about us
news NEW!
season events
class schedule
support us
contact us
and dancers

season events                   Friend Me

Karen Peterson and Dancers to perform “Buoyant Dreams” in the Byron Carlyle Theatre

Four female artists have joined forces to create a two-part performance that will ignite the senses with visual and musical artistry.

Boant Dreams Performance


Boant Dreams Performance


Boant Dreams Performance


Boant Dreams Performance

Four seasoned, well-established female artists have come together to create a mixed-ability dance performance that is layered with videography work by visual artist, Maria Lino and live sultry jazz by The Wendy Pedersen Jazz Trio. Seven internationally-trained able dancers and two disabled dancers will perform “Buoyant Dreams”, which is made up of works by Joanne Barrett and Karen Peterson and will debut in the Byron Carlyle Theatre in Miami Beach Dec. 11.

Maria Lino and Peterson collaborated to create the first half of the performance, which uses projected images of the disabled dancers in and out of water as an interactive backdrop to the mixed-ability performance.  The dancers and images mirror each other creating a visually stunning and emotionally charged experience for audience members.

Lino had been working on a series about water for about three years when she approached Peterson about an interdisciplinary collaboration related to buoyancy and freedom of the human body in water.

“I explored and documented the possibilities of buoyancy and movement in water of dancers with physical challenges and how they relate to fully-abled dancers in such environments through video and digital media.  I experimented with images of varying scale, angles, details and compositions, interweaving them with the choreography of Karen Peterson, creating a closely knitted performance of both disciplines,” said Lino, , who won the Cintas Foundation Award in 1975-76 and 1976-77 .

The other half of the performance will be danced to live music by The Wendy Pedersen Jazz Trio’s newest work, “Boy Meets Girl”,  and choreographed by Barrett , who has been teaching dance for over 24 years and was acknowledged as best dancer of the year by Time Out London.

“I am excited about the collaboration and the opportunity to create feeling and imagery based dance structures and dance outbursts to improvised solos by jazz musicians,” said Barrett, who focuses on connecting with space, energy and emotions through precise sculpted movements.

Barrett’s works will be performed in an intimate setting reminiscent of a smoky jazz lounge, where the audience is meant to feel as if they are part of the performance. And though most of the performance is choreographed, she has created moments where dancers improvise to scatting by singer, Pedersen or to one of the trio’s instruments – keyboard, bass and drums.

Proceeds from this event will go to Karen Peterson and Dancers, a non-profit mixed ability dance troupe established in 1990. A graduate of The Boston Conservatory, Peterson has received numerous choreographic fellowship awards from Division of Cultural Affairs, Department of State and the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs.  The troupe promotes dance as a multi-cultural and inclusive art form and does extensive community and world outreach through workshops, video lecture demonstrations and performances. The troupe has traveled to places, such as, Trebinje, Bosnia , the VSA International Showcase in Washington D.C. and the Ruth Eckerd Murray Hall in Clearwater.

This season marks 21 years since Petersen founded the mixed-ability troupe and she is optimistic about the group’s future and its many possibilities.

“With able-bodied dancers you have a hundred choices. With disabled dancers there are limitations, but it is these limitations that challenge me and inspire the creative solutions that help us evolve each year,” said Peterson.

Peterson will be holding auditions for dancers in the beginning of next year. For more detailed information call 305-298-5879.

There will be two performances of “Buoyant Dreams” at 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Byron Carlye Theatre, 500 71st St.  There will an after party and fundraiser at the The New Hotel, which is walking distance from the theatre. Tickets are $15 – 25. VIP seating and admission to the after party will be available to $25 ticket holders. Tickets are available at 305-298-5879, at the window in the Byron or Colony Theatres or at www.ticketmaster.com or call Ticketmaster at 866-448-7849.

Karen Peterson and Dancers’ work is supported by Citizens Interested in the Arts; The Children’s Trust: the City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Jewish Communal Fund: Marvin Leibowitz; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners; The Miami Salon Group; Norton Viney Private Foundation;  Robert and Anne Altman, The Mildred Pallas Levenson Dance Foundation and other individual contributors.


Karen Peterson and Dancers INC - Activities 2009 - 2010

June 25, 2010

Karen Peterson and Dancers perform Buoyant Dreams and Mano a Mano at the Excello Dance Space. Mano a Mano features four dancers, two using wheelchairs, as they interact with and respond to live video projections directed by video artist Maria Lino. Buoyant Dreams is the second collaboration of director and choreographer Karen Peterson and visual artist Maria Lino. It is inspired by the concept of buoyancy and the presence of water in our daily lives.


March 19, 2010

200 special need students, from Miami Dade middle and high schools, came together to perform their choreographies at the North Miami Beach Sr High School, on Friday, March 19th at 10 AM, after ten weeks of intensive training from the Karen Peterson team teachers. This inclusive one of a kind program, now in its 4th year, showcases the physical talents of students with special needs. The event is open free to the public.


November 11, 2009 Lecture/Video Demonstration at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Miami.

March 2010 Extensive teacher training, 10 hours, for the Shimmy Club,
(Tango teachers for the visually impaired) CCDH funded.

February 11, 2010 Lecture/Video Presentation at the Community Arts Class,
Florida International University.
February 10, 2010 Lecture/Video Presentation for Citizens Interested in the Arts Inc.
at the Prelude Restaurant Arsht Center.

January 4, 2010 Special Community Workshop called Partner Flying Contact Yoga! With Carrie Staller.

November 13, 2009 Ruth Eckerd Hall- Murray Studio Theater – Guest Artist: REVolutions Dance.

October 3, 2009 The 20th Anniversary Season at the Byron Carlyle Theatre;
Mixed-Ability Video Dance with new dances by Karen Peterson
and collaborator, Maria Lino.

April 19, 2010 All Kids Included Performance at the Miami Childrens Museum Children with special needs perform with company members,
John Beauregard and Jennifer Smallwood; children audience participation and workshop directed by Enid Harum-Alvarez.
May 1, 2010
Miami Balken Dance Exchange- Four Peterson dancers will travel
to Trebinje, Bosnia and create a 5 day workshop and performance event, with former dance colleagues from Montenegro whom the company met in 2008. The 5 day training will lead to a community performance of mixed-ability work by Bosnian / Miami dance artists.

May 14, 2010 – On Stage with Iris Acker
Interview and Video Clips of the company activities
Friday May 14, 2010 @ 7:00PM & Sunday @ 6:00PM
on channel 19, and on channel 63 on all Satellites.
Also on channel 83 on Atlantic Broadband.

June 7, 2010 On June 7th, 2010, KPD performs in Washington D.C. at the Harman Shakespeare Theatre, for the Very Special Arts International Conference, onstage with Dancing Wheels from Atlanta and The Moving Dance Company from Massachusetts.

June 24, 25, 26 Karen Peterson, this years Miami Dade choreographic fellowship winner, presents an intimate look at water, dance, video
and disability with a new work entitled “Buoyant Dreams”
at Excello Dance Space, 8700B SW 129th Terrace.

“Karen Peterson and Dancers is funded in part by: “the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge, helping bring South Florida together through the arts” by The Children's Trust. The Trust a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County, by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor, the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners, by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts." Supported in part by: Coldwell Bankers, The Mildred Pallas Levenson Dance Foundation, Miami Salon Group.  Citizens Interested in the Arts, the Whitten Foundation, CEP APAP Travel Award and Power2Give

Please contact our Accessibility Coordinator, Karen Peterson at karen@karenpetersondancers.org with any questions or concerns regarding performances or worksh