October 22, 2020

11th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance & Music Apr 9-26


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300xNxiconsquareimage002121.png.pagespeed.ic.LN6abl4wcuReYnF9c8Qd11th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance & Music Apr 9-26The 11th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music, In Search of Soul, April 9-26, will feature three exuberant weeks of Caribbean dance and music performances, master classes, film screenings, lectures and celebrations at three Bay Area venues, ODC Theater and Dance Mission Theater, both in San Francisco, and Laney College Theater in Oakland.

The CubaCaribe Festival has been highly acclaimed as the only festival to present popular, contemporary and folkloric cultural expression, religion, history, and politics of the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora. This year’s theme, In Search of Soul, will investigate how spirit, core and heart, emerge in the essence of movement and cultures of the Caribbean Diaspora. Soul, defined as the spiritual part of humans, will be re-defined by our artists and their choreography, uncovering how deeply intertwined are the connection and union of the soul and the body.

The first weekend entitled African Souls: Cuba & Brasil will kick off at ODC Theater in San Francisco, April 10-12. Performances will showcase the union of two of the richest souls in the Afro-Latino Diaspora: Cuba and Brasil. It will premiere the work of five celebrated dance companies and will examine how their two countries differ, intersect and find common ground through dance. The fie featured companies are Abada Capoeira SF (Marcia Treidler), Aguas de Bahia (Tania Santiago), Alayo Dance Company (Ramon Ramos Alayo), Arenas Dance Company (Susana Arenas), and Teatro Brasileiro de Dança (Isaura Oliveira).

The second weekend, April 17-19, entitled Soul Caribe will be staged at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco and will feature our ever-popular Mixed Program whose dance companies represent the wide-reaching influence of the soul of Afro-Latino culture. From Africa to Colombia to Mexico to Puerto Rico to the United States, this eclectic offering of dance companies is sure to move you! This week will feature performances by Alafia Dance Ensemble (Afro-Haitian), Bravisimo Youth Ensemble (Afro-Cuban Modern), Colombian Soul (Colombian), Cunamacué (Afro-Peruvian), Dimensions Dance Theater (African American), La Mezcla (Afro-Mexican), Aguacero (Afro-Puerto Rican), Grupo Experimental Nago (Afro-Cuban). The work of these artists promises to expand our notions of the folkloric and contemporary in the context of the Caribbean Diaspora.

The third and final weekend, April 24-26, moves across the Bay to Laney College Theater in Oakland. It features an innovative and diverse representation of Alma (soul) through the highly-acclaimed Afro-Cuban modern style of Alayo Dance Company (Ramon Ramos Alayo, Director), to the heart beat of Africa in Duniya Dance Ensemble (Joti Singh, Director), to the San Francisco Mission modern vision of Dance Brigade (Krissy Keefer, Director).

Special events throughout the three-week festival round out the programming with not-to-miss discussions, practice and opportunities to explore the Diaspora further. These special events include:

Film Screening: Dancing with the Drum, directed by Ashley James, Produced by Roberta Singer – A film about the legendary Cepeda family, known as the “patriarch family” of Bomba, Puerto Rico’s richest musical expression of its African heritage. April 9 at the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., San Francisco.

Batey Boricua Bomba: celebrate life through Puerto Rican Bomba, Plena music and dance at a community jam session. April 12 at La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Umi Vaughn Lecture/Demo: De Curros a Especuladores: Black to the Future in Cuba This talk traces the relationship between a special class of black Cubans known as “Curros” from the island’s colonial past and Cuban youth today. April 16 at the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., San Francisco.

Dance Workshop: Guede/Papa Guede or Gaga/Rarra co-taught by Collete Eloi (Guede of Haiti) and Cheo Rojas (Papa Guede of Cuba). Both masters in their respective cultural traditions, this dance workshop will make connections to the influence of Haiti in each cultural expression and the similarities to each other. April 19 at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street, San Francisco.

About CubaCaribe

In ten years CubaCaribe has emerged as the Bay Area’s leading arts organization to feature and promote the rich dance and other cultural traditions of Cuba and the wider Caribbean Diaspora. Founded by the highly celebrated Cuban-born dancer/choreographer and master artist, Ramon Ramos Alayo, CubaCaribe has emerged as a critical and rich resource for Cuban and Caribbean dancers and performers.

CubaCaribe was founded in 2003 to preserve and promote the vibrant cultural and artistic traditions of the Caribbean and its Diaspora. Built around the principal that dance, music and visual arts can engage and connect people of diverse perspectives, CubaCaribe organizes festivals, performances, classes and exhibitions to foster greater understanding and appreciation of Caribbean, especially Cuban, arts and culture.


Week 1: African Souls: Cuba & Brasil

April 10-12: ODC Theater, 3153 17th Street, SF

Friday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 7 pm

Tickets: $25 online; $28 door


Week 2: Soul Caribe

April 17-19: Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street, SF

Friday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 7 pm

Tickets: $22 online; $24 door


Week 3: Alma

April 24-26: Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon Street, Oakland

Thursday – Saturday 8 pm

Tickets: $25 online; $28 door


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