Afoutayi Dance Company formed on November 2, 2009 by Djenane Saint Juste to educate the Bay Area community about traditional, authentic Haitian dance and folklore. AFOUTAYI is a Soulful, Spiritual Greeting for a certain special group of Vodou Practitioners who are working toward the greater good of humanity. The company participates in performances to help raise funds for the children of the JAKA Institute in Pétion-ville, Haiti directed by Florencia Pierre, for the continuity and preservation of traditional Haitian folklore, and to sponsor Haitian artist in residency in the USA. Members of her company include Florencia Pierre, her mother and lead singer and her brother and lead Drumer, Jeff L. Pierre, Aimee Zawith, Camille Steneck, Mela saunders, Sandrine Malary, Daniel Brevil, Joe Abella, Chris Ron, Tadd Scott, and Hector Lugo.
“Ayiti pap mouri”, Haiti will not die, is choreographed and written by Djenane Saint Juste, Haitian dancer and director of Afoutayi. Saint Juste weaves the political, social, historical and cultural aspects of Haiti into the story of a young woman, “Ayiti,” who was tragically hurt by three jealous women: “Colonization,” “Politics,” and “Catastrophy,” after she captivated the love and attention of “Kouzin Zaka”. A “Mambo” and a “Wonsi” come to rescue her by bringing her on a spiritual journey where they go to ask “Papa Legba” to open the gate for her and plead for justice. During this journey she meets “Papa Ogou,” who reconnects her with her African heritage. Then, she enters in the universe of “Baron Samedi” and the “guedes” where she dies and reborn as a stronger woman.
Alayo Dance Company was founded in 2003 by Ramón Ramos Alayo. Alayo’s work is an innovative fusion of Afro-Cuban modern, folkloric and popular Cuban dance. He eloquently articulates his aesthetic vision through a synthesis of these dance styles, citing from each traditions, movements, narratives and concepts indicative of Cuban culture. Alayo Dance Company has produced nine evening-length productions that have received both critical and popular acclaim, with dance critics such as Rita Felciano hailing Alayo as “the Bay Area’s best Afro-Cuban dancer” who takes his choreography “well beyond traditional modes.” Alayo Dance Company is the resident company of CubaCaribe and is known for tackling difficult issues such as slavery, racism and cancer. Members of his company include Patricia West, Tina Banchero, Antoine Hunter, Alain Soto, Aja Rendall, Fredrika Keefer, Shelly Davis and Lauri Anderson .
Ramos' Alayo Dance Company will present "Traces & Metamorphosis'' in which Ramón Ramos Alayo fuses Afro- Cuban Folkloric, Popular and Modern dance. Though these dance forms coexist and influence one another, rarely are they merged seamlessly in one chorographic composition. Ramos re-works excerpts from both Traces (2007) and Three Threes (2007) and Narciso Medina’s seminal work, Metamorphosis. Spanning decades, the dancers travel the complex history of Cuban dance from Danzon to Modern.