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Dances Made to Order: Online Film Series Does Miami

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An appreciation for dance has always required some form of discipline. Whether it's attendance by the observer or practice by the performer, it takes a certain degree of dedication to commit to a work made up entirely of energy and movement. 

In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that." 

So Dances Made to Order is making the experience easier for everyone as it brings breathtaking performances to your fingertips with its monthly online dance film festival. 

For its 21st edition, Dances Made to Order partnered with Miami Light Project to showcase some of Miami's up and coming performers. According to guidelines laid out by online viewers, three featured performers from different areas will choreograph, perform, film, edit, and submit their work to the project's website.    

Curated by Light Project's Beth Boone and Rebekah Lengel, this edition will feature artists Belaxis Buil, Carla Forte, and Marissa Alma Nick. Voting opens today, February 6, and runs through Friday, February 8, at midnight.

"We wanted a forum that showcased dance that wasn't limited by time, space or geography. We wanted to have a proper sharing model with the audience, which was very important to us," Kingsley Irons, co-founder and artistic director of Dances Made to Order, said of the interactive process.  

Each month, the website presents five different themes. Voters pick the two they like best, and the two most popular become themes the dancers must use. Each artist has three weeks to come up with and complete his or her body of work for a five-minute film--everything is up to them. 

Though the project has a local partner, technology has made it possible for Dances Made to Order to share these experiences with a community of dance enthusiasts worldwide. It's available to anyone with Internet connection, but only an exclusive web-audience can access the films. Viewers can either purchase individual monthly screenings or seasonal membership passes, which include full access to the 33 films made between January and November of the year. The artists receive 65% of ticket revenue to help support their work.  

"Last year we had a different admission from different cities around the U.S. and because we only do 11 editions a year, we didn't get to explore the creative energy in Miami and we heard so much about it...It's a dance community I don't know a lot about but I hear there's a great theme developing there," Irons said. 

Irons approached Miami Light Project eight months ago to bring the two creative forces together. "This is the first and not the last time; we anticipate continuing our relationship," Lengel said. 

A panel will also be held in March where the three filmmakers will discuss what it means to make dance specifically for film as clips from the performances on the site are screened. For now, go become a member and vote for this month's Miami edition of Dances -- if for no other reason than to show Irons exactly what people are talking about when they mention Miami's dance scene. 

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