Members of the Board
Miami Dance Futures was established in 1988 by Sidney Brien and Daniel Lewis with the goal of presenting modern and new dance styles and techniques to audiences. Another major aim of the MDF was to cultivate and support diverse talent and expose young people to an array of multi-ethnic, world-class artists, particularly those in Florida.
History High Lights
In 1988 the Limon Summer Dance Program, co-produced with the New World School of the Arts, drew over 100 talented students who learned a classic and new repertory from national figures in dance education, including Bessie award winner Robert Dunn, Alfredo Corvino, and Daniel Lewis. The José Limon Dance Company was in residence for three weeks, teaching classes every day, presenting free lectures, and holding reduced admission concerts. These events were attended by over 3,000 dance enthusiasts.
The Miami Balanchine Conference drew 250 participants from all over the world, bringing in major American and Russian dance historians, critics and scholars to South Florida. Vera Krasovskaya of the Vaganova Institute, New York critics and dance historians Arlene Croce and Anna Kisselgoff, Balanchine dancers Edward Villella and Suzanne Farrell who directed Jacob’s Pillow, and NEA director Liz Thompson and Sally Ann Kreigsman where among the presenters. The conference, developed to explore Balanchine’s early choreographic roots and his influence on the development of neo-classical dance in the 20th century, surpassed all expectations.
In 1990 Miami Dance Futures began its association with the Spanish dance company Ballet Español Rosita Segovia and the emerging contemporary dance company Houlihan and Dancers. Miami Dance Futures acted as a presenter for all their performances in 1991 and began an experimental role as administrator. In 1991, with the Society of Dance History Scholars, Miami Dance Futures co-produced the Conference on Dance in Hispanic Cultures, opening dialogue on the cultural legacy of the pioneers in modern and multi-cultural dance. In the summer of 1991, the first Miami Dance Futures Scholarship Fund award was presented to a young black dancer, Gelan Lambert, who was able, as a result of the scholarship, to study at the Joffrey School in New York, and who is now on full scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music. Despite the devastation from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Miami Dance Futures presented 14 performances by Houlihan and Dancers and Ballet Espanol Rosita Segovia. That year we also co-produced the Conference of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance, provided dance support of the Greater Miami Opera, and supported performances of the Isadora Duncan Dance Ensemble at New World School of the Arts. Over 2100 children attended free performances during the year as part of the educational and community service portion of Miami Dance Futures.
The first Modern Dance Sampler came into being in 1993-94 to cross-pollinate audiences and develop an awareness of modern dance in South Florida. Ten of South Florida’s outstanding modern dance companies participated in this now annual event. The 2nd National High School Dance Festival, co-produced with New World School for the Arts and the National Dance Association, drew over 800 students from across the country and Australia. The students attended masterclasses with nationally renowned dance instructors; lectures and seminars on dance history, injury prevention; and performed in and watched two gala concerts with their contemporaries. These free performances were also attended by children from the Dade County Public Schools. With our support, Houlihan and Dancers have expanded their horizons, becoming a national presence on the dance scene. They have been invited onto the roster of New York-based Pentacle, Inc., a nationally known and respected non-profit booking agency, as well as receiving the prestigious DanceLink Grant to develop its touring capabilities and create an awareness of the company outside the region. With our assistance, the Isadora Duncan Dance Ensemble was presented by the Kennedy Center in 1996. In addition, Miami Dance Futures, with the Community Concerts Association, co-produced the successful joint concert of Rosita Segovia Ballet Español and Houlihan and Dancers at the Gusman Center of the Performing Arts, included the commission & premiere of a jointly choreographed piece by artistic directors Rosita Segovia and Gerri Houlihan. In the spring of 1996, Miami Dance Futures again co-hosted the 3rd National High School Dance Festival.
In 1995 we produced the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), with 285 people attending, and Miami Dance Futures hosted the American College Southeast Regional Dance Festival as well as the International Conference of Fine Arts Deans.
The late 1990s were productive years for Miami Dance Futures. Through the Dance Sampler and the newly formed Florida Dance Series, we presented over 35 local companies and solo artists, including the gala concert of the American College Dance Festival. We produced the 4th National High School Dance Festival, with over 1500 attending.
In 1998 and 2006 Miami Dance Futures sponsored a tour of Taiwan for students in the college division of the New World School of the Arts. Also during those years, four Florida choreographers were presented in five sold out performances in Kaohsiung, Taiwan with the same program running at the Colony Theater on Miami Beach. We presented the Miami Dance Sampler, Florida Dance Series, and for the first time presented a company form Taiwan, Taipei Crossover Dance Company at the Colony Theater.
In 2011 we supported the production of Requiem for a Mustard Seed Closes in Song, Act 1 by Letty Bassart at the Adrienne Arsht Center and Meta Moto, a musician and choreographer forum at the New World Symphony on Miami Beach. That same year New World School of the Arts and MDF sponsored Florida Waterways Dance Project, a collaboration of Florida arts institutions in a simultaneous, site-specific performance in 10 different cities, including Jose Marti Park in Miami.
In 2014 MDF produced National Water Dance, a simultaneous, site-specific performance involving 26 states and 80 institutions around the United States. Engaging dancers in arts in education programs, the event brought attention to the pressing issue of preserving and protecting our waters. The Miami-Dade portion of this event was held at the Deering Estate at Cutler as part of their Festival of the Arts and included dance students from elementary to college age. Arts for Learning also participated at their individual sites with students from all over Miami Dade County. National Water Dance has continued to grow as a biennial event and is now produced by NWD Projects.
In 2015 MDF took on talented Miami choreographer Christopher Rudd and his dance company, providing support services and acting as the company’s fiscal agent. Miami Dance Futures continues to play an important role as a support organization for dance companies and conferences here in South Florida, including the Dance USA conference; our aim is to foster growth and education of dance.
In 2016 MDF managed a three-week tour of Christopher Rudd’s company in Burkina Faso Africa. 2016 was a full year; over the course of that year we produced The Haunted Ballet and Christmas in the Gardens; co-produced The Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler with Dance Now Miami, The New World School of the Arts, and FDEO; and produced in conjunction with National Water Dance, a Celebration of Arts in Action.
In 2017 MDF produced The Haunted Ballet and Christmas in the Gardens. We co-produced the Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler with Dance Now Miami, The New World School of the Arts and the FDEO.
In 2018 MDF continues supporting Miami choreographer Christopher Rudd and his company RudduR Dance. We also supported part one of a new work Empowered. In addition, we managed a three-week tour of his company in two cities in Burkina Faso Africa. We continued as the Fiscal Agent and Management for the New World School of the Arts’ Alumni Association. We produced Christmas in the Gardens. We Co-Produced the Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler with Dance Now Miami, The New World School of the Arts, and FDEO. We provided email marketing services and served as the fiscal agent for a number of dance companies, individual artists, and arts organizations as they await their 501(c)3 status.
In 2019 MDF again continued supporting Miami choreographer Christopher Rudd and his company RudduR Dance and part two of his production, his production, Empowered in Ecuador. Providing support services and acting as the company’s fiscal agent and Mentor for the tour to Ecuador. We produced “A Life in Dance”, a performance for Miami Dade county students with a lecture demonstration and a new work (Women II) by artistic director Daniel Lewis. Daniel Lewis taught four free master classes at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. We continued as the Fiscal Agent and Management for the New World School of the Arts’ Alumni Association. We co-produced three performances of The Daniel Lewis Dance Sampler, with Dance Now Miami, The Florida Dance Education Organization and the New World School of the Arts. Additionally, we took Miami out of the title as we now produce a sampler of companies from all over the state. We also added site-specific performances during the National Dance Education Organization Conference as part of the sampler. We produced an evening of magnet arts schools from all over the state.
In 2020 MDF continued its support of RudduR Dance in his first commission with ABT. We continued as the fiscal agent and management for the New World School of the Arts’ Alumni Association. We co-produced virtual performances of The Daniel Lewis Dance Sampler, with Dance Now Miami, The Florida Dance Education Organization. This virtual program was also played at the National Dance Education Organizations virtual conference, and broadcasted worldwide.
In 2021 MDF is proud to continue its support of RudduR Dance as fiscal agent. We produced our first virtual “A Life in Dance”, a performance for Miami Dade county students, presenting a new work by artistic director Daniel Lewis called “No Strings in the Clouds” dealing with what it was like being in the clouds on the computer during Covid-19. We continue as the fiscal agent and management for the New World School of the Arts’ Alumni Association. Daniel Lewis gave a master class, free to the dance community in Miami and invited the rest of the world to take the class online. Over 375 Students and Teachers from 14 countries and 17 states joined the class on line. The class was held and streamed out from the Banyan Bowl at Pinecrest Gardens in Miami.