Miami Performance International Festival Seeks Local Artists, No Hippie Stuff Required

Latex, birdcages, nude bodies, eggs, holy water. No, it's not a list of items used in some bizarre demon-summoning ritual. They're just a few of the props used by the artists in last year's Miami Performance International Festival, curated by Edge Zones. Now in its second year, MPIF has artists flying in from Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Dominican Republic, the U.K. and more. It sounds like a hell of a Miami event -- except for what seems to be a lack of our own artists' interest in applying.

MPIF is calling local performing artists to submit to the 2013 festival line up. And they want to represent the 305 so bad that they're actually turning away international submissions.

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Give them your tired, give them your naked, give them your men in wedding dresses covered in tomato sauce beating the shit out of kitchenware (again, if you went last year, you'd know what we're talking about).

"We really want local artists to participate, it's really one of the our main goals. That's how we see actually making the whole thing grow here," Charo Oquet, founding director, said of the festival.

Oquet told New Times that there is still much work to be done before MPIF's return, but to expect the biggest and the best the performing arts world has to offer. Planning for year two began as soon as the last one ended, she explains. The festival is the only one of its kind, particularly because it aims to debunk the stereotype that performance art is just hippie-dippies running around naked smacking each other in the genitals with paint balloons. Okay, you might see some of that, but that's a risk you take being involved with anything artsy in Miami anyway.

MPIF is a tremendous opportunity for networking among creative natives, Oquet said. "I am not a performance artist per se, but I have found going into the performance medium has broadened me to be able to meet these other artists and be involved."

Still, there has been little excitement expressed by those who claim to live and breathe the arts. The February 1st deadline for submissions draws near, and Oquet says she is worried Miami's own performers won't stand out among the international talent scrambling to send in their proposal pieces.

"The only thing I find is that the local artists are not as excited and they don't realize what it is in a sense...even if you're not really a regular performance artist, it's a good opportunity," Oquet says. "We want to offer workshops to local artists, people who want to learn more, get techniques. There aren't a lot of people offering a lot of performance based workshops...it's about meeting other artists and exchanging ideas... Opportunities will be closed soon."

The festival will take place June 3 to 30 for a four-week program taking place in several venues throughout Miami, leading up to an intense four-day event held June 27 through 30. It will include workshops, public performances, lectures, screenings and conversations completely open to the public and free of charge.

Local performance artists can submit to Miami Performance International Festival 2013 here.

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