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Why people flip for Miami artist Dara Friedman

In Dara Friedman’s art film “Dancer,” a 25-minute salute to Miami’s multicultural dance talent, some 60 loose-limbed performers strut, breakdance and backflip along Miami’s bridges, tunnels and grocery stores. Friedman captures flamenco, ballroom, ballet, modern and stripper-pole dancing in grainy, black-and-white film segments, often with dubbed-in music that isn’t in sync with her subjects’ movements.

Friedman’s ode to human expression, independent spirit and low-tech filmmaking is echoed in the 15 other art films featured in the Miami-based artist’s solo show “Perfect Stranger,” opening Friday, Nov. 3, at the Perez Art Museum Miami. In these shorts, which span 1998 to the present, the German-born artist tinkers with ideas of empathy toward strangers in large groups. In “Government Cut Freestyle,” Friedman films onlookers watching as young people taking turns jumping off a pier in South Pointe Park in Miami Beach. “Dichter,” filmed in 2016, presents 16 Berlin actors simultaneously reading passages of poetry that were meaningful to them. And in “Musical,” Friedman films 55 participants singing “America, the Beautiful” in the crowded streets, subways, diners and plazas of Midtown Manhattan, with passersby rarely noticing.

The shorts will be presented in two galleries. In the first, all Friedman’s videos will screen simultaneously, with sounds and videos overlapping one another. The second gallery will screen the same films in separate, soundproofed rooms, offering an alternative way to experience the videos.

When: Friday, Nov. 3, through March 4 (opening reception: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2)

Where: Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd.

Cost: Free during Nov. 2 reception, $12-$16 thereafter

Contact: 305-375-3000 or PAMM.org

pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364

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