Moderator Jordan Levin will be talking generations – of dance-making, dancers, companies and culture-building – at our next Dance Talk with Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami, on their much anticipated return to the Main Stage of South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center with “Generations of Genius” in July.
On tap on July 9 will be Yanis Eric Pikieris, who Center and Dimensions audiences have come to know not just as a captivating dancer, but a talented young choreographer that DDTM has been fostering for several years. Yanis Eric will talk about his newest piece, Around Midnight – which, though performed by six DDTM dancers, was commissioned by Ballet Vero Beach. Like Dimensions, Ballet Vero Beach is also a young, up-and-coming classical company. The two troupes have been partnering for several years, with the much smaller Ballet Vero Beach sharing funding and presenting DDTM dancers – so both companies expand their repertoire, season, and profile. Vero Beach artistic director Adam Schnell joins us to talk about sharing the challenging and exciting process of building a new company and new work.
Yanis Eric’s father, of course, is Yanis Pikieris, the early Miami City Ballet star who runs Miami Youth Ballet with his wife Marielena Mencia, a studio which is home to DDTM, and has been training classical dancers (including their son) for decades. One of them, Melissa Fernandez, went on to New York’s famed Ballet Hispanico. As she and her Cuban husband-to-be, fellow Hispanico dancer Lyvan Verdecia, were falling in love, they made the passionate pas de deux Maria, which shows a woman visited by a spirit who reveals that she will become pregnant.
The couple came to Miami to wait out the pandemic with family – and rehearsed Maria with DDTM while caring for their new baby. Melissa sometimes rehearsed with their baby in her arms! Melissa and Lyvan will talk about what it’s like when creating art and new life are so closely intertwined.
We’ll also have violinist Anthony Seepersad, who plays on Around Midnight, on the joys and challenges of playing for dance and joining DDTM’s tradition of live music onstage. And, of course, DDTM co-artistic directors Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra. Who, as DDTM audiences know, have built their company while raising Ava, their daughter and official company mascot.
Join our Generations of Genius Dance Talk on the Center’s Facebook page at 7pm on Friday, July 9. Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami’s live performances (which also include the Gerald Arpino solo Touch Me and Yanis Pikieris’s The Four Seasons, to the beloved Vivaldi music) are at 8pm Saturday July 17 and 3pm Sunday July 18 on the Main Stage of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Art Center.