Pride Marketplace and CommuniTea Dance at the Adrienne Arsht Center

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By: Ian Maloney

On Saturday, June 26, 2021, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts hosted the return of the fabulous CommuniTea Dance, the organization’s culmination of its celebration of Pride Month and a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community. This year, the Arsht Center stepped up the programming with the addition of Pride Marketplace, which featured a wide variety of vendors, artisans, food and beverages.

dj hottpants
Family fun with DJ Hottpants

Pride Marketplace highlighted queer businesses with a curated selection of creatives who are working to make the world a brighter place. Clothing, jewelry and art, along with delicious food and beverage options and the sounds of DJ Hottpants, provided a festive atmosphere for the entire family. Kids enjoyed an afternoon of “Pour Your Art Out” workshop activities.

At 6:30 p.m., the CommuniTea dance program began inside the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House. This limited-capacity engagement took place right on stage and highlighted the amazing contributions of local queer artists.

DJ Citizen Jane
DJ Citizen Jane, a Miami native and activist

Guests started the evening dancing as DJ Citizen Jane kicked things off. Besides being a master of the ones and twos, she’s one of the most sought after DJs in the world and is a local activist, founder of Hialeah Pride, and member of the board of directors for Safe Schools South Florida. She has headlined pride events around the world, and she is a legendary Miami native.

DJ Citizen Jane’s set was followed by a performance of “Tang” by Alaina Andersen. This piece was created out of a queer family collaboration that culminated during quarantine. Andersen is a company dancer in the Corps de Ballet of the Miami City Ballet, where she has been dancing since 2016. As a queer woman, Andersen wanted to showcase the simultaneous power and tenderness of queer love through dance, regardless of the gender of the performers. Her 18-year-old brother, Braden Andersen, who composed the music, as well as the two dancers – Jordan Martinez and Francisco Schilereff –are all queer men.

Randolph Ward
International choreographer and Miami native Randolph Ward

The evening also featured “The Queen of Drag” by international choreographer and Miami native Randolph Ward and Miami’s only German-born drag artist, CC Glitzer. Ward and Glitzer paid tribute to the extraordinary life of William Dorsey Swann, an American gay liberation activist who was born into slavery and was the first known person to lead a queer resistance group in the United States. He was also the first to self-identify as a “queen of drag.” This original work by Ward infuses drag, vogue and dance theater in a performance extravaganza of strength, courage, and tenacity.

Les Greene of Patrick and the Swayzees to end the night right
Les Greene of Patrick and the Swayzees ended the night right

Rounding out the evening in a fun, rowdy performance that had the audience on its feet, was Patrick and the Swayzees, a band that is fronted by Les Greene. His style is a wonderful throwback to the bygone era of the original rock ’n’ rollers. He commanded the stage and ended the evening on a high note.

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