Cuba and Sweden have seemingly tenuous ties. The 5,000-mile differential makes no difference for Havana’s Retazos Dance Theater Company and Malmö’s Memory Wax dance and theater company, though. Tomorrow night, Possible Impossible, the biggest collaboration between these two production companies, will take place at Miami-Dade County Auditorium.
Miami’s Copperbridge Foundation presents the one-night-only performance. Geo Darder founded the nonprofit in 2010 as a way to foster international dialogue and understanding through the arts. A Cuban-American himself, he explains, “When I went back to Cuba in 1994 for the first time, I fell in love with the history, the culture, and my family there. From that moment on, I started working to create a bridge of understanding first with self, second with family, and then third with everyone who would listen... I believe that for me, it gave me a reason, a mission to live.”
Over the past six years, the Copperbridge Foundation has received its OFAC Cuba License for people-to-people travel to the island; presented Cuban works that have premiered in Miami, Chicago, and Louisville; and even garnered support from famous musicians such as Jackson Browne and actors including Julia Stiles — two members of the organization’s advisory board.
But while part of the foundation’s mission involves taking people to Cuba to experience its culture on the ground, another part concentrates on taking modern Cuba to people elsewhere in the world through the arts. That’s why, Darder says, “We want to make sure that what we’re presenting was contemporary Cuba — what’s happening today, what’s the future of the cultural movement in Cuba.”
Furthering that mission, Darder believes the emotion shown in tomorrow’s performance of Possible Impossible reflects contemporary Cuba “more so than anything else.” Members of Retazos and Memory Wax (including Retazos’ founder, Isabel Bustos, and her son, Memory Wax cofounder Miguel Azcue) worked together to create a multimedia dance performance that incorporates elements of audio, visual, and live movement.
According to Azcue, who is also the choreographer for Possible Impossible, "The title is pretty much what the whole piece is about: limitations and how to break through those limitations.”
The work features kaleidoscopic images projected onto various set pieces. Meanwhile, the dancers interact with those visuals as part of the work. While Darder notes the precision that the dancers must practice to sync perfectly with the projections, Azcue describes the symbolization of the imagery. He focuses on “using the camera projections in order to achieve this illusion of breaking through limitations, breaking through gravity, bending the sense of time and space,” Azcue says.
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“We play a lot with illusions to make the impossible possible somehow," Azcue continues. "I would say there's some sort of narrative in it, but it's not like a theater piece. [It] allows spectators to make their own associations."
But most important, Darder says, the performers and audience will have a chance to interact in a Q&A-style dialogue following the event. That way, both will be able to discuss the art in order to continue building a bridge of cross-cultural understanding.
“When we present our dancers or our artists, we always give a time to do that exchange,” Darder says. “We think it’s really important.”
8 p.m. Saturday, August 19, at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami. Tickets cost $28. Call 305-547-5414 or visit miamidadecountyauditorium.org.