Dance: Electrifying New Work by Karen Peterson and Dancers

Karen Peterson and Dancers, the nation’s premier mixed-abilities dance company in the southeast, present New Work April 11 and 12 at Miami-Dade County Auditorium’s On.Stage Black.Box Theater.

“Our 23rd season closes with community-driven work that aggressively represents the full spectrum of dance in Miami,” says visionary Artistic Director Karen Peterson. “We set out to include dancers of all abilities, to embrace a wide range dancers’ ages (25-63), and diversity that needs to be seen now in Miami dance performances – audiences want this diversity onstage. These dancers bring more gravitas and depth to the stage.”

The new program unites two of Miami’s foremost choreographers – Dale Andree and Joanne Barrett – with guest-dancers from KPD’s international collaborations in Sarajevo. “We continue this year’s theme of incorporating live classical music performed onstage together with dance,” adds Peterson, “by inviting Miami’s famed violinist Vicki Richards to perform alongside our Company.”

New Work also proudly features dancers aged 25-63, something that Peterson feels is necessary for Miami’s dance community today, to represent a full spectrum of ages onstage.

“We continue our mission to electrify the stage with dancers inclusive of all abilities, from diverse backgrounds, and a wide range of ages, for an evening unlike anything Miami audiences have ever seen,” says Peterson.

 Karen Peterson and Dancers’ New Work includes a U.S. premiere, two Miami premieres, and a debut that has been re-staged for these performances, all ranging from the abstract to traditional, narrative storytelling.


 The evening opens with soloist Katrina Weaver’s Square 1 which portrays the body as a vehicle to explore daily struggles with conformity, control, detachment and acceptance.

She has been with the company for four years and participates in the dance troupe’s international cultural exchange program, collaborating with mixed ability dance companies in Europe and Latin America.

Next, longstanding Miami dance leaders Dale Andree and Joanne Barrett premiere their new work By Chance Meeting.

This new work takes on the randomness of life and art entitled, with live music by violinist Vicki Richards.

The duo will also present My Guy, in which two female contemporary dancers without disabilities interact with a man in a tropical café (Senior Company Member John Beauregard, who performs in his wheelchair).

The program concludes with dance(4) 7 created during the Company’s recent residency in Sarajevo. In this international collaboration, dancers work with 8’ x 10’ flats and ominous shadows to recreate the atmosphere of the Sartre War Theatre where the work was originally performed. This work includes five company members alongside the guest artists invited to Miami from Sarajevo, Leila Muhic and Zeljko Budimir.

Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD), was founded in 1990 as a not-for-profit dance organization, and commissions and produces the work of dance artists with and without disabilities presenting excellence in dance through its quality-based programs, community performances and educational workshops. Dancers with and without disabilities create and perform “mixed-ability” dance as an inclusive art form on a year-round basis. The dancers collaborate, research and integrate their personal movement styles and discover an innovative dance language for choreography. The troupe provides a positive role model for the disability community and offers new visual inspiration for traditional dance audiences.

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