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Calling Miami’s LGBTQ+ community!

The Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami choreographer Pioneer Winter invite South Florida’s diverse queer community to become part of the new theater-dance project “Birds of Paradise.”

The Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami’s Pioneer Winter Collective are collaborating to bring the real experiences of South Florida’s LGBTQ+ community to life onstage at the Arsht Center. Beginning in June 2020, in honor of Pride Month, queer people of all ages, abilities and experiences are invited to share personal stories of identity, resiliency, rebirth and transformation to create a new dance-theater work, titled “Birds of Paradise.”

Through these stories, ”Birds of Paradise” will explore gaps in our collective history and raise LGBTQ+ voices, particularly those who have been excluded from the gay liberation movement’s symbolic domination by white, able-bodied men. Perched on the tension between praise and protest, celebration and rage, “Birds of Paradise” seeks out a new narrative to empower the marginalized and regain control over the truth by which we live.

“Birds of Paradise” was commissioned by the Arsht Center, and its world premiere in late 2021 will mark the culmination of a two-year artist-in-residency program with choreographer Pioneer Winter and Pioneer Winter Collective, which began in December 2019. As the Center’s first artist-in-residence in more than a decade, Winter and his company have been provided with space at the Arsht Center to rehearse and develop new work and commissioning support for “Birds of Paradise.” In the past year, Winter and the Collective have held over 40 free community workshops and developed a foundation for how community engagement informs the artistic process. Their work continues online through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are believers in the beauty of vulnerability and humanness. This piece continues our mission of highlighting the enduring nature of the queer community - to transform themselves through hardships into something that is desirable, vulnerable, fierce and reborn at the same time,” Pioneer Winter said. “I am grateful that the Arsht Center has supported my artistic process and, most importantly, for their partnership in amplifying the voices and experiences of marginalized communities.”

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Pioneer Winter Collective is a company of allies who democratize performance through unexpected bodies in unexpected places, producing unexpected social change — powerful stories and voices that transform the cultural landscape. Described as avant-garde, experimental, fearless and "as diverse as Miami itself" (Miami New Times), the Collective blurs the line between physical theater and contemporary dance. Pioneer Winter is a Miami-based choreographer and dancer, recognized in Dance Magazine's 2019 “25 To Watch." He directs Pioneer Winter Collective, a contemporary dance and physical theater company of allied bodies, who democratize performance in public spaces, museums/galleries, stage, and film. For more information, visit

“Birds of Paradise” is also made possible through the support of the Knight Foundation as a Knight Arts Challenge Award recipient, New England Foundation for the Arts as NEFA’s National Dance Project Production Grant and The MAP Fund.