Karen Peterson's GRIT Pushes Limits on Mixed-Abilities Dance


Months in the making, Karen Peterson and Dancers' latest work, GRIT, debuts in its entirety this Thursday and Friday at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

The defining piece touches on the human experience, and is intended to showcase the strength of the renowned mixed-abilities company, which is comprised of a host of able-bodied, formally trained dancers and, yes, wheelchair-bound dancers.

With nearly 25 years in mixed-abilities dance, Peterson, a long-time Miami choreographer, says GRIT symbolizes the company's transition into a more physically complex repertoire. The various themes explored -- struggle, desperation, fear, and the fight for power and dominance -- are derived from the dancers' own experiences and perspectives.

Known for integrating multimedia, Peterson superimposes images against a luminous backdrop to tell the story of GRIT. Excerpts were introduced months back in Belgrade, Serbia, and then in Miami. But it took Peterson and co-choreographer Katrina Weaver considerable reworking to shape the final product.

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