Schedule (updated 4/08)
Danis Perez Repertoire
TUMBA FRANCESA, a dance of Afro-Haitian origin that was introduced to Cuba at the end of the 18th century by immigrating Haitian blacks who settled in eastern Cuba, primarily in Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo. This dance transformed the movements made by French couples at colonial festivities into
an African image. Its musical instruments and rhythms are derived from the mysteries-ceremonies of the Dahomey and the Congo peoples. The Creole songs retain their Haitian character and are unchanged from their original form. The dances, delicate and pure in style, are performed in three sections: the Mason
(dance by couple), the Yuba (dance by trio) and the Frente or Frent (a music and dance dialogue between a soloist dancer and the premier drum).
BAND GAGA, an Afro-Haitian-Cuban dance which comes from the Haitian shanties in the eastern part of Cuba. It's a collective feast organized as a comparsa (parade) of rural origin. It contains two basic styles, Chai and Pigue. The ceremonies are performed during the Holy Catholic week. The Patois songs, percussive music and imaginative, lascivious dancing between men and women lend this style its particularly attractive quality. It is characterized by rhythm, strength, exotic movement, color and eroticism as a whole.
TAJONA, a rural comparsa, was introduced in Cuba by the Haitian slaves that emigrated with their French masters from their country after the Haitian Revolution. It was practiced in Santiago de Cuba and its surroundings during the 19th century. This Afro-Haitian-Cuban dance emerged as a way of coping with
the brutal work conditions of the slaves breaking down coffee pulp. Beginning with a leisurely paced representation of the country lifestyle, the dance soon evolves into a more energetic friendly competition between two groups joking with each other and ends with frenzied rhythms accompanying the graceful and
amazingly coordinated entwining of colorful laces that hang from a tall pole.
CUTARAS OR CHANCLETAS The percussive voices of wooden slippers engage in a dialogue with the drums in the performance of this dance that made its appearance in the 1930s. The music is characterized by the rhythmic tapping of the Cutaras (wooden slippers) on the floor and the sound of the drums, sometimes guiding and sometimes accompanying. At times the percussion will abruptly stop and let the Cutaras themselves sound their syncopated contrapuntal variations, reaching a roaring and shattering effect.
CONGA COMPARSA, The most integral, popular, and emblematic elements of the world famous carnivals of Santiago de Cuba are to be found in the beautifully dressed and exciting Congas. The conga Santiaguera is a celebration that speaks of the African origin that is inherent to Cuban people.
CICLO DE LA RUMBA, Rumba is a manifestation of music and dance born in the shacks of African slaves in western Cuba (Havana and Matanzas) and deeply rooted in the culture of the Cuban people. Nowadays it constitutes a national cultural patrimony, with three traditional styles: the "Yambu" is a couple dance where the dancers imitate the movements of elder people, the "Guaguanco" is also a couple dance which emulates the courting-mating act as a competition between a man and woman, the "Columbia" is a competition between the most skillful male dancers and the principal leading drum.
SON, One of the most basic forms of Afro-Cuban music and dance. Its existence is documented as early as the late 19th century. The Son has three choreographic variations and numerous musical styles. It is danced as a couple with the same steps as its precursor, the Danzon, but its movements are more open, accentuated and free.
“LA MORA” CLASSES SCHEDULE:
La Mora is now teaching at Alvin Ailey in
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
4:00 to 5:30
Cuban Popular Dance
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater / Ailey Extension
Fax: (212) 405-9001
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