Last Thursday night PAX (Performing Arts Exchange) hosted Velvet Glove, an underground circus held above ground because if you dig too deep in Little Havana, you hit limestone and then saltwater. The night featured local musicians, rappers, break dancers, spoken word artists and other creative creatures who defied clear genre classification. And all of this madness was set to live music by The 3rd Party.
One of the most bizarre performances of the evening was a wild child generation-Xer who howled and grunted, garbled and gibber-mashed (not sure what that means but it felt like gibber-mash) her way through a performance of spoken sound? She wore a floor-length faux fur coat, which she tossed aside mid-performance for a spandex workout pants and a sports bra. Then, for the finale, she jumped off the stage without the the requisite mosh pit to catch her. No harm done because she didn’t dive.
The were other highlights of the evening. Jahzel Dotel sang two classics which I couldn’t really make out because of the peculiar acoustics. Plus, a staff member dragged me away from standing in front of the stage, where I thought people were supposed to stand during a concert performance. At one point, Dotel’s voice reminded me of a lush mixture of Edit Piaf and Nora Jones — deep and crackly and scratchy but ageless.
One the most interesting performances of the evening was dancer Marissa Alma Nick who glided across the stage like a lost pin-up girl gone bad. In her red dress, she whipped her body like a modern day Batwoman. She crawled and skirted the audience. Teased and taunted them with her fearless stare.
The best thing about PAX is that the arts has a place to live, to thrive in a space for Miami artists who create art instead of thinking about it.
For a list of scheduled events at PAX, visit here.