Local Writer, Dancer, and Actor Rudi Goblen on Michael Jackson and Teo Castellanos

Writer, dancer, and, although he doesn't like to admit it -- actor, Rudi Goblen has performed with The Roots, Mos Def, and De La Soul, just to name a few. The acclaimed B-Boy and his crew, the Flipside Kings, perform, compete, and judge events all over the world. You may recognize Goblen from Tarell McCraney's Borscht short, Bus.

Goblen is also part of D-Projects, Teo Castellanos's collective of local artists who create "provocative contemporary performances," and created their first piece Scratch & Burn. He has also tripped the lights fantastic with DV8 Physical Theater, Cirque de Soleil, Rosie Herrera's Dance Theater, Octavio Campos's Camposition Hybrid Theater, and interactive performance group Circ-X.

Goblen was recently awarded the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant (FAAR), funded by the Ford Foundation. He's currently teaching and touring around the world with his one-man shows, Insanity Isn't and Fair Welling, which were commissioned by the Miami Light Project and the Arsht Center for itje Here & Now series. He stopped dancing for a few minutes to answer a few of our questions. Read on to find out who he would bring back from the dead and why he still sees himself as a student.

New Times: Are you a Miami native?

Rudi Goblen: I was born in Manuagua, Nicaragua, which is in Central America (just in

case Miss South Carolina will be reading this). I moved to L.A. when I was three and

then to Miami when I was 11. With the exception of touring and living in other

cities for small periods of time, I've been in Miami since. And though I despise the

mass transit here with a passion, it's definitely home.


What attracted you to dance in the first place?

I remember trying to dance like Michael Jackson when I was teeny -- shit, who

didn't? -- but I've always wanted to dance, sing, perform, don't know why really

though. I also wanted to be a gymnast and learn karate, but never got the chance to -- mother didn't have any money to spare -- so when I found b-boying later on in life,

it was perfect. My friends and I, who used to mess around with '90s hip-hop dances

and flipping, saw a video by A lighter Shade of Brown called "Hey DJ" that had people

b-boying in it. We taught ourselves shortly after, and here we are 17 years later.

As an accomplished dancer, how did you make the transition to acting?

I don't like to call myself an actor when there's people like Meryl Streep out

there. Let's just say I'm a performer. I've been writing since I was in fifth grade and

dancing just as long. I believe these two things are what helped me when going into the

theater and performance art world. As an emcee you have to learn to control a crowd,

what they need, and when they need it, timing is everything, you have to keep them

engaged, you have to articulate. You need to be fully aware of what's going on at all times. If you stay

open, your mind, body, and spirit align. All these things are used in theater. I'm still

learning and just staying open. Like I said, I've been b-boying for 17 years now, and still

see myself as a student, so imagine how I feel, being that I've only been [acting] in the

theater world since 2004.

What are you most proud of so far during your career? 

The first dance theater piece I did, "Scratch & Burn" toured internationally for five years. "Insanity Isn't" (my first one-man show ever) is still touring internationally after being

premiered here in Miami in 2006 for Miami Light Project's Here and Now series. 

What is your biggest inspiration?

I have many inspirations, my mother, son, and brother, Cab Calloway, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead, Bjork, Michel Gondry, Dr. Seuss books, my friends - Flipside Kings, Teo Castellanos, Tarell McCraney, Octavio Campos -- I can go on forever.  

If you could choose any dead dancer, Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines, etc., to be in a show with, who would it be?

I would definitely bring back Cab Calloway, James Brown, and Michael Jackson

from the dead to dance with or for them.

Tell New Times readers something they should know about you.

I don't watch TV, but I'm addicted to shows like Californication and Top Chef -- or anything on the food network and HGTV...it's really bad, but once they start building or painting a house, I gotta see the end results. The same goes for Clean House with Niecy Nash; I like her. No, I'm not gay.

What is your next big project?

Next big project is with Teo Castellanos's D-Projects and our newest piece, "Fat Boy" which premiers June 2 at the new Miami Light Project space. "Fat Boy" coalesces ancient and current art forms to tell a time-less and time-ly story. "Fat Boy" explores its theme of abundance and waste versus scarcity and economy

through movement and thumping dub beats. By deconstructing the narrative

elements of American consumerism and wastefulness juxtaposed with world hunger

and poverty, "Fat Boy" tells its compelling story. 

I'm also writing my third one-man show, "Lascivious Rising." Lascivious is about the complexities of sexuality, relationships, insecurities, and "love" -- loving to have sex, loving to be in control, loving to be submissive, adults, children, maturity, free spirits, old souls, fantasy worlds, friends, liars, control freaks, power struggles, the jealous, the prude, the straight, the gay, the shy, the bold, and the opposite of all of that. 

"Fat Boy" runs June 2 through 4 at Miami Light Project's The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse at 404 NW 26 St., Miami. June 2 and 3 have an 8 p.m. showtime and June 4's performances will be at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 to $50. For more info click here and to buy tickets click here.  

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