Death is inextricably linked with fear — fear of the unknown, fear of loss, the question of when and how. It can't be said for certain what will happen, but death is inevitable. In Flowers for Spring, a new work performed by Alma Dance Theater, director Marissa Alma Nick offers a portrait of death in all of its forms — from the death of the mind to the passing of the soul and the chance of rebirth on the other side.
Comprising two parts, "Abuela" and "Daydreaming With Jean," Flowers for Spring takes viewers through the dusty cobwebs of a decaying mind — twisting and turning through its corners and unfolding in a darkened theater. Nick began composing the piece in response to both of her grandmothers' battle with dementia.
The two-night performance will premiere at Miami-Dade County Auditorium Thursday, March 31.
Nick says choreographing these pieces helped her work through her grief. "It was very
The dancer lost her grandmothers to dementia. Maria Gran Nick passed when Marissa was only 15, and Jean McCracken died just last year. Flowers for Spring is meant to chronicle the despair and beautiful delusions one experiences when losing one's mind, but it's also a chance for Nick to assuage our own fear of death.
"It's not just about my grandmothers' journey to their final day, but also the experience of how we, the living, might interpret death."
True to Nick's oeuvre, the number is both interactive and visually graphic. The show immerses the audience in the performance, guiding guests through the theater as they step deeper into her grandmothers' subconsciouses. A barrage of bright flower petals will rain over the dancers and flood the stage, whose set was designed by Nick and artist Pablo Cano. In a rare moment, Nick will join her dancers onstage to appear as a soloist alongside local jazz vocalist Jahzel Dotel in "Abuela."
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Converging death with the beauty of a blooming, dewy new season, Flowers for Spring is about finding a sliver of light in a roomful of darkness, a reflection of the tenuousness of life and the purpose of death in its cycle. "The two really are intertwined," Nick says.
Flowers for Spring
8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 1, at at the Black Box Theater of Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL 33135. For tickets, visit eventbrite.com page or almadancetheater.com.
Follow Nicole on Twitter.