Travis Wall’s newest and hottest show, “After the Curtain” is coming to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Ziff Ballet Opera House on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in the midst of a 32-city national tour.
Artistic Director of the innovative dance company, Shaping Sound, "So You Think You Can Dance Season 2" runner-up and Emmy Award winning choreographer, Wall has creatively merged commercial and concert dance to form a relevant and hyper entertaining dance performance. In 2012, with his "Shaping Sound" co-creators, Nick Lazzarini ("So You Think You Can Dance Season 1" winner), Teddy Forance ("Dancing With The Stars" and So You Think You Can Dance") and Kyle Robinson (Lar Lubovich Company, Aszure Barton and Artists) Wall created a dance company with a focus on contemporary dance and choreographic artistry to give shape and form to sound. "Shaping Sound" has impacted audiences with its unique fusion of jazz, modern, and hip-hop choreography.
Now, in their second show,“After the Curtain,” with the ultra contemporary accompaniment sound of Son Lux, the heart-wrenching, breath-taking and ultimately, inspiring show has a cast of twelve diverse dancers, including one of Miami’s own, Gaby Diaz.
Diaz has become a household name for the "in the know" dance enthusiast. This will be her first major appearance in her hometown of Miami since 2015. Articulate and passionate, Diaz had a few moments during a hectic and wild touring schedule to provide some insight on growing up in Miami, making it in the ‘big time’ and why this show has such a high volume of success.
The Diaz story is a wonderful example of drive, commitment and perseverance for any young dancer climbing the stairs to success.
Diaz recounts, “I grew up studying at a local theater and performing arts center. It was less of a dance studio. I didn’t have a competition life. It was a very loving environment, and I did a lot of musicals. In high school, I went to New World School of the Arts, and that was where my ballet and modern training got really serious.”
After graduation and being so focused on dance and performing, Diaz took a small break and turned her attention to physical therapy and health. The return of "So You Think You Can Dance" for another season put Diaz’s focus back into the performing arena.
“I begged my parents to let me go to the audition. And if I made it, they would let me opt out of finishing college, at this point. It was our deal.”
For the first trials, auditioning with a tap solo, Diaz got cut. She initially thought it was over, but her fighting spirit was not deterred.
“It didn’t go well the first time. But I, again, begged my parents to let me go to another city the following week and try again. After that, things went pretty well for me.” she said. “ I can’t complain!”
Diaz went all the way through the very visible and high pressure competition to win Season 12 of "So You Think You Can Dance."
“The show was incredible. The exposure was great and the people I met and worked with really helped me to get a foot in the door. I didn’t know I could dance the way I could until I did that show.”
“It’s truly constantly pushing you.”
Diaz met Travis Wall when he was mentoring for "So You Think You Can Dance."
“We just had a really great connection and friendship. I love and respect him so much and wanted to maintain that relationship after the season was over.”
“When he asked me to join Shaping Sound, it was like a dream come true for me.”
This is just the second show for Shaping Sound after touring the first one for over four years. Diaz said the process of creating the new show was a collaborative one.
“Travis is definitely the brains behind the operation. He came up with the whole story and we tried to help him execute his dreams. The new show is a story about a director and what is going on in his life ‘behind the curtain and….’ Well, you have to watch the show!”
Audiences have responded so emotionally to each performance.
“It is an experience. It is so much more than just a dance show. You’re seeing and feeling so much. It’s emotional, it’s a journey. We try to make everyone feel that they are living this story every night.”
"After the Curtain" at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132 on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $39, $49, $59, $69 & $99* and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org