No Sleep 'til Culture

Insomniacs rejoice! Sleepless Night takes over the Beach Saturday night

England does it. France does it. Most major cities around the globe do it.

Cultural capitals around the world have all-night festivals celebrating their culture, and Miami is no different.

From 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, until 7 a.m. Sunday morning, Miami will be cultural royalty as Sleepless Night commences for its second run in the Magic City. The highly anticipated event is already drawing attention from citizens, tourists, and the corporate world alike, and it promises to be bigger and better than before. 

"We were looking at what they were doing over there at [Paris'] Nuit Blanche, just amazing cultural events," said Nanette Rodriguez with the Office of Communications of the City of Miami Beach. "So Miami, a cultural capital of our own, wanted to do the same."

The festival started in 2007, but skipped 2008, and this year, its proving to be Miami's biggest yet, with 150 events. This year, twice the amount of visitors are expected, with myriad events spread out over 100 locations, from Ocean Drive to Normandy Isle.

One of many dance events taking place includes Animate Objects Physical Theater's "Bounce Theory," held at the Ocean Drive Main Stage, between 8th and 9th streets. It's an adrenaline-pumping mix of aerial dance and athletic aerobics that'll have you on the edge of your seat.

There are also plenty of music numbers in the program, including the New World Symphony at the Lincoln Theatre and the full-length opera "La Traviata" at the North Beach Band Shell.

"Full-on and full-length operas and dance events, not just previews or snippets, are put on for free," Rodriguez said. "It's not just a taste of culture, it's a full blown night of Miami culture created just for Sleepless Night."

There are plenty of comedy and theater acts to go around as well, such as Laughin' on Lincoln: The South Beach Comedy Festival. Festival favorites Ricky Cruz and Lisa Corrao join host Al Jackson in bringing you one of the many sidesplitting moments of the night.

There's something in it for everyone, and that includes our art enthusiasts. The Bass Museum is playing producer to "Night Shift," an exhibition for which eleven local artists create nine outdoor, multi-media and interactive works of art.

"When the City of Miami Beach approached us with the idea to produce a public exhibition, we felt it was a great opportunity turn things inside-out and to commission new works of art by Miami-based artists," said Silvia Karman Cubina, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the museum. "Moving art to the streets automatically makes encounters with art much more informal, more accessible and more fun for people who are not regular museum-goers."

With so many places to go and things to do, it's only fitting they make it an all-night event. We figure lack of sleep won't be a problem when there's so much to do, but the real question is: where to start?

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