Hattie Mae Williams is a Miami-bred badass. After graduating from New World in Miami and then getting a degree with honors from Fordham/Alvin Ailey in New York -- one of the single most respected contemporary dance programs in the country -- Williams established her own modern dance corps, the Tattooed Ballerinas. As a dancer, she's inspiringly self-assured, passionate, and creative. As a person, she's humble, engaging, and quite simply cool.
So it was especially gratifying to see her awarded the Knight Arts Challenge grant late last year in order for her to put together a pair of site-specific pieces in her hometown.
The first of these dance projects will take place at Miami Marine Stadium, a venue that has not seen a proper performance, in the realm of dance or any other medium, in the more than two decades since it was closed in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Now, Williams is putting together a piece to be filmed that will be tailored to the iconic abandoned stadium - and she hopes to do that with the dancers of this city. To that end, there will be an audition for the Miami Sites Project at the New World School of the Arts on June 1 at noon.
Williams spoke to New Times about the Miami Marine Stadium project after receiving the Knight Foundation grant back in December:
"I'm going to audition local dancers and artists. My main objective of this is to show or at least give my impression of what used to happen there...what the stadium meant to the community. Also, I want to bring in the element of Hurricane Andrew and how it only caused minimal damage to the stadium, but was used as the reason to close it down.
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"It'll also address how the stadium is viewed now because there's really a duality to the perception among the people of Miami. You find some who have fond memories of when it was open and some with more mixed emotions who think what it's become to date is horrible. Then you ask someone else and they'll say that its current state, with all the photo shoots and amazing graffiti, is great. It's really interesting to see the different ways the community and all the communities within the city see the stadium. It's basically going to be a piece set in three parts -- the past, the present, and a bit about the future, looking at the hungry developers with their eyes set on the stadium and the people who are working to save it."
According to Williams, all who come to the audition should "come prepared for Modern/ Contemporary Movement and Improvisation." If that all sounds like a challenge that you'd be up for, be sure to have your flats on and your flat backs ready and make your way to the eighth floor of New World by noon this Sunday in order to audition for an exciting marriage of local art and local history.
The audition for Hattie Mae Williams site-specific Miami Marine Stadium dance project will be held on the eighth floor of the New World School of the Arts Building (25 NE Second St., Miami) on Sunday, June 1, at noon.