Yoram Savion is is co-founder of YAK Films, a multimedia company dedicated to filming movement-based art. For over 10 years, they have traveled the world to reveal unique dance talent in diverse urban landscapes. We promote innovative filming techniques using the latest gear that will fit in our backpack yet deliver the highest image quality possible. Currently Yoram is working with Adobe and Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, teaching multimedia production with up and coming dancers, musicians and martial artists.
Johnny5 (Anthony Lopez) was born in Oakland, California in 1989. He is a Mexican / Latino professional Turf Dancer and the founder of TURFinc - a local Oakland/ Bay Area based company that hopes to instill positive changes in the community through dance. He learned to dance merengue, salsa and Mexican dance styles when he was growing up going to family Quinceñeras & weddings. When he was 12yrs old he encountered Turf Dancing for the first time at the Oakland side shows. Ever since then he practices on his own every day. In 2005 he joined a dance crew by the name of TURFFEINZ. In 2012 he started working as a nurse full time and started his own dance company TURFinc, whose mission is to spread the original dance culture of TURF that was established in Oakland, California and to utilize it as a positive platform for dancers, the youth, and the overall community. Johnny5 also gives back to the community by teaching dance classes in East Oakland and produces events such as Turf battle tournaments.
Bill Martinez is an immigration attorney who has also produced and managed cultural events in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1973. A native San Franciscan, he is a graduate the University of San Francisco and Hastings College of the Law. He has worked in the Community Law Collective (’74-’79), New College of California School of Law (’79-’83) and the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco (’84-’93). In 1981, he co-founded the Encuentro del Canto Popular, a San Francisco-based Latin American music festival. His work with the Encuentro lead him to become one of the nation’s leading experts in U.S.-Cuba cultural exchanges and artists’ visas. He co-founded the Latino Entertainment Partners which produced historically significant concerts of Cuban artists.
Paul Flores is a published poet, performance artist, playwright, and well known spoken word artist. He was raised in Chula Vista, CA and spent much of his youth in Tijuana, Mexico. Flores plays have been produced at Brava Theater, GALA Hispanic Theatre, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Pregones Theatre, Abrons Art Center, Taller Puertorriquena, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, InterAct Theater, DiverseWorks, Su Teatro, South Coast Rep, and many more. Flores is a Doris Duke Artist, a MAP Fund awardee, a Gerbode-Hewlett Theater commission recipient, a NALAC Fund for Arts recipient, and 2011 SF Weekly Best Politically Active Hip-hop Performer. He is co-founder of Youth Speaks, and currently an adjunct professor of Theater at the University of San Francisco. His last play "On The Hill: I am Alex Nieto" (2016) dramatizes the life and death of Alex Nieto who was killed by San Francisco Police Department, using music, dance and theater as a powerful tool for communities divided by issues of police violence, racism, gentrification and economic disparity to discover opportunities for solutions, healing and unification. Flores previous play PLACAS (2012) was based on testimonies of members of MS-13 in California barrios.
Ramon Ramos Alayo is a dancer, teacher, choreographer and the founder and artistic director of the Alayo Dance Company and CubaCaribe. Ramos was selected by the Cuban government to study dance in Santiago de Cuba at age eleven. 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 performed in Cuba, Europe, Canada, Belize and the U.S. Since moving to California in 1997, he has performed with some of the most respected choreographers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, Joanna Haigood/Zaccho Dance and Robert Moses’ Kin. Ramon currently teaches Cuban popular dance, Afro-Cuban modern dance and children’s movement at several local dance studios and schools, and is artistic director of Alayo Dance Company and CubaCaribe. He has choreographed and produced thirteen full-length dance performances: Anorañza de Una Epoca (1999); Mis Sueños, Mis Ideas (2003, 2004); A Piece of White Cloth (2004, 2005); La Madre (2005); After Rain (2006); Three Threes & Traces (2007); Blood+Sugar (2008); Bound Together (2009), Migrations (2010), Grief (2011), Oil and Water (2012), El Discipulo (2013) House of Water (2014), ??????(2015). Ramos has received support for his work from San Francisco Arts Commission, Theater Bay Area, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, California Arts Council, Zellerbach Family Foundation, LEF Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Fund and the prestigious Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation’s “Emerging Choreographer Award” Ramos was also a winner of a Bay Guardian Goldie (2010).