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Off Frame Festival

We are proud to announce that five members from Karen Peterson and Dancers will perform at The Off Frame Festival in Belgrade, Serbia on December 15, 2013. KPD will join artists from around the world and be part of the process of creating a cultural space which will provide the possibility for social discussions to the word "open". The festival will explore the position of individuals or groups within society through ten performances (from Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Miami and Hungary), three workshops that deal with applied theater, six presentations, round table and more.

The festival will talk about socially engaged and political practices of excluding parts of society whose voice can not be heard and promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities, war veterans, minor convicts, elderly people and babies in theater practice. The festival will bring in discussions about post conflict environments, violence and its companions, death and other taboos and about old and new ways of displaying women and men.....Marco Pejovic, Managing Director

 see: http://www.off-frame.org/#!__english (for festival information)

What do Guatemala City, Guatemala, Belgrade Serbia and Miami Florida have in common?

These cities have organizations that practice, teach and present mixed ability dance; a movement art form dedicated to the expression of dancers with different abilities

I recently had the opportunity to work as a Miami dance artist in these cities that support the common denominator of difference. Different abilities, languages and cultures were the norm; what we had in common was the expression of movement. 

In Belgrade, the group known as Hajde Da (meaning let's go) invited me to be part of a six-day workshop where 26 individuals from four different Balkan countries came together as one to practice integrated dance and make a final performance for the general public. This organization works with marginalized groups as a social tool to heal, communicate and soothe the past scars of the Balkan wars. 

In Guatemala City, KPD was invited to perform on the 62nd International Choreographers showcase under the umbrella of Dance Forms Productions. Part of this opportunity was to lead a four hour workshop with Alas de Libertad (which means the wings of freedom) This group has been working with movement and performance for over 20 years and uses the arts (dance, theatre, visual arts) to reach out into their poor, incarcerated, street and disabled, disenfranchised communities.

KPD is grateful for the invitation to share our work around the world for it is satisfying to view integrated dance practiced and performed worldwide 

I would like to thank my Miami Dade County Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Exchange fund from the American performing arts for centers for making these two visits possible. I would also like to thank the directors of the organizations as well as Susanna Williams from DanceForms and especially my dancers John Beauregard and Katrina Weaver, always smiling.   

Karen Peterson, Artistic Director
Karen Peterson and Dancers, Karen@karenpetersondancers.org

My Observations by John Beauregard

I rolled into a studio with five wheelchair dancers and ten non-disabled dancers.  I instantly saw that these guys were ready to show us we could dance. And dance we did for four hours. They talked about how dance made them feel free, a hard way to feel if you are tied to a wheelchair. I was glad to be able to tell them how experienced they were. It was even more fun to dance with Katrina Weaver for them on Saturday night on a large stage and give them the confidence to say, “I can do this”

My Observations by Katrina Weaver

As a performer and presenter at “The 62 International Showcase” in Guatemala City, I had the opportunity to meet and connect with a varied group of fellow contemporary artist and present my work to a new audience. Every artist or group came to the showcase with his or her unique artistic voice and style. The showcase was a venue for a group of artists with many different artistic viewpoints and backgrounds and a place for these artists to share their ideas. This showcase proved to be an environment where I could connect and be informed by other artists and their work. As an artist, I am always intrigued by the work of other artists who inform my own explorations. The showcase also gave me the opportunity to network with and establish contacts with other contemporary artists with the purpose of creating and presenting work together in the future.


las de Libertad (wings of freedom) Guatemala City

Speaking The Language of Dance
The Miami Herald - Jul. 02, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to travel and work in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to an International Cultural Exchange Grant awarded by the Miami=Dade Department of Cultural Affairs. The goal was to create a piece of choreography for four Balkan dancers, two of whom use wheelchairs.

I have created dance for artists with and without disabilities for 23 years and am aware of the power and the impact the art form has on dancers, students and members of the audience. However, nothing compared to our experience in Sarajevo.

In Sarajevo, the city is visibly scarred by war that took place between 1992 and 1995. Bullet holes in walls, beautiful architecture in disrepair, too many cemeteries and infrastructure that are in slow decay stood in great contrast to the warmth and professionalism of the artists with whom we worked.

Each day in the Sartre Black Box Theatre humanity was shared, time was suspended and care and support were exchanged between Miami and Balkan artists.

As we crafted the 20-minute work, a sense of healing, peace, safety and complete surrender took place through the methods of improvisational dance.

For audiences who were new to the art form, it was clear that we all spoke the same language of dance despite our physical, geographi.cal, language and political differences.

Watching it all, our hearts were filled with emotion because we knew we were witnessing something extraordinary It is art like this that truly changes lives. I'd like to thank Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs, Olga Zulovic and the seven dance artists who made this possible.

Karen Peterson Corash, Director, Karen Peterson Dancers, Miami

© 2012 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.


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“Karen Peterson and Dancers is funded in part by: “the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge, helping bring South Florida together through the arts” by The Children's Trust. The Trust a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County, by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor, the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners, by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts." Supported in part by: Coldwell Bankers, The Mildred Pallas Levenson Dance Foundation, Miami Salon Group.  Citizens Interested in the Arts, the Whitten Foundation, CEP APAP Travel Award and Power2Give

Please contact our Accessibility Coordinator, Karen Peterson at karen@karenpetersondancers.org with any questions or concerns regarding performances or worksh


Excello Dance Space | 8700B SW 129th Terrace, Miami FL 33176 | 305-298-5879 |karen@karenpetersondancers.org