Free artist showcases around town through Friday

 A wealth of performers and arts groups are filling venues from South Beach to Little Haiti to Wynwood through Friday, an unannounced showcase for everything from Russian and Irish folk music to experimental dance.

The riches come courtesy of SouthArts’ Performing Arts Exchange, an annual event for arts presenters in the Eastern and Southern United States that this year is being held Wednesday through Saturday at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

Attendees are here to network, attend workshops on subjects such as social-media marketing and shop for or market potential performers at nightly showcases. South Florida audiences can also sample this dizzying buffet of artistic offerings.

Both the official “juried” showcases, held at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach Thursday and Friday evening, and independent presentations at the Van Dyke Café on Lincoln Road, the Little Haiti Cultural Center, the Miami Light Project’s Light Box in Wynwood and other venues, are free and open to the public, conference officials say. Admission is on a first come-basis. Performances are mostly in 15- to 20-minute nuggets, and range from family-friendly and folkloric to cutting edge.

The juried shows pack nine acts into three hours from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Colony, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. They include folk-fusion artists such as the Becca Stevens Band, which mixes Appalachian folk with pop and jazz, and TaikoProject, which has performed their Japanese percussion at the Oscars and the Grammys.

Also performing are Ballet Memphis, a top regional ballet troupe; the Limon Dance Company, dedicated to the work of modern dance pioneer Jose Limon, and Toronto’s Vox Dance Theatre, which blend vocal and physical performance.

The independent showcases, which run Wednesday to Friday evening, tend to be either more adventurous or more accessible, pop-culture acts.

Among the most intriguing will be Thursday’s 9:30-11:30 p.m. show at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami, featuring Dance Now! Miami and Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, an adventurously physical New York troupe performing excerpts from Oberfelder’s version of the Stravinsky music theater work A Soldier’s Tale.

From 9:30 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Miami Light Project Light Box, 404 NW 26th St., Miami, artists include Miami favorites Teo Castellanos D-Projects and up-and-comer Ivonne Batanero, as well as Orisirisi African Folklore and the Lilith Theatre Company.


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