Experience Cuban culture in 7 amazing shows! Live Latin jazz and timba beats, dance plus spoken word in a “docu theater” telling the true success stories of four Afro-Cuban immigrant artists in the Bay Area!
A new and timely multidisciplinary bilingual performance celebrating the lives of Afro-Cuban artists in the United States, featuring Grammy-nominated artist Yosvany Terry; DJ Leydis, the first Afro-Cuban female DJ to play at the White House; and award-winning dancer and choreographer Ramón Ramos Alayo
- Friday and Saturday, May 10–11, 2019 | 7:30pm
- Sunday, May 12, 2019 | 2pm matinee
- YBCA Forum, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is pleased to present the world premiere of We Have Iré, a multidisciplinary theater work created by award-winning poet, performance artist, and playwright Paul S. Flores.
In this bilingual performance combining spoken word, dance, and live music, Grammy-nominated artist Yosvany Terry; award-winning dancer and choreographer Ramón Ramos Alayo; DJ Leydis, the first Afro-Cuban female DJ to play at the White House; and Youth Speaks cofounder Flores use their respective art forms to tell their real-life stories of finding success in the United States through hard work and iré, the Lucumí condition of being blessed with positive energy.
Directed by Rosalba Rolón of Pregones Theater and commissioned by YBCA, We Have Iré speaks to the challenges of being an immigrant artist and celebrates the triumph of establishing one’s voice in a new country.
We Have Iré is performed in English and Spanish, and debuts on Friday and Saturday, May 10–11, 2019, at 7:30pm, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday, May 12, 2019, as part of YBCA’s spring performances.
“We Have Iré celebrates Cuban immigrants, giving them space to tell their stories on their own terms though dance, music and theater,” remarks Flores. “I chose to set the play in a club called Que Rico, Asere! (meaning ‘It’s good to be Cuban, my friend’) to highlight the joy Cubans bring to all whenever they get together to share their talents. We Have Iré also focuses on the nuances of Latinx identity, including Afro-Cuban, by breaking down stereotypes and revealing the complexities of being Black, immigrant, female, and bilingual. The artists in We Have Iré are well known in the Bay Area and have accomplished a high level of excellence in the United States, Cuba, and abroad. This is a chance to know their personal stories of how they became who they are today, what they risked, and how they are inspired to stay connected to their homeland while living between two countries.”
Shaped by Flores’s research into his own roots and interviews with collaborators, the performance profiles Terry, whose unique confluence of Cuban roots music and jazz “has helped redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom” (New York Times); DJ Leydis, who helped establish a thriving scene in Havana’s spoken-word and hip-hop underground and garnered U.S. attention long before she arrived stateside in 2006; and dancer, teacher, and choreographer Ramos Alayo, who founded the Alayo Dance Company and CubaCaribe and has performed with some of the most respected choreographers in the Bay Area, including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, Joanna Haigood/Zaccho Dance, and Robert Moses’ Kin. The play also features video footage from filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, who documented Flores’s research process throughout.
In We Have Iré, the cast of characters gather to party, dance, and play music while sharing stories about their traditions, their lives in Cuba, and their individual journeys from Cuba to the United States and back. Flores’s deeply personal dive into themes of transnationality and citizenship is supplemented by traditional Yoruba songs and dance from Alayo, live Cuban jazz from Terry, Latinx hip-hop and timba beats from DJ Leydis, and bilingual spoken word to underscore the virtuosity of Afro-Cuban and Cuban American artists.
- General Admission: $25 advance, $30 at the door. Military, Senior, Student, and/or Teacher: $22.50 advance, $27 at the door
- YBCA members at Individual level and above: $20 advance, $24 at the door
FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMS
Thursday, May 2, 6–8:30pm, at YBCA Forum
Cuban Happy Hour Social Mixer & Meet the Cast | Free with RSVP
Join us as we kick off We Have Iré with Paul S. Flores and his upcoming world premiere with a fun evening of music, conversation, and cocktails with cast members and Afro-Cuban artists, educators, and performers active in the Bay Area performance scene. Facilitated by award-winning filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi and co-hosted by CubaCaribe, the evening will feature a conversation with renowned dancer and choreographer Ramón Ramos Alayo, Cuban folkloric and popular dancer Susana Arenas, and prolific DJ in the clubs and onstage DJ Leydis. Come early for happy hour music with DJ Jigüe, direct from Cuba, starting at 6pm, and specialty Cuban cocktails.
Saturday, May 11, 11am–2pm, at YBCA Forum
50 Cent Tabernacle | Free
Co-hosted by CubaCaribe, 50 Cent Tabernacle is a series of open, mixed-level dance classes led by some of the Bay Area’s foremost masters of the craft. They believe in making art accessible, and for just 50 cents, participants can attend as many classes as they like. Each Tabernacle is shaped around different types of dance and movement, so there’s something for everybody. This tabernacle will explore the depths of Cuba’s diverse dance styles with three one-hour dance classes taught by Ramón Ramos Alayo (rueda/casino/modern), Susana Arenas (Afro-Cuban folkloric), and Yismari Ramos (salsa), with music by DJ Leydis and DJ Jigüe. Come ready to move on the dance floor!
Saturday, May 11, 3:30pm, at YBCA Forum
Celebrating We Have Iré: Conversation with Yosvany Terry | Free
Grammy-nominated jazz musician and composer Yosvany Terry discusses his process of composing dynamic jazz music for theater projects, including We Have Iré. Terry comes from a gifted musical family in Cuba, and his musical range spans Latin jazz, Afro-Cuban folkloric, classical, post bebop, and more. Find out how he integrates these musical languages with performed narratives for the stage.
Saturday, May 11, 5:30pm, at YBCA Screening Room
Visual Expressions of Afro-Cuban Culture with Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi | Free with RSVP
Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi presents excerpts from his new film Bakosó: AfroBeats of Cuba as well as short documentaries and music videos he created in Cuba. This exploration of digital storytelling and Afro-Cuban musical traditions in a contemporary context will open up to broader conversations on transnational solidarity, race, technology, religion, and media.