ABOUT ALAYO DANCE COMPANY

Alayo Dance Company was founded was formed in 2001 by Ramos and is currently the resident company of CubaCaribe. As director and choreographer, his 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. It is far more diverse than most of the modern dance circuit. In Cuba, at the National School of Arts, all dance students are taught modern and traditional styles of dance and music and the forms are not considered as disassociated as they are in the United States. Combining elements of both to produce Afro-Cuban contemporary dance allows the artist to tell a rich story from a broad palette of movement styles that is indicative of Cuban culture, but the combination of which is rarely seen in the Bay Area. Alayo Dance Company was featured in "Dance Across America," published in National Geographic Magazine (2006). The Company has performed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area at venues such as Theater Artaud, ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater, Herbst Theater, Laney Theater, Sonoma Country Wine Theater, and La Peña Cultural Center, and have presented work in the Black Choreographer's Festival, The CubaCaribe Festival, and Intersection's Culture and Flow. Alayo was one of the first American companies to perform at the 2010 Festival del Caribe at Teatro Martí and partnered with Dance Brigade in July 2011 to perform in Havana’s Teatro Mella in Cuba.  Alayo has choreographed more than ten evening length works for his company, which fuse modern, Cuban folkloric, and popular dance - a fusion that is intrinsic to Cuban culture but rarely seen in the Bay Area - and that center around social themes such as health and racism from an Afro-Cuban perspective. Hailed by dance critic Rita Felciano as "the best Afro-Cuban dancer whose choreography stands well beyond traditional modes”, Other recent highlights include, recognition as "Best Dance Dynamo" in the SF Bay Guardian's "Best of the Bay" (2009), receiving the SF Bay Guardian 2010 Goldie Award and his work 'Goodbye' was named one of five 'Best Premieres of the Year,' published in Dance Europe (2016). 

OUR DANCERS

Ramon Ramos Alayo

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. a graduate of Havana’s National School of Art, specializing in folkloric and contemporary dance.  He was a principal dancer with several prominent Cuban dance companies, including Danza del Caribe, Narcisco Medina Contemporary Dance Company, touring throughout Europe, Belize, and Canada.  His success continued after relocating to the U.S. in 1997; he has performed as a dancer with numerous outstanding companies, including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, Zaccho Dance Theatre 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. He is respected throughout the Bay Area as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and the founder and artistic director and choreographer of Alayo Dance Company (2002) and CubaCaribe (2003).  As director and choreographer, his 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. Ramos has choreographed and produced twelve full-length dance performances. He was featured in the article “Dance Across America” in National Geographic Magazine in 2006, and received the prestigious Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation’s “Emerging Choreographer’s Award” (2005) to develop his piece, Blood + Sugar. Ramos was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award nominee for the ensemble performance of Los Guedes(2006). He was recognized as “Best Dance Dynamo” in the SF Bay Guardian’s “Best of the Bay” (2009), and was the recipient of a SF Bay Guardian 2010 Goldie Award, hailed by dance critic Rita Felciano as “the best Afro-Cuban dancer whose choreography stands well beyond traditional modes.” His piece Goodbye was named one of the best premier’s in 2016 in Dance Europe Magazine.

Marshall Jarreau

is new to the bay area and has been a professional dancer and aerialist since 2003.  Since then he has had the privilege of performing with Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Topsy Turvy Queer Circus in San Francisco, Aerial Horizon Circus in San Antonio, and MOTH Poetic Circus in Denver.  He received his dance training in Boulder at the University of Colorado and completed the New England Center for Circus Arts Professional Track Program in 2011.  

Margot Lena 

Margot Lena is a classically trained ballerina who has branched out to other dance disciplines and media. She grew up in Connecticut and trained under the direction of Nanette Vallas and former American Ballet Theater soloist Christina Fagundes. She graduated from the the University of Hartford’s Hartt School in 2014 with a BFA in Dance Performance with a Pedagogy emphasis. Directly following her graduation, she moved cross-country to San Francisco where she has danced with Sarah Bush Dance Project, Tandy Beal, and Soulskin Dance Company. In addition to dancing and teaching dance in the East Bay, Margot has done magazine modeling and acted in several independent short films. 

Delvis Savigne Frinon

is a talented Cuban dancer, with a successful career as a performer and instructor in modern, contemporary and folklore genres. His talent and passion for dancing has allowed him to travel and perform internationally in countries like Spain, Jamaica, Canada and United States. Currently residing in San Francisco California, he continues to perform and share his artistic talent with different local companies such as Krissy Keefer Dance Brigade, Joanna Haigood Zaccho Dance, Robert Moses Kin Company, Cuba Caribe, Alayo Dance Company and many others.

Fredrika Keefer

was born and raised in San Francisco. She graduated from Ruth Asawa's School of the Arts High School in 2009 and is a former member Dance Brigade, Adelante Dance Company, Alayo Dance Company and has worked with various choreographers in the bay area. This is Fredrika's 9th year as a member or Alayo Dance Company and as always very honored to be a part of the Cuba Caribe community.

Zoe Klein

is an acrobatic dancer, adopted from Colombia, raised in Brooklyn, NY. Zoë toured 28 countries over 6 continents co-directing Paradizo Dance, was seen on So You Think You Can Dance, and top Finalist on America’s Got Talent 2009.  Zoë directs Zoë Klein Productions, and dances for Amara Tabor Smith, Kim Epifano, Rosy Simas and this 4th year with Alayo.  

Adonis Damián Martín Quiñones

was born in Contramaestre, a province of Santiago de Cuba. He holds a degree from Jose Maria Heredia Dance Academy of Santiago de Cuba in Modern & Contemporary Dance. Adonis joined Danza Teatro del Caribe in 2008 under the Direction of Eduardo Rivero Walker and became a soloist in 2010. In Santiago de Cuba, he also performed with Locomotion, an audiovisual and interactive dance company. In the Bay Area since 2013, he has danced for Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theater (an aerial arts dance company), Dance Brigade, KAMBARA+DANCERS, SoulSkin, Tandy Beal & Company, Alayo Dance Company, Kim Epifano, Raisa Simpson, and Dance Theater of San Francisco (DTSF). He was nominated for an IZZIE (Isadora Duncan Dance Award), for Outstanding Achievement in Performance-Ensemble in Defection-Deflection-Devotion, featured in Dance Brigade’s 40th anniversary concert at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Edisnel González Rodríguez

was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba where he began training at the age of twelve, graduating from the Escuela Vocacional de Arte (Vocacional School of Arts) in 2008. He began his professional career dancing in Danza del Caribe in Santiago, and traveled to dance among dancers from recognized companies as National Dance Company of Jamaica (NDTC) and National Dance Company of Belize. In the U.S. he has performed with acclaimed companies and directors: Ramon Ramos Alayo; Krissy Keiffer; Gregory Dawson; Adrianna Thompson; Enrico Labayen; Dexandro Montalvo; Tandy Beal; Petaluma Ballet School; and Yayoi Kambara. Edisnel joined AXIS in 2018.

Denmis Bain Savigne 

is from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He attended Regino Eladio Voti en Guantanamo, Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana and was a part of Conjuncto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. He has expertise in Afro-Cuban dance, folklore, ballet, jazz, modern dance, contemporary ballet, tap dance, hip hop, choreography and singing. Denmis has choreographed for such people as, Kenny Ortega, Siegfried & Roy, Emilio Estefan, Manuel Mendive, Havana Nights Dance Company and the Latin Grammys. He has performed on "Don Francisco Presenta", "Cosa Nostra" and with groups such as "Orichas", "Calle 13", "Los Van Van", "Bamboleo", "Pacho Alonso" and "Issac Delgado" and with the Havana Nights Dance Company he toured and performed in more than 16 different countries and was a lead dancer in about 450 performances of "Havana Nightclub - The Show". Dennis is currently the owner of Cuban Rhythm and Rumba Dance Studio located in Vallejo, California. His goal is to show everyone how to feel and appreciate dance.

Emanuel Colombo

comes to us from Argentina via Peru where he danced on stage and television. He trained at renowned institutes such as the IUNA Institute in Buenos Aires and Dactilares in Lima, Peru. He currently lives in Oakland and is delighted to be performing in the Bay Area.

Julianna Cressman 

Julianna Cressman is an SF native who has returned to the Bay since graduating from UC Irvine’s dance program in 2017, under the mentorship of Dr. S. Ama Wray. While based in Southern California, Cressman performed with JazzXChange, The Hubbard Collective, and founded Awaken Arts, an organization that produces interdisciplinary events including Dance Drum and Decolonization, which brought Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian and African American vernacular dance to the fore at UCI. Cressman currently teaches ballet and pointe at San Francisco Youth Ballet, exploring the pedagogy from a non-hierarchical perspective. Julianna is grateful to Alayo and company for welcoming her this year.

Jillian Claire Miller
In the last decade Jillian Claire Miller has dipped her toes professionally dancing in the Bay Area, New York, Cuba, Israel and has loved the fulfillment and growth it has brought her. She merges her dance career into her teaching life as a Pilates and Yoga teacher.

Jacinta Panyagua Vlach

 

Alexander Vargas