The Ringling's Art of Performance Showcases International Artists

Different forms of dance and music take to the stage beginning in October.

By Kay Kipling June 28, 2019

Flamenco curated by the Casa Patas Flamenco Foundation

Be prepared to take a trip around the world with The Ringling’s Art of Performance series this season, which welcomes performers from India, Cuba, Mexico and beyond to the Historic Asolo Theater starting in October. (The winter/spring season for 2020 will be revealed later.)

The Ringling’s Currie-Kohlmann Curator of Performance Art, Elizabeth Doud, announced the fall line-up recently, saying that she wants to “engage audiences with performances that embody intensity, cultural specificity and unique contemporary narratives.” The series will also integrate community education opportunities presented by the visiting artists, including master classes, artist talks, workshops and outreach to local schools.

Following up on The Ringling’s recent festival centered around India (and its upcoming Fabric of India exhibition), the season kicks off with a full evening performance (Oct. 11 and 12) by Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, one of the premier Indian classical dance ensembles performing today. The all-female ensemble was founded as a “village” devoted to dance and the preservation of the Odissi classical dance tradition; the performance will include live musicians.

Master flamenco artist Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame performs Nov. 6 and 7, with a new work, Raiz de 4, curated by the Casa Patas Flamenco Foundation, that delves into the art form’s most primitive roots. Song, dance, guitar and percussion blend to take the audience on a “journey of sensations and emotions.”

Latin jazz piano will be showcased Nov. 15 and 16 in a concert by Gonzalo Rubalcaba. The pianist-composer was already known in his native Cuba when he was “discovered” by Dizzy Gillespie in 1985. Since then he has won two Grammys and two Latin Grammys and established himself as a force in the jazz world.

Latin jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Image: Anna Turayeva

Mexico-City based theater collective Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol will present the intriguing Tijuana, Dec. 6 and 7. This solo piece is the staged result of a real anthropological theater experiment undertaken by ensemble member Gabino Rodriguez, who left behind his daily life to work on an assembly line in a Tijuana factory on the U.S. border. Using a false identity and earning just the legal minimum wage, he found firsthand how the current-day Mexican working class survives. Performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

Dance company Jovenes Zapateadores

The fall season concludes with performances Dec. 12, 13 and 14 of Vivelo!, by Son Luna y Jóvenes Zapateadores, from Mexico. Merging different rhythms and dance styles from folkloric to contemporary to African-inspired, the Mexican musical ensemble Son Luna backs the dance troupe Jóvenes Zapateadores in a highly energetic offering.

Season tickets will go on sale Aug. 1, available by calling 359-5700 or online at

And an event July 18 in the Chao Lecture Hall in the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Center for Asian Art at the Ringling will offer a special presentation on the Art of Performance season. Tickets are free, but space is limited; call 358-3180, or go visit the Ringling website.

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