Adele Myers sees herself as "a curator of chemistry." Her unique creative voice combines dance and theater with an overriding sense of wit and humor to make a performance experience non-threatening and fun. Myers wants the audience to have a personal connection with the dancers on the stage and to invite audience members to feel that they’re very much a part of the performance. And above all, she wants everyone to have a good time. That means the people on the stage, as well as the people watching.
Audiences are invited to join Adele Myers and Dancers (AMD) at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center when they present “The Stage Show” and “The Last Bird,” a dance and theater performance that is intellectual, relevant and has poignant content. And it’s fun. Adele Myers and Dancers perform on Saturday, Jan. 25 and Sunday, Jan. 26 for two shows at the cultural center in South Miami Dade.
Myers relocated to Miami in 2015. With Miami’s desire to attract more dance choreographers and dance organizations, Adele Myers and Dancers was a welcome and refreshing addition. This was also the first time that Myers says she really had a home for her company.
“I worked with the same dancers up north for five to ten years, even with the same repertory touring production. I toured for almost a decade. I never really had a home base.”
“After a while, touring with large proscenium stages.” She pauses. “Something was really missing for me. It was a very genuine connection to the audience.”
With its varied cultures and artistic fearlessness, Miami was a perfect city for her to explore. She wanted to take the time to get to know the community itself and to get to know dancers in this community.”
“I see the dancers that I work with as athletes of the heart. I like to see people dancing, not just dancers moving. The connection, for me, with dancers is so personal,” she says. “There’s a personal availability that I need to work with. And sometimes that just takes time. Most of the work I create is equal part theater and dance and usually has a sense of humor. The impetus for the work often comes from a personal spark. Whether it’s a question or a personal experience. I then try to collaborate with the dancers to create a movement language and to create a world that we have developed very much collaboratively.”
Since relocating to Miami, Myers has received commissions from the Miami Light Project (2018) and MDC Live Arts (2019) to create two original works, one of which is the initial and smaller version of “The Stage Show.”
While she has found every experience in Miami to be welcoming and generous, Myers has made a special connection with presenter, Eric Fliss from South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center. Fliss has invited AMD to be a company-in-residence at the SMDCAC for the next two consecutive seasons to present new and existing repertory and to connect with the community through workshops and rehearsals.
“What sparked for both me and Eric was a desire to activate more intimate spaces. That is really my preference,” says Myers. “He basically said, ‘What do you need?’ "
For the past six months, Myers has hosted residencies and workshops at SMDCAC that have led up to this performance. And part of the residency allows Myers to be in the intimate space of the Lab Theater to develop her work.
The first piece on the program, “The Last Bird” is not dance theater at all. It is a pure movement and an abstract rumination on the absence of presence. It has been a work in progress over the last few years. The vocabulary was started with her dancers up north at the very end of tour and, as Myers says, “I just didn’t want to end. I took some of the movement vocabulary and taught it to my dancers here and then asked them to start making it their own.”
Her choreographic process involves seeing her work over and over and then scraping away what feels like riffraff. She deletes everything that she feels is not necessary. Myers calls it, ‘editing to necessity.’ After this process, she finally gets to a point of understanding what the piece is.
“So for 'The Last Bird,' I had no idea where the piece was headed; things in my own life, things within our world, even the music that I was choosing. It all kept pointing to 'The Last Bird.' I’ve called it that so it could have an open frame for what that could mean for anyone. I don’t know why it was right, it just was.”
“The Last Bird” is about right now, how you can prevent absence within our world and within our own lives. What does it feel like when there is an absence of presence? To Myers, it’s an elegant rumination on being in that living space of presence and absence.
Taking a very different turn is “The Stage Show.” Myers has expanded and enlarged the piece to become a full work. There are moments of audience interaction that have people laughing at themselves and laughing at each other.
“It’s non-threatening, it’s audience friendly and family friendly and I think, it actually loosens up the room a bit. People literally relax in their seats and become part of what’s happening.”
“The Stage Show” is a live love story between the performers and the audience. It’s saying, 'Hey, we need to be there for each other,' Myers says. “It’s a very simple thing to say with an audience, but I draw it to a bigger picture of a support system that is in this theater, in these streets, in this world that we live in, we need to have a stronger support system. So it’s taking this craving for intimacy that I think a lot of us have right now and building a small community for that short amount of time.”
Myers says,”I don’t mean to sound fluffy, but we need to laugh. I really think we need to laugh. I do feel that what I can provide is that respite for rumination, but also laughter.”
She wants everyone to have a thoroughly great time.
Adele Myers and Dancers perform Saturday, Jan. 25 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3:30 p.m. at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, Lab Theater. 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay 33189.
Tickets $30, Box Office: (786) 573-5300.