This December 17 and 18, 2016, Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble will present the world premiere of “Siete Mares” (“Seven Seas”) at Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem, NY. With the generous support of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and City College Center for the Arts (CCCA)/Aaron Davis Hall, the group is bringing from Cuba, ten of the foremost Afro-Cuban artists, currently working as principal dancers and musicians of The Ballet Folklorico Cutumba, The Folklorico National de Oriente, The Ballet Santiago and The National Theater Company “Cabildo Teatral Santiago” to perform as part of the program.
A dance-drama performance reflecting the cultural perspective and dance identity based on the history and the mythology of Afro-Cuban culture, “Siete Mares” is the third of the Patakin (mythological story) series, written, choreographed and directed by Danys Pérez “La Mora”—an international Afro-Cuban folklore master specialist from Santiago de Cuba. It is a new work of Orisha culture illustrating Yemayá, a powerful goddess and one of the queens of Orisha dieties who represents ocean and maternity.
Currently Oyu Oro is based both in New York, where Pérez lives, and in Santiago de Cuba, where she is from. Many of the members in Santiago de Cuba Oyu Oro are principal dancers and musicians from the aforementioned dance companies who Pérez originally trained in Adiro Omode, the children’s dance company she founded in the 1990s.
Oyu Oro has spent nearly a decade in the US cultivating a diverse community of students, professional artists and supporters of the arts who participate in classes and attend performances in the America and in Cuba. The company hopes to continue spreading Afro-Cuban culture through the aesthetic of performing arts, experiences conveyed in the classes, lectures and performances that Peréz and other guest master artists facilitate to maintain humanistic and spiritual values, characteristic of Afro-Cuban culture.
During November and the first few weeks of December while Oyu Oro prepares for the premiere, the company will be performing and teaching workshops organized by Harlem School of the Arts, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, CUMBE: Center for African Diaspora and Dance to offer as many cultural exchange programs as possible to residents of New York City of all ages and backgrounds.
For more information about Oyu Oro and its activities, please visit its website at oyuoro-afrocuban.com and Facebook page (Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble.) City College Center for the Arts can be followed on Twitter at @ccnyarts.
The Saturday, December 17, 2016, event is at 7 p.m. and the Sunday, December 18, event is at 3 p.m. Tickets for the event are $30 general admission, $25 for students/children and $20 for seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.citycollegecenterforthearts.org or through the box office by telephone at (212) 650-6900 or in person (Tuesday through Friday from 12 noon to 6 p.m.).
City College Center for the Arts’ Aaron Davis Hall is located on the campus of the City College of New York, at West 135th Street and Convent Avenue (129 Convent Avenue).