This Saturday Miami on Stage closes its first season with a one-night double header: a Spanish-language performance of Cuban-born actor José Manuel Domínguez’s Hilo (Thread) and Sipping Fury from a Teacup, created by Elizabeth Doud and the late Jennylin Duany and performed by Doud and Carlos Caballero.
The event marks Domínguez’s first solo show and full-length performance since meningitis left him blind 10 years ago.
For Hilo, Domínguez has reimagined the tale of Icarus, the son of Daedalus, the craftsman who had been imprisoned by King Minos inside the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Bent on escape, Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings from feathers, wood and wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun. The wax melted, his feathers came loose and he crashed to his death in the sea.
Hilo reinvigorates the myth by proposing a world in which Icarus attempts not to escape the Minotaur but to save him.
“Icarus’ decision to liberate the Minotaur symbolizes life and our opportunities to take chances,” says Domínguez, who studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana with Carlos Caballero, with whom he performed in the avant-garde troupe Teatro El Publico where Chavez was a producer.
Saturday’s second presentation, Sipping Fury from a Teacup, is a multidisciplinary work that invites its audience to image a world without bees. Doud and Duany, an exuberant performer and tireless advocate for the arts who was 39 when she died of liver failure in January, have created an eerie world in which the disappearance of key pollinators creates havoc along the food chain and infertility among humans.
Longtime collaborators, the women worked on Sipping Fury for three years. Doud says they never wanted to pigeonhole the story to be exclusively about women’s issues, but they became fascinated with the insect world’s matriarchal societies.
“We began to have a sense that women were going to be responsible for saving the world,” Doud says.
To Chavez, both performances reflect the vulnerability of life. “José Manuel has been able to survive,” he says, “and Jennylin did, too, because of the way she lived, her strength, and the people she affected and continues to influence.”