The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..

Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..

Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..

The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..

A casual conversation with a fellow theater artist prompted José Manuel Dominguez, founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, to produce the company’s latest piece, “El tiempo de las mandarinas,” (“Season for Tangerines”) by Argentine playwright Rafael Nofal. “I am drawn to themes of memory, dreams, and paradise lost, but for a long time I’ve wanted to do a play based on reality,” sa..

The 32nd International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 6 with the Mexican company Los Tristes Tigres’ irreverent spin on Shakespeare, “Algo de un tal Shakespeare” (“Something by One Shakespeare”). Founder and director Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the festival’s engine that could and still can, identifies this raucous play as part of the festival’s larger goal of attracting..

Nowadays, it’s tough not to feel worried, paranoid or in need of some escapist relief from the steady flow of oh-no-he-didn’t news out of Washington. Miami playwright Theo Reyna feels your pain. His response is “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” a jet-black satire now getting its Mad Cat Theatre Company world premiere at Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box. The play takes intricately aim..

Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..

Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..

Desperate times call for desperate measures. For some, that might mean taking a second or third job. Or robbing a bank. Or moving in with family. For Casey, a straight lip-syncing Elvis impersonator in a Panama City bar, desperation means forsaking the King’s rhinestone-studded jumpsuit for leg hair-hiding pantyhose, fake boobs and big-hair wigs, the better to sell himself as a fa..

IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival: Awareness and Transculturation


Photo:
Written by: Diana Dunbar
Article Rating

Watching Neri Torres rehearse is a study in focus and concentration. She demonstrates each step with an ease developed from years of immersion in the study and performance of Afro-Cuban dance and music. Her arms are fluid and her stance solid as she demonstrates a movement to the attentive dancers around her. Torres is the founder of lFE- ILE Afro- Cuban Dance and Music, which is presenting its annual festival from August 14 through 19 at the Koubek Center.
 
“In Cuba, dance and music are linked in a very close way,” says Torres. She created her organization in 1996 as a way to “create a space for Cuban immigrants to express their traditions… to come to reproduce their memories and also to share with the community. A space of celebration; a space of reflection -- and also, on the academic side of it -- to discuss important issues related to our culture.”
 
IFE- ILE is considered one of the most acclaimed Afro-Cuban dance companies, and is known for presenting traditional Afro-Cuban dances as well as popular dances such as Rumba, Son, Mambo and Salsa. Torres studied contemporary dance at Havana’s Instituto Superior de Artes and has an MFA from the University of Colorado. Along with running her company, she has toured with and was a principal dancer and choreographer for Gloria Estefan.
 
Torres speaks on the role of religion in Afro-Cuban dance and music. Africans in Cuba did not take on the prevailing Christian religion, but instead incorporated their religions with it. “[They] depict how religions, which came from several ethnic groups in Cuba and Africa (especially Nigeria) got into a conversation to survive colonialism.” Torres takes aspects of these religions (or essences, as she refers to them) and transport them to the stage. “The essence of the religious ceremony is taken on stage – the dance reenacts what occurs in the religious context – and it’s transformed into something more creative and more theatrical.”
 
She touches on transculturation – a term employed by Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz- to describe the merging and converging of cultures. “You have influences but you have a core culture…a moment of convergence and adaptation to create a new form,” explains Torres.
 
The festival is now in its 19th year and is instrumental in bringing artists from Cuba to perform and conduct workshops and lectures. This year’s guest artists are from Ben Rarra and Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba dance companies, and include workshops in various dances -- Orisha, Modern, Arara, Makuta/Palo/Yuka, Rumba, Cubaton, Gaga, Tumba francesa; and Bata drumming. There is also a three-day children’s camp. An academic conference “Following the steps of the Orishas: Afro- Cuban Spirituality in Urban Spaces” will be held on August 17 at HistoryMiami Museum (1:00- 6:00 p.m.) followed by a performance. A closing gala premiere will be held on Saturday, August 19 at 8:00 p.m.
 
Back at the rehearsal, the dancers and musicians are concentrating hard in order to follow Torres’ instructions. She demonstrates a step, fixed positions, gives a cue to the drummers as the dancers reenact the meeting of several deities and cultures – a creation of a creation.
 
IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival; Monday, August 14 – Saturday, August 19; Koubek Center, 2705 S.W. 3rd St.; tickets for performances, workshops and conferences range from $20 to $220; information 305-284-6001/ 786-704-8609; ifeiledancecompany@yahoo.com; www.ife-ile.org.

Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

Not everybody who begins a musical career at age three singing in his grandfather’s Pentecostal Church finds his way to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Soloman Howard did in two short decades...

Singer-songwriter Tiago Iorc may have been one of Brazil’s best-kept secrets, but the word is getting out. Fresh from appearances in New York, Boston and Orlando, Iorc makes his South Flo..

Gustavo Matamoros’ beard has gone gray, but his passionate promotion of listening as a way of engaging the world remains fresh.Whether bats in the Everglades, shrimp in Biscayne Bay or the no..

Just about now, even as the unsuspecting may be lounging at the beach, classical music is thundering forth in Miami. Our town’s annual eight week Miami Music Festival has begun with its offer..

Talk of weddings can quickly split a friendly gathering into camps of pro and con. Those on the pro side retell the moment when the crying six-year-old ring bearer, stunned by the attention o..

What better way to welcome summer than with a burst of live music? Leave it to the French to come up with the idea. Since 1982, they’ve marked the summer solstice with free concerts and p..

Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade is as tiny as a house sparrow, with a voice as clean and pure as a bell. These delicate qualities belie a fierce inner strength and a steely artistic will. A..

Melissa Aldana is the first woman instrumentalist and the first South American artist to win jazz’s prestigious Thelonius Monk competition. Which distinction is more important to her? Neither..

Project 305 has a simple aim – crowd-source a Miami symphony. For 100 days from January 31 to May 12 New World Symphony, in collaboration with the Knight Foundation and the M.I.T. Media Lab, ..

El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..

El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..

La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..

El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..

Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..

No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..

Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..

Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..

En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..