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SoBe Arts Announces Tales of Power May 5-15

Surf the multisensory edges of time, space, culture and consciousness with legendary author/anthropologist Carlos Castaneda and acclaimed American composer Michael Colgrass at SoBe Institute of the Arts' groundbreaking music-theater experience Tales of Power. The production will open with a limited run from May 5 to May 15 at the SoBe Arts Little Stage Theater in Miami Beach.

Adapted and directed by Executive Artistic Director Carson Kievman, this unique piece vividly conjures Castaneda's magical tales of transformative change and personal power, set in the desert wilderness and metropolitan Mexico City with early 1970's cult hero and Mesoamerican shaman Don Juan. This original multimedia production combines the extraordinary tone poem of Colgrass, a piano score featured in the SoBe Arts American Masterworks series, with new theatrical and sound elements and kinematic "magic lantern" effects.

"SoBe Arts is excited to bring this iconic modern masterwork to Miami," states Dr. Kievman. "It is a portal to another time and space, a definitive coming-of-age story that opened creative gateways for the Burning Man and Matrix generation." Kievman praises the artistry of the Colgrass piano concert, with its richly counterpointing elements of mystery and down-to-earth tangibles, which draws a "Dyson Swarm" of inspiration from Castaneda's coexistent world of spirit and body. Kievman's theatrical adaptation is based on ideas evoked by the Colgrass music and Castaneda's literary work: "Vapor trails of sound and light play off the characters, mirror the flow of attention and energy in our dreams, and create new ways of seeing and experiencing this world."

Virtual scenic design for this music and theater experience has been created by Carbonell award winner Sean McClelland. Mr. McClelland received critical acclaim for his recent work on August: Osage County and Les Misérables at the Actors Playhouse. He has also been the resident scenic designer and charge artist at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, and has worked on shows for the Mosaic Theatre, GableStage, the Flat Rock Playhouse, the Santa Fe Opera, and the Seaside Music Theatre.

Tales of Power will feature pianist Robert Chumbley on a Steinway concert grand piano. A former student of Colgrass, Chumbley is a member of the SoBe Arts faculty, who performed the world premiere of this work. Mr. Chumbley's concert appearances have taken him throughout Europe, Japan, the United States and Africa. He has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, for President Bill Clinton, with the North Carolina Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, South Florida Symphony, Lincoln Symphony, and the Orchestre Provence Cote d'Azur, among others. A recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation grant (1980) and the Irwin Freundlich Prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition (1979), he also has served as Music Director for the Atlanta Ballet and the Cleveland Opera. Mr. Chumbley has also achieved international recognition both as a guest conductor and composer, having written incidental theatrical music, three large ballet scores and two operas. His works are recorded on MMC Records and published by Carl Fisher, Inc. One of his solo piano pieces is featured in a SoBe Arts Open Friday concert on April 29, 2011.

In addition to extensive experience as a composer, Carson Kievman has directed works for The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Nationaltheater Mannheim and Basel State Theater of Switzerland, as well as a series of music, theater, and cabaret productions at SoBe Arts. His symphonies, operas and experimental works have been performed internationally in stage, concert, and dance settings, including the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Florida Philharmonic, the New York City Opera VOX Festival and a music-theater retrospective at the Nationaltheater-Mannheim. He is the recipient of numerous international awards and was honored with a Naumberg Fellowship to Princeton University.

Playing Don Juan will be Jorge Hernandez, actor and singer. He started his professional career in Havana, Cuba, performing in theaters and TV and radio shows .He lived eight years in Mexico City where he performed in different venues. He has participated in many theater festivals around the world. In Miami he has been seen in El vuelo del Quijote, Waiting for Godot, The Man of La Mancha, Fuente Ovejuna, Boys of Mariel, El metodo Gronholm, La visita de la vieja dama, Justo en lo mejor de mi vida,Ode to Torture, Frijoles Colorados, and most recently playing Eduardo in La retirada de Moscu. Jorge has also performed in many Telemundo soap operas such as El cuerpo del deseo, Prisionera and Alguien te mira among others. His SOLO CD is a portrait of his work as a song writer and performer in general. Jorge graduated from Instituto Superior de Arte Havana Cuba and presently teaches singing techniques, voice and diction at the Prometeo program in Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus.

Playing Carlos will be Danny Cruz. After years of training at the Prometeo Workshop under founder and former Artistic Director Maria Teresa Rojas, along with Larry Villanueva and Bona Jesurum, Danny Cruz has appeared in a variety of works on both local stage and small films around Miami, including a run as Trent Conway in Six Degrees of Separation, and as Stanley Kowalski in Streetcar Named Desire.

Playing Don Genaro will be Oscar Fuentes, a writer, director, and producer of original theatre work in Miami. Oscar now fronts his Latin Beat Poetry Fusion musical group with featured vocalist Paloma Duenas. His poetry, short stories, and short films have been mentioned in articles, and published in journals and blogs such as Knight Arts blog, Accent Miami, Absent Cause, Art Basel, and Get Oscar has also done community-based work with Arts for Learning Miami where he changed and enhanced the lives of at-risk youth as a playwright and theatre teaching artist.

The limited run performances for Tales of Power will take place in the Little Stage Theater @ SoBe Arts on Thursday, May 5 and Fridays and Saturdays May 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 8pm, and Sundays May 8 and 15 at 7:30 pm. VIP Reserved Seating tickets are $25 and General Seating tickets are $12.50, in accord with SoBe Arts mission to provide live theater at accessible prices. Parking is free. The Little Stage Theater @ SoBe Arts is an intimate black box-style space that accommodates a limited number of patrons. For tickets, call 305-674-9220, visit or stop by SoBe Institute of the Arts in person weekdays at 2100 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.
About SoBe Institute of the Arts (SoBe Arts):

SoBe Arts is a non-profit organization that promotes excellence, creativity, and accessibility of the arts through performance events and arts instruction of the highest quality, in music and related artistic disciplines. The Institute pursues this dual model of arts education and innovative performances in the heart of the Miami Beach arts district, with the long-term goal of building an independent, high-caliber institute of the arts. The faculty draws upon artists from leading conservatories, ensembles, and performance venues in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Professional artists have opportunities both to teach and to perform, as the Institute provides community-level classes and advanced individual instruction for youth and adults, while organizing professional productions featuring faculty and visiting artists.

Since its founding five years ago, SoBe Arts has established an intimate and unique arts complex in the adjoining Carl Fisher Clubhouse and Little Stage Theater, located in a park-like setting between the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens and the Miami City Ballet. The Clubhouse, built in 1915, is the city's oldest surviving public building and its 2-story atrium is well-suited to chamber music events; the 1937 theater, shuttered for many years, was renovated and opened by SoBe Arts as a black box in January 2010 in partnership with the City of Miami Beach.

SoBe Institute of the Arts 2010/2011 season is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Council and the City of Miami Beach.

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