance Futures sponsored a tours of Taiwan for students in the college division of the New World School of the Arts.
In the summers of 1998 and 2006. Four Florida choreographers were presented in five sold out performances in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and the same program at the Colony Theater on Miami Beach.  We presented the Miami Dance Sampler, Florida Dance Series, and for the first time presented a company form Taiwan, Taipei Crossover Dance Company at the Colony Theater.
In 2011 MDF supported production of “Requiem for a Mustard Seed Closes in Song, Act 1” by Letty Bassart at the Adrienne Arsht Center and "Meta Moto, a musician and choreographer forum” at the New World Symphony on Miami Beach. That same year New World School of the Arts and MDF sponsored Florida Waterways Dance Project, a collaboration of Florida arts institutions in a simultaneous, site-specific performance in 10 different cities, including Jose Marti Park in Miami which was free to the public.

in 2013 MDF became the Fiscal Agent for the New World School of the Arts Alumni Foundation.
In 2014 MDF produced National Water Dance, a simultaneous, site-specific performance involving 26 states and 80 institutions around the United States. Engaging dancers in arts in education programs the event brought attention to the pressing issue of preserving and protecting our waters. The Miami-Dade portion of this event was held at the Deering Estate at Cutler as part of their Festival of the Arts and included dance students from elementary to college age. Arts for Learning also participated at their individual sites with students from all over Miami Dade County. MDF is planning a site-specific performance on Miami Beach in 2015 and a continuation of the national event in 2016 utilizing many more Miami-Dade sites along the water.

In 2015 MDF has taken on Miami choreographer Christopher Rudd and his company RUDDURDANCE Communicating Through Movement, providing support services and acting as the companies fiscal agent. We were the Fiscal Agent for the Dance USA conference held in Miami and with a local committee put together three performances, at the Colony Theater and two at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse. Twenty one companies for South Florida were presented. Miami Dance Futures continues to be a support organization for the growth and education of dance in South Florida.

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