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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

Karen Peterson & Dancers and the high level
of integrated dance
The Miami Herald - May 18, 2015

Integrated dance is a creative experience in which people with different abilities explore the language of communication typical of the expressive movements.

In this context, KPD offered a two-part program opened with a premiere of the Peterson own (Full Circle) and advanced steadily with a fragment of the work on the wall, by Croi Glan, an Irish group invited to the celebration.

The first half ended with a work in progress entitled aphanisis or Not Being There Anymore, in collaboration with guest second group, the company Hajde Da ... from Serbia.

After intermission presented This Is a part of the repertoire of Croi Gian created by Adam Benjamin, who in 1990 founded in London Candoco Dance Company, considered the first European integrated dance group.

The Full Circle, Peterson, is a beautiful piece of equipment and an affirmation of the stylistic maturity of KPD that skillfully interleaved video projections of a historical work of the group (Common denominators, 1990) with choreographic sequences today.

The music is by Ólafur Arnalds, a young musician neoclassical Iceland that mixes environmental I electronic with pop. The cast was composed by veteran John Beauregard, Shawn Buller, Lize-Lotte Pitlo, Juan Marfa Seller and Katrina Weaver. They were projected delivered completely to the experience. In the end, some of the video performers joined to team up with the rest in the center of the stage.

The fragment of On the Wall , which was presented then is a splendid exercise with three chairs (one wheel) and three microphones for three actresses-dancers (Tara Brandel, Leonie McDonagh and Mary Nugent Thursday night), one of including a triumphant example beyond cerebral palsy.

This is a creation of renowned British choreographer David Bolger that uses music by Aphex Twin, Rufus Wainwright, Ludovico Einaudi and Future Sound of London.

The touching duet between Brandel (artistic director of Croi Gian) and Nugent magnificent, the rhythm of the song This Love Affair, Wainwright, is an ode to the encounter between two bodies protruding from the beauty of its emotional purity. No doubt, they were the highlight of the program.


Shawn Buller, Katrina Weaver, Juan Maria Seller, Lize-Lotte and John Beauregard Pitlo in 'Full Circle', which was presented at Black Box On.Stage Miami-Dade County Auditorium.
PEDRO PORTAL - El Nuevo Herald

From left, the Lize-Lotte Pitlo and
John Beauregard (front),
Katrina Shawn Weaver and Buller

PEDRO PORTAL - El Nuevo Herald

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