Teo Castellanos Brings Zen Beats to Focus on World Hunger at Miami Made Weekend

If you've been keeping up with Teo Castellanos, "zen" might not be the first word that comes to mind. His solo show NE Second Avenue had nine characters, each a distinct representation of the funky rhythm that is Miami. His last ensemble work, "Scratch and Burn" featured explosive b-boys who set the stage on fire. Yet "zen" is what the Puerto Rican actor/writer/director/choreographer is promising for his upcoming show, "Fat Boy." According to Castellanos, "It's about waste and consumption juxtaposed with hunger and poverty."

Those oppositions might explain why this time around Castellanos is

mellowing out the crew with what he calls a "Balinese aesthetic." That's

Bali, as in that peaceful little island where Julia Roberts meets

Javier Bardem in the movie Eat, Pray, Love. In Castellanos' version of 

"Beats, Breaks, Love," b-boys Lethal, Lego, Dahs, and Rudi Goblen show

their sensitive side.

"I find it fascinating how the Balinese form of Hindusim has survived,

mixed in with animism, in the middle of this archipelago of Islam,"

Castellanos explains. "I've boiled it down to an aesthetic. But it's all

grounded in b-boying. That's the core of the piece."

To get the right mix of zen and beats, Castellanos enlisted DJ Le Spam

(Andrew Yeomanson) who turned to another island for mellow grooves:

Jamaican dub.

"How did you put all those things together?" Artburst asked the choreographer.

"I don't know," Castellanos laughed. "It's always a risk. put things on

stage that I would like to see myself, so seeing world cultures on stage

along with our contemporary subculture of b-boying, that's definitely

new and definitely American. It's like b-boying has gone throughout the

world and now it's coming back."

Fans can get a look at the work in progress this weekend at the Miami

Made Festival, which runs from March 4th through 6th at the Carnival

Arts Studio at the Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd.) "Fat Boy" will be

performed on Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are free.

Call 305-949-6722 or visit arsthcenter.org.

--Celeste Fraser Delgado, artburstmiami.com

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