Miami Welcomes Spain’s Traveling Exhibition

  • Published by Vedat
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida, the Spanish government’s international cultural agency (Acción Cultural Española), and the Cultural Center of Spain in Miami present for the first time in the continental United States the interactive traveling exhibition ‘A Tres Bandas’.

a-tres-bandasThe exhibition chronicles the evolution of musical culture in the Americas (1500s to present-day), showcasing the fusion of its three musical roots: from the native indigenous peoples, the African Diaspora, and the Spaniards.

The innovative presentation features interactive touch-screens, photography, music and video, a display of musical instruments from across Latin America and the Caribbean, listening stations and even dance-steps diagrammed on the floor to learn how to cha-cha-chá and merengue while listening to instructions on headphones.

A Tres Bandas is free and open to the public, Sept. 5 – Oct. 27, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (weekdays and by appointment) at the Centro Cultural Español (CCE) Miami, 1490 Biscayne Blvd., 305/448-9677. The CCE Miami has curated a series of local events and performances running throughout September and October presenting dance, theater, film, music and cultural workshops for the community and tourists.

“Miami is the perfect place to introduce this innovative exposition to North Americans,” said CCE Miami’s new Director Francisco Tardío. “More than any other destination in the Americas, Miami truly mirrors the fusion of cultures and heritages in music and the arts – the message at the very heart of A Tres Bandas. We appreciate and thank the leadership and support we have received from Acción Cultural Española and we are thrilled to share this cultural experience.”

The Miami version of A Tres Bandas adds a local component via a series of performances, concerts and events created by the team at CCE Miami, along with Emmy® winning and Grammy® nominated Miami music critic Fernando González.

A program of cultural events, performances and workshops will run concurrently throughout Miami during September and October, including:

- A film series about music, and listening-sessions.

- Activities for children including a workshop on Afro-Cuban dance.

- Workshops for seniors on Latin American culture

- Flamenco dance and castanets every Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 9 – Oct. 29.

- Concerts featuring a broad range of styles, from classical music to the latest electronic fusions.

- Microtheater’s new season starts September 5, featuring special plays themed “Por Mi Fa Sol La Si” every week on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

According to the curator of A Tres Bandas, Albert Recasens (who will be in Miami the week of the opening):

“The exhibition aims to create an engaging, fun experience where the public is part of the presentation. It’s almost like going inside a music box. The audience is not stuck behind conventional glass displays via cutting edge technology and set design, they experience with all of their senses a variety of musical ‘scenes,’ reliving this tricultural fusion.”

The touring exhibition has been recognized as experimental and groundbreaking in its presentation, breaking away from the traditional museum norms and setting new standards for audience participation.

“We are telling an epic story, a musical trialogue between three cultures that merged over five centuries to influence Latin American music,” adds the curator, Recasens.

The title of the exhibition, A Tres Bandas, does not translate verbatim into English. It represents several meanings, including a colloquial phrase used by Spaniards to mean a three-sided view of things, a conversation between three people or three ideas, or in this case: three influences ... three channels ... or three frequencies.

Today, when we listen to our popular Latin American music icons – be they Shakira, Juanes or Celia Cruz - we are hearing the modern-day legacy of A Tres Bandas.

Recasens is an ethnomusicologist, and is the co-author of the book A Tres Bandas: Miscegenation, Syncretism and Hybridization in the Ibero-American Sound Space (an editorial project that emerged as a result of the first exhibition of A Tres Bandas, at the 2010 Ibero-American Conference on Culture in Medellin, Colombia). The book, and its accompanying CD, features 22 essays by renowned musicologists from various countries

The book explores musical rituals, ceremonies, and genres … how national identities were forged in Latin America via music … and musical instruments of Latin America through a wide spectrum (ranging from the native indigenous peoples to the musical salons of the colonial classes, from traditional folkloric expressions of rural and urban environments to the current pop music of this vast transnational region).

“This traveling exhibition is a confluence of various disciplines – music, theater and set design, to create a truly innovative show,” adds Recasens.

Natalia Menendez contributed to the creative direction of the exhibition, and Enrique Bordes is the museum installation designer.


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