Boca Raton's Intimate Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park Hosts Arts Ballet Theatre Performance

By: Hilda Mitrani

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The Willow Theatre, nestled inside Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park, is a 155-seat venue, perfect for intimate performances. Its proscenium stage is one reason why South Florida dance, music and theater companies enjoy presenting there. The Willow’s Annual Dance Series features Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida on Feb. 7 in a mixed repertoire of contemporary and classical ballet.

This vibrant young company is presenting two of the four seasons, Le Printemps and L’Autumn, from Vladimir Issaev’s “The Seasons,” performed to the original Verdi. Another work on the program, “Taiko” features a large ensemble moving in highly synchronized movements to the grounded Japanese drumbeat by the same name.

When I first heard Taiko (a Japanese musical form featuring the drum) at EPCOT, I was enthralled by the athletic yet equally melodic percussion sounds. I have sought out opportunities to hear it or see it in performances ever since. Because it's highly athletic, it's like poetry in motion set to percussion.

There is a second opportunity to appreciate this music in February. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach will host a workshop, “The Way of Taiko - The Heartbeat of Japan” on Sun., Feb. 28. In the three sessions offered that day, participants can learn the history of Taiko and how to connect nature and the meaning of body movement. Of course, they will learn how to drum, too!

The Morikami is a wonderful way to experience Japanese culture. It’s a throwback to the 1800s when there was a sizable Japanese community in South Florida. Today it’s the only museum in the Southeastern United States dedicated to the living culture of Japan

Don’t miss one of these two unique opportunities. Better yet, watch Arts Ballet Theatre on Feb. 7 and then learn Taiko on Feb. 28.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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