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Alina Labour
Courtesy of Miami Performance International Festival

Miami Performance International Festival Brings the Noise

With a cacophony of car horns and reggaeton beats blaring from Ocean Drive to Hialeah, Miami-Dade has become synonymous with noise. Not everyone has similar associations, though. When Charo Oquet, chief curator of Edge Zones’ Miami Performance International Festival (M/P), thinks of noise, her thoughts migrate to Miami’s underground music scene.

Noise, a music genre that rejects standard conventions for the unpredictable and the unharmonious, is making waves in South Florida. Oquet’s performative lineup for this year’s M/P will showcase this style and the growth it is experiencing. “I want the audience to understand and see what is going on in Miami and see what this new genre is,” Oquet said.

Looking at the Festival’s history, it is no surprise that M/P will feature nontraditional styles at this year’s installation. Oquet said the event prides itself on the way it pushes boundaries and challenges society to reconsider the way it evaluates art and performance.

“Our goal is to expose people to something new and wonderful and different that is being created in Miami,” she said.

The event started in 2012 as a series of pop-ups in the Design District and Little Haiti. Since its beginning, the Festival has strived to connect local audience members with new genres and expressive movements.

The event also features more traditional genres, such as performance art and spoken word. However, Oquet believes noise will resonate particularly well in Miami. “In this time we're living in now, I think noise is a great answer to what's happening,” she said. "It’s more abstract, but it’s saying things that make sense, and it allows for ... some of the expression that needs to come out now.”

This year’s Festival will take place in the Edge Zones’ Art Gallery in Allapattah and at Lummus Park on South Beach. Oquet, who is Dominican and remains close with her Latin and Caribbean roots, is excited to showcase artists not only from the Miami area, but from Latin America, as well. M/P 2018 will feature artists from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. She is proud to create a space where this international exchange of ideas and talents can meet. “[Miami is] a place where a lot of things can merge — cultures, ideas, new ideas especially,” she said. “[M/P] is a nice platform for it all to come together and be a space for that.”

M/P is a free event that is open to the public, which is in line with Oquet’s goals for the organization. She encourages audience members who have no experience with noise or Caribbean music to come and experience the unfamiliar.

“I feel that our job as an organization is to develop art and push the areas that need more nurturing,” she said. “Not the commercial aspect of it, but the part that’s more risk-taking.”

Miami Performance International Festival 2018. Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, at various venues in Miami; miamiperformancefestival.org. Admission is free.

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