Karen Peterson Dance Company Explores Family Dynamics and Vulnerability in Disability in Latest Live Multimedia Dance Work

Acclaimed Physically Integrated Dance Company Returns to the Limelight February 18-19, 2022 at Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box

MIAMI (December 21, 2021) — Miami’s own groundbreaking physically integrated dance pioneer, Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD) returns to the stage to present “SAMSARA” at Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box on February 18 and 19, 2022 at 8 p.m.

SAMSARA Company (Photo by Lisa Nalven)

With over 30 years of performance celebrated worldwide, Karen Peterson Dancers (KPD) is one of the foremost mixed-ability dance companies in the United States. Artistic Director Karen Peterson-Corash presents her latest multimedia performance piece casting professional dancers with and without disabilities onto the same stage, developing dance work for both trained and untrained dancers alike. “Movement is the unifying tool that brings us together,” says Peterson-Corash, leader of her namesake ensemble.

Backlit by powerful film to support the live performance, SAMSARA marks the fifth dance video collaboration KPD developed together with Miami multidisciplinary visual artist, Maria Lino. The full-length work explores vulnerable themes of disability, family dynamics and generational lineage in their movement narrative. The title derives from the Sanskrit/Pali word meaning the “cyclicality of all life, matter, existence”. Samsara is the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound. The piece traces the life journey of many dance artists in the KPD Company; the cast profoundly relating to the messaging in this work. “Many times, I’ve wished for an instruction manual for life, but losing my physicality and recently losing a parent have initiated deep learning experiences for me, and now this piece gives an opportunity to express a fraction of that”, cast member Shawn Buller says.

 Sun Young Park & Adam Eckstat (Photo by Lisa Nalven)

Choreographed by Peterson-Corash with movement inspiration coming from the dancers themselves, the cast includes 8 dancers and 3 children, including Penelope Huerta, Barny Espinal, Sun Young Park, Adam Eckstat, Marjorie Burnett, Lisa Sandelin, Shawn Buller, Monica Lynne, Sara Sofia Vasquez Huerta (age 2), Eleah Espinal (age 6) and Julissa Espinal (age 2). The program also features a multimedia solo by choreographer​ by Marc Brew​, performed by Jesus Vidal. Called “Remember When,” this intimate performance was re-staged for the Forward Motion Three Festival with a prelude screening of a short dance film behind the performer exploring the idea of perception – looking from past to present.


The world premier of SAMSARA takes place at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box (2901 West Flagler, Miami, FL)  on February 18 and 19, 2022 at 8PM. Tickets will be made available on the MDCA Ticketmaster website after February 1, 2021. Tickets are $25 general admission and $20 for students and seniors. For more information visit www.KarenPetersonDancers.org, or call (305) 298-5879. To request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any disability accommodation, please contact Karen Peterson at 305-298-5879 or karen@karenpetersondancers.org five days in advance to initiate your request.

More on KPD
Karen Peterson and Dancers was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to the development, education and presentation of dance through workshops and performances, integrating dancers and students with a range of physical abilities. They have presented an annual season of new work at multiple venues throughout South Florida, have performed throughout the state, and have presented their work nationally, from New York to Washington, D.C., and in nine countries, including Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Serbia and Portugal. In honor of her work, Ms. Peterson has received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the New World School of the Arts, a Bank of America “Cultural Award” from the American Red Cross, and a “Queen of the Arts” Award from the Miami Herald. In 2019, the company was named “Best Dance Company” in Miami by the New Times. KPD has produced 3 years of their annual international festival of physically integrated dance called Forward Motion in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with the support of a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for Karen Peterson and Dancers and this performance comes from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Miami Foundation, Citizens Interested in the Arts, United Arts Council of Naples,  WLRN and other private donors.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *