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
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
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.