Duet for mature dancers with Rahel VonMoos (left) and Wally Cardona. Photo: Christian Glaus
Miami arts enthusiasts are creatures of habit. We know that November is for books; December, visual arts; February, film; March means music; and summer means theater and dance, right? Last year, though, the Florida Dance Association shook up the local arts schedule by moving the longstanding Florida Dance Festival from June to dead of winter (well, as dead a winter as we have here) and calling it WinterFest (not to be confused with the lower case ‘f’ Winterfest Boat Parade in Broward).
Now that I’ve had a year to get used to the idea, I’m ready to accept that New Year’s brings confetti, noisemakers, and dance. Just like the old summer festival, WinterFest features classes, dancers from across the state and national powerhouses, like this year’s repeat visitors AXIS Dance Company and the duo Wally Cardona and Rahel VonMoos.
Cardona and VonMoos bring “A Light Conversation,” a piece choreographed by Cardona that is billed as “an expressive duo for mature dancers.” In the dance world, that sounds more like an apology than a promise. Yet as reviews of the piece from the Joyce SoHo last year suggest, “Conversation” reveals the depth of experience steeped in “mature” bodies, all set to the rather mature soundtrack of a BBC radio program on Kierkegaard.
Gia Kourlas of the NYT observes: “Mr. Cardona and Ms. Vonmoos’s bodies…react to the rhythm and patterns of speech with the kind of fluency and articulation that only mature dancers possess.”
Deborah Jowitt at the Voice marvels at watching “grown ups dancing,” noting happily how “the performers seem always to be thinking—weighing options, untangling ideas.”
Maybe dance over the holidays still belongs to children’s wonder at The Nutcracker. Now WinterFest brings something for grownups to marvel at too.
Wally Cardona/Rahel VonMoos perform on a double bill with AXIS Dance Company at 7pm on January 3 at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $14 – $25. WinterFest runs from December 27 through January 3 at venues in Miami and Miami Beach. For a complete schedule and ticket prices, visit www.floridadanceassociation.org or call 305-547-1117.