Four South Florida students named Presidential Scholars in the Arts

05/15/2014 2:53 PM

05/15/2014 2:55 PM

Four of the newly announced Presidential Scholars in the Arts are South Florida students. Already 2014 YoungArts winners, they were nominated for the honor by the Miami-based National YoungArts Foundation. The four are among 20 artistically talented students to receive the country’s highest honor for a graduating senior.

The region’s honored seniors are Paloma Izquierdo of Miami, a visual artist who is graduating from the Design & Architecture Senior High; Lance Oppenheim of Southwest Ranches, a filmmaker graduating from Pine Crest School; Connor Yockus of Coral Springs, a tap dancer graduating from the North Broward Preparatory School; and Isabella Pezzulo of Lake Worth, a visual artist graduating from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

Two special events in Washington, D.C. will recognize the artist-scholars’ achievements. At 8 p.m. June 23, a salute to the arts scholars directed by Bill T. Jones will take place in the concert hall at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are free but reservations are required, available by calling 202-401-0961 or emailing after June 2. At 7:30 p.m. June 24, an exhibition of artwork, readings and screenings of work by the scholars will open at the Smithsonian Institution’s S. Dillon Ripley Center, where it will be on view through Aug. 7. The scholars will be honored and presented with the Presidential Scholar Medallion on June 22.

Dance at Arsht

The John S. and James L. Knight Signature Dance Series for 2014-2015 will feature an eclectic trio of companies, in addition to the already-announced Flamenco Festival Miami, which runs March 12-14 and features Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras..

The season kicks off Oct. 25-26 with the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, which will perform a new version of Deca Dance, a compilation of its most popular works of the past 10 years. The Ballet Nacional de España will perform Sorolla, a tribute to Spanish culture and history as devised by painter Joaquin Sorolla, Nov. 6-9. On Feb. 16, the famed all-male Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo makes its Arsht Center debut with its signature combination of classic ballet and humor.

Three-show packages range from $79 to $290 and are on sale now, and individual tickets go on sale this summer. Batsheva and the Ballet Nacional will perform in the Ziff Ballet Opera House, while Les Ballets Trockadero will dance at the Knight Concert Hall. The Arsht Center is at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Call 305-949-6722 or visit for information.

Torija to MCB School

Former ballerina Maria Torija, whose post-performance career has included teaching at the Deutsche Oper/Staatsballett Berlin and the Palucca School of Professional Dance in Dresden, has joined the faculty of the Miami City Ballet School. The Spanish-born dancer and educator will teach the most advanced students during the school’s five-week summer intensive program in June, and in the fall Torija will teach the pre-professional division, Level V students and a weekly dance history class.

During her 20-year career as a dancer with the Deutsche Opera/Staatsballett, Torija performed soloist and principal roles in numerous classic ballets as well as in a number of works choreographed by George Balanchine. Approximately half of the company members at Miami City Ballet, which has an extensive repertory of Balanchine works, trained at the Miami Beach-based school. For more information, call 305-929-7010 or visit

Piano Slam 6 set

The Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation and Miami’s Arsht Center will present the sixth edition of its popular Piano Slam at 7:30 p.m. Thursdayin the Arsht’s Knight Concert Hall. Staged by actor-playwright-director Teo Castellanos, the program features music by South Korean pianists Jaekyung Yoo and Yoon-Jee Kim, winners of the 2013 Dranoff Competition. The literary chair of this year’s event is inaugural poet Richard Blanco.

Also on the program are DJ Brimstone 127, Lenelle Moise, Luis Cuevas and Miami poets. Winners of a county-wide student competition will perform alongside the professional artists for cash prices and a chance to win laptop computers. Admission is free, but tickets are required. The Knight Concert Hall is at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. For information, call 305-949-6722 or visit

Showing ‘Grit’

Karen Peterson and Dancers will perform the multimedia dance work Grit at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the intimate On.Stage Black Box space at Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Choreographed by Peterson and Katrina Weaver, the piece was created along with video artist Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez. Featuring the mixed-ability dancers of Peterson’s company, Grit explores the physical, emotional and social aspects of “grit,” as applied to the daily battle for power, control and survival.

Jenni Person will lead an audience question-and-answer session after the Thursday performance, and a post-show reception will follow Friday’s performance. Admission is $20 ($15 for students, seniors and people with disabilities). The On.Stage Black Box is at the rear of the auditorium building at 2901 W. Flagler St. Call 305-298-5879 or visit for information.

Poe musical

The Boca Raton-based Evening Star Productions features a cast ranging in age from 13 to 33 in Nevermore, a musical about author Edgar Allan Poe by writer-composer Matt Connor. Carbonell Award nominee Bruno Vida plays Poe, with Sara Grant, Denise Scholle, Alyssa Buelow, Devin Tupler and Pippa Scroggins portraying the women who haunt him.

Nevermore runs through May 18 at the Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Performances are 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets are $18 ($10 students). Call 561-447-8829 or visit

Visual arts

• Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale presents a discussion about a group of eight early 20th century painters — Robert Henri, William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, Arthur B. Davies, Ernest Lawson, and Maurice Prendergast — who upended modernist art by painting urban scenes at 2 p.m. Saturday at 1 E. Las Olas Blvd. Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, Emerita Curator of the Collection for the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago, leads the discussion. Admission is $10 and includes museum admission (free for NSU students and faculty). Reservations suggested: or 954-262-0227.
•  Flight: Aloft in the Everglades, an exhibition by Artists in Residence in the Everglades, showcases new works by artists and writers who completed a month-long residency at Everglades National Park. Works by Wendy Call, Lisa Elmaleh, Naomi Fisher, Gustavo Matamoros, Adam Nadel, Trong Nguyen, Rebecca Reeve, Nathaniel Sandler and Susan Silas are among those on view through July 6 at ArtCenter/South Florida’s Richard Shack Gallery, 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. For details, visit or
• The Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design and the CINTAS Foundation have opened the 50th Jubilee CINTAS Foundation Fellowship Competition for visual arts, architecture, creative writing and music composition. Prospective fellos must be artists of Cuban descent living outside of Cuba. Submissions are due July 1. Contact Jessica Brodsky at 305-237-7722 or,. or visit
• The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is holding its 10th annual Women on the Rise program with the third Girls Summit, a two-day conference for teachers, artists, students, counselors and therapists. The summit explores innovative approaches to education and empowerment for under-served teens through the study of contemporary female artists as positive role models. Sessions run from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 770 NE 125th St., North Miami. General admission is $20 per day or $30 for both ($10 per day or $15 for both for MOCA members, students and educators). Tickets to the closing party at 5 p.m. Saturday featuring Seattle-based R&B hip hop duo THEESatisfaction are $20 ($10 for members, students and educators). Call 305-893-6211 or visit
• New York-based writer and curator Jarrett Earnest is taking over Gallery Diet in Wynwood from May to July with Night Tide, a two-part project featuring artworks, events and texts celebrating apocalyptic frivolity by his favorite young New York artists. The opening reception for part one is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 174 NW 23rd St., Miami. Call 305-571-2288 or visit

In brief

• The Miami Children’s Chorus will sing at 5 p.m. Sunday at the New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach. Guests artists Nestor Torres, David L. Brunner and Dance Now Miami will be featured with the young vocalists in a concert titled Cantare. Tickets are $25 ($10 for students, seniors and children, available at the box office only). For tickets and information, visit
• Ten pianists will perform in the Miami Piano Circle’s Ten Grands at the Opera!, a concert featuring selections from popular operas arranged by composer and University of Miami professor emeritus Dennis Kam. Mia Vassilev, Georgi Danchev, Dionisio Camacho, Kristin Camacho, Liana Pailodze, Jamíla Tekalli, Alan Ngim, Stepan Rudenko, Daniel Manoiu and Asiya Korepanova are the featured pianists. The concert is set for 8 p.m. Saturdayat the New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach. Tickets are $20-$40. Call 305-673-3331 or visit
• The Greater Miami Symphonic Band will present a concert of music from such movies as The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Casablanca, Disney hits and more at 8 p.m. Tuesdayat the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Robert Longfield and Tom Keck will conduct, and Mei Mei Luo will be the violin soloist. Tickets are $15 ($5 for students and children 5 and older). Call 305-273-7687 or visit

Christine Dolen and Galena Mosovich contributed to this report. Send news to (theater, dance, pop and Latin music), (visual arts) or (jazz, classical music).

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