WEEKEND ONE – ALAYO DANCE COMPANY
Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at 7 pm,, and Sunday, June 17 at 4 pm
Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center at Laney College in Oakland
The 14th Annual CubaCaribe Festival, June 15-28 will feature two weeks of Caribbean dance, music and theater at three different Bay Area venues, Laney College in Oakland, and Brava Theater and Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.
CubaCaribe is highly acclaimed for being the only festival to present popular, contemporary and folkloric cultural expression, religion, history, and politics of the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora. Unified by the theme, The Movements of Migration, this year festival artists will perform works examining migration throughout the Caribbean diaspora.
The opening weekend of CubaCaribe features Alayo Dance Company performing the World Premiere of “Calle,” co-choreographed by Ramos and Jamaica Itule, featuring seven dancers and live music, and exploring the gap between “high art” and “street art,” concert dance and dances that happen in the street or calle.
When Alayo moved to the Bay Area, he was struck by the way Oakland street dances – such as hip-hop, specifically turfing and break dancing – were also celebrated as cultural treasures and yet simultaneously overlooked, much like Rumba, the national dance of Cuba which was started by marginalized Afro-Cubans.
“Calle” will take place in the street outside of the Odell Theater on the campus of Laney College, now a diverse community college that started as a trade school and sits on land once used occupied by a public housing project for hundreds of World War II Kaiser Shipyard workers.
Alayo Dance Company will also perform “Goodbye” (which premiered in 2016) and “Manos de Mujeres Cubanas” (world premiere) which delves into the complex role of Cuban women today and celebrates how their powerful hands — literally and metaphorically — continue to sustain us.