Miami Dance Futures
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
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.
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
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 summer 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.
We are committed to the growth of dance awareness
in South Florida through Miami Dance Futures, a production company formed in
1988 to help develop dance in South Florida. We have produced the highly
successful Miami Balanchine Conference in 1990 and the Dance History Scholars'
Conference in 1991, The American Dance Guild Conference in 1992, The
International Dance Musicians' Conference in 1993, CORD Conference in 1995, the
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th 10th National High School
Dance Festival in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010. The last one in
the largest high school dance festival held in the Americas. The International
Association for Dance Medicine and Science Conference in 2000, The
International Conference of Fine Arts Deans in 2000, and the American College
Dance Festival 1997 & 2003. Miami Dance Futures also produces and supports
local dance companies, including Rosita Segovia's Ballet Español, Gerri Houlihan
and Dancers, and The Isadora Dance Ensemble, Jamaica Awareness plus others. We
also produce The Dance Sampler, which is a showcase of local choreographers
work, The Florida Series and the Independent Series each year from 1988 to 1999.