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1st Annual Festival
of Dance & Music

April 8-May 1, 2005


The First Annual Cuba Caribe Festival - four groundbreaking and provocative weeks of performance, workshops, discussions, and celebration - will reassure the choreography of Ramón Ramos Alayo and Susana Arenas Pedroso, the dance of members of Ban Darra, and many other Bay Area Cuban artists and dancers.

VAMOS ANDAR - Friday & Saturday 8pm, April 8-9
A mixed Program of Dance, Music and Storytelling

Featuring: Dance Brigade, Lichi Fuentes, Aramis Pazos Barrera, Susana Arenas Pedroso, José Francisco Barroso, Alayo Dance Company Grrl Brigade and members of Ban Rarra - José "Cheo" Rojas, Luis S. Plan Hechavaria, Alain Soto.

Guest Musicians: José Luis, Ramón "Sandy" Perez, Rogelio Kindelán Norders, Olorun.

Choreographers Krissy Keefer and Jose Navarrete will be premiering a new work, Dear Fidel, that reflects the current politics between Cuba and the United States. With choreography by Jose Navarrete, live music by Lichi Fuentes, video by Joe Williams and original text and direction by Krissy Keefer this piece will deal with the embargo, the travel restrictions and the tension and strain of the relationship between the United States and Cuba during this present political climate.

Ned Sublette, a recognized expert on Cuban Music, offers an indispensable examination of the fundamental music of the New World, which influenced classical music, ragtime, tango, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and hip hop to say nothing of salsa and the recent Latin music invasion. The author will highlight the evolution of Cuban music - from its African drum roots to its eventual influence on American music. Copies of the book, autographed by the author, will be available at the lecture. 

YO SOY CUBA - ​Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, April 15-16 and Sunday, at 2pm and 7 pm, April 17
An evening of Traditional Folkloric and Popular Dance

Under the artistic direction of Susan Arenas Pedroso, Yo Soy Cuba shows the movements, rhythm, melody, vivacity and the color of the Cuban spirit, with it´s blend of Spanish and African ancestry. This evening of dance and music, respecting the past while looking to the future, demonstrates the vibrant energy, pride and variety of one of the richest cultures in the world.

A PIECE OF WHITE CLOTH - Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, April 22-23 and Sunday, at 2 pm only, April 24
Ramón Ramos Alayo´s work weaves threads of modern, Cuban Folkloric, and African Dance into an evening-length performance. This uninhibited fusion of movement from these three traditions, traces in reverse and without interruption the continuity of Yoruban Movement, memory and metaphor, from its roots on the western coast of Africa, through Cuban folkloric Dance to the Afro Cuban Modern Dance. This work meditates between the ancestor and the world creating a stunning evening of ritual dance theater.

LA MADRE - Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, April 29-30 and Sunday at 2 pm & 7 pm, May 1
Alayo Dance Company


All choreography by Ramón Ramos Alayo 


Ramón Ramos Alayo 


Performance by Tarina Peace, Mikai Jacobs, Joana Ramos, Tania Santiago, Nasha Santiago 

ALAYO DANCE COMPANY Ramón Ramos Alayo, Serena Edwards, Antoine DeVinci Hunter, Aja Randall, Laura Serghiou, Kerry Sneed, Patricia West Sotelo, Oscar Trujillo and Petra Valoma 


Performance by Alayo Dance Company 

Music by Pierre Akerdegu 

Special Guests: Tarina Peace, Mikai Jacobs, Joana Kerr Ramos, Tania Santiago and Nasha Santiago 


Performance by Tarina Peace, Mikai Jacobs, Joana Ramos, Tania Santiago, Nasha Santiago 

Music by Corrco Aerco 


STAGE MANAGER Barbara Graber 

Performance by Ramón Ramos Alayo or Kerry Sneed 

Music is tape collage 


LIGHTING Jodi Feder 


STAGE CONSTRUCTION Jodi Feder & Andy Keefer 


Performance by Ramón Ramos Alayo, Serena Edwards, Antoine DeVinci Hunter, Aja Randall, Laura Serghiou, Kerry Sneed, Patricia West Sotelo & Oscar Trujillo 

Music by Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott, Alex & Jake Parker 

COSTUME DESIGN Ramón Ramos Alayo

SEEMSTRESS María Velazquez

GRAPHIC DESIGN Jamaica Itule Simmons 


Performance by Patricia West Sotelo 

Music by Guy Brenner 


Performance by Alayo Dance Company 

Music by Somei Yoshiro Taiko Ensemble 

Ramón Ramos Alayo gives many thanks to Dimensions Dance Theater, Dance Brigade and Dance Mission Theater, Rosa Williams and to all the volunteers for lending their guidance and time. Special thanks to Krissi Keefer for making this festival possible and for your idea to try to unify the cuban community, to Debra Lammam for being a friend, to Andy Keefer for all your help and dedication, your work and for making my dreams a reality, to Jodi for your hard work, to Barbara Graber for always being there for me and your energy, to José María Francos for making my work come to life and for always being by my side, to Guy Brenner for all your help in understanding my dream, to my loves, especially to Jamaica for all your generosity and ideas, without her none of this would be possible and to all the dancers for believing in my ideas and giving your time, energy and dedication. 

Funded in part by San Francisco Grants for the Arts Irvine Foundation, Ca$h Grant, Zellerbach Family Fund, Foundation Native American Cultural Center. 


1st Annual CubaCaribe Festival

Week 1 - Vamos Andar (no video)
Dear Fidel (no video)

Week 2 - Yo Soy Cuba (no video)
Week 3 - A Piece of White Cloth (no video)

Week 4 – La Madre


Ramón Ramos Alayo (artistic director / choreographer / dancer) started dancing at age eleven in Santiago de Cuba. In 1990 he earned a masters degree in contemporary and folkloric dance and dance education from the Havana's National School of Art. He was the principal dancer with Danza del Caribe, Narciso Medina Contemporary Dance Company and has performed in Cuba, Europe, Canada, Belize and the U.S. In 1997, Ramón moved to the U.S. and began his professional career in the Bay Area. He has performed with a variety of local choreographers including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann and Zaccho Dance Theatre, Currently he dances with Robert Moses' Kin. He teaches Cuban Salsa and Afro-Cuban Modern dance at a variety of Bay Area studios and teaches children's movement classes at a variety of schools. In 2003 he co-founded CubaCaribe, an organization that promotes Cuban cultural and artistic programs throughout the Bay Area and produces Cuba Camp, an annual summer dance camp. Most recently he co-produced first annual Cuba Caribe Festival at Dance Mission Theater. Ramón has directed various groups including, Ire Ile, an all women's Cuban dance ensemble. He has produced four full-length dance performances, Anoranza de Una Epoca (1998) Mis Sueños Mis Ideas (2003) A Piece of White Cloth (2004) and La Madre (2005). In 2003, he established the Alayo Dance Company and choreographs new work that is a unique fusion of Afro Cuban Modern, Folkloric and Popular dance. 

Laura Serghiou is originally from the island of Cyprus. Since moving to the Bay Area in 1993, she has attended Ballet, Modern and Jazz classes at San Francisco Dance Center. In 1999, she graduated with a Masters degree in Art Education with a Dance specialization from Stanford University. She is delighted to work with Ramón and is grateful to have the opportunity to perform with a talented and inspiring group of dancers. This is her second year with the Alayo Dance Company. 

Serena Edwards is a San Francisco based dancer born in Santa Cruz, California. She is completing her B.A. in Dance at San Francisco State University and is getting certified in Pilates at the Ellie Herman Studio. She has performed with P.U.R.E. Dance Collective and the Zari Leon Dance Theatre. She is also Co-founder of the aerial pole dance company One Trik Pony. This is her first year with the Alayo Dance Company and she feels honored to be a part of the Company.

Kerry Sneed began his ballet training at the age of fourteen at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas, Texas. He also has trained with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and began his professional career performing and choreographing with the Mahogany Dance Theatre of Dallas. While obtaining his BFA Degree at CalArts, he choreographed 14 dance works for their dance department. He was the first in-house student to choreograph for their Dance Ensemble and the opening of the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre. At CalArts, Kerry trained with Fiona Lummis, Glen Eddy, Arthur Mitchell, Helen Pickett and others. Kerry has also worked with KIN Dance Company in Los Angeles, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey II, the Conservatory of Classical Ballet, and Random Dance Company in London. He has taught at the BTWHSPVA and at the Alonzo King LINES Contemporary Ballet 2004 Summer Workshop. This is his first year with the Alayo Dance Company. 

Antoine DeVinci Hunter is a graduate of Oakland's Skyline High School where he began dancing with Miss Dawn James. He has performed with Nuba Dance Theater with Evelyn Thomas and attended California Institute of the Arts for two years. He has also studied at the Paul Taylor Summer intensive in New York during 2003 and 2004 with Ms. Susan McGuire. He is a faculty member of East Bay Center of the Performing Arts under Jordan Simmon and is co-directing Urban Ballet with Rebecca Hawley in Richmond, California. Antoine has studied with Reginald Ray-Savage, Zafra Miriam, Ck Ladzekpo and Betty Ladzekpo for seven years. He is a faculty member of Savage Jazz Dance Company at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts and has been a member of the Savage Jazz Dance Company since 2002. This is his first year with the Alayo Dance Company. 

Patricia West Sotelo is an Oakland based dancer, choreographer and teacher. She's received her B.A. in English, Dance, and Education at U.C. Berkeley and a M.A. in Education from San Jose State University. Previous to the Alayo Dance Company, Patricia has been a member of the Bay Area Repertory Dance, Capacitor, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and Levydance. Patricia continues to work with several independent choreographers here in the Bay Area. She feels honored to be spending her third year with the Alayo Dance Company. 

Aja Randall - Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Aja graduated from Stephens College in 1999 with a degree in Dance and a minor in Education. She moved to San Diego, California with her husband in 2000 and danced for two years with Majelate Collective Dance Ensemble and projects with Sadie Weinberg. She moved to the Bay Area last year and has been very blessed to have been dancing since she stepped foot in the city. This is her first year with the Alayo Dance Company and Aja is excited to be dancing with the company.


Oscar Trujillo is a Bay Area based dancer, choreographer and teacher. He has worked with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Capacitor, Dandelion Dance Theater, Kajiyama and Navarette, Element Dance Theater, and Mary Carbonara dances, among others. He is co-director of GROUP and Vortex Collective. Oscar also directs Cubana Cero productions which will present its first full evening of performance in San Francisco in fall 2005. This is his second year with the Alayo Dance Company. 


Tania Santiago - Born and raised in Salvador, Bahia where she grew up in the heart of African influenced Brazil. She has taught, danced and choreographed for the most well known companies in Brazil. She has degrees in Dance from the SESC Associaçao School of the Arts and Fundaçao do Estado da Bahia School of Dance located in Salvador. She spent six years working with Olodum, the most successful Bloco Afro in Brazil. Tânia choreographed and performed for Olodum all over the world, including Europe, Asia and North America. She also taught dance at the Olodum Creative School for Youth in Bahia during this time. She has been residing in California since 1997 and teaches regularly in dance studios and in many San Francisco public schools. In 2001, she received the California Arts Council Artist in Residency grant to teach youth in the community. In 1998 she formed the dance company Aguas Da Bahia which has performed at a variety of Bay Area venues. In 2003 Aguas Da Bahia produced its own season, the critically acclaimed show AGUAS, was performed in front of 1200 people over three days.

Petra Valoma is a dancer, poet and Junior at Berkeley High School. She has studied Classical Indian dance for ten years with Aggie Brenneman, Brazilian dance for five years with Conceicao DAmasceno, African dance for one year with Naomi Diouf and modern dance for two years. She performs with Ginga Brazil and this is her first year with the Alayo Dance Company. 

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