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KPBS Evening Edition

'Beyond Babel' Tells A Story Of Separation And Love

A 2018 promotional photo from "Beyond Babel."
Courtesy of Beyond Babel
A 2018 promotional photo from "Beyond Babel."

Inspired by 'Romeo and Juliet," this immersive dance show debuts in San Diego

"Beyond Babel" is a new kind of theatrical experience, one that blends storytelling with urban dance, one that's inspired by both Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and today's news headlines.

Beyond Babel

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Nov. 25.

Where: Beyond Babel Theater, 2625 Imperial Ave., Barrio Logan

Tickets: $35 to $125

Buy online

The show was co-created and stars Keone and Mari Madrid, the husband-and-wife dance team known for their work on "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing With the Stars," "The Ellen Show" and Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" music video.

"Beyond Babel" explores the way barriers affect families, friends and communities. Set to contemporary music, it follows a couple figuring out how to deal with a wall that's just been built between them.


It's an ambitious project that Keone and Mari Madrid said they wanted to begin in their San Diego hometown before moving it to cities like Los Angeles and New York.

They've rented a space in Barrio Logan that accommodates their concept, seats that move throughout the show to offer different perspectives and experiences. The theater is also decorated with colorful crochet backdrops and art pieces by artist London Kaye.

On Evening Edition, Keone Madrid and Mari Madrid discuss their inspiration for "Beyond Babel" and why they wanted to bring it to San Diego:

VIDEO: 'Beyond Babel' Explores Walls And Shakespeare Through Dance