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:
"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