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CUBA’S NATIONAL FOLKLORIC DANCE COMPANY



ALAFIN DE OYO IN HAVANA’S MELLA THEATRE

A great addition to any cultural exchange tour of Cuba is a performance by Cuba’s National Folkloric Dance Company, which kicks-off its’ 2018 season with a performance which recreates one of the principal myths from of Cuba’s Santeria religion. Among the legends and myths associated with Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion is one known as Alafin de Oya, which is the name given to the deity Chango. “Alafin de Oya” is the title of one of the classic pieces performed by Cuba’s National Folkloric Dance Company, which begins a new season at Havana’s Mella Theatre on May 5th. “Alafin de Oya” will be the inaugural piece and will run from May 5th to May 13th, 2018. Based on the original created by Lazaro Ros this version will be directed by Manolo Micler, who was awarded Cuba’s National Dance Prize in 2017.

The piece includes dance, drama, and singing, and deals with the origin myth of Santeria which is based on a Yoruba legend. The legend tells how Oya, the female deity of the wind and celestial lights, dominates Chango, the god of fire, lightning, and virility, who had invaded her kingdom of Takua. Her warriors were destroyed by Chango, but in the end she overpowers Chango by employing her feminine charms and her army of egunes, spirits of the dead. Though she proves herself stronger than Chango, she falls in love with him and forgives him. (Oya falls in love with Chango, as do most of the female deities of Santeria.)

Performing in next month’s interpretation of “Alafin de Oyo” are Yandro Calderon (Chango), Dariana Ortiz and Keyla Galarraga (Oya), Leivan Garcia (Elegua), and Diosleydis Hardisson and Yohana Dustaz (Afefe).

The 2018 season of Cuba’s National Folkloric Dance Company will also include interpretations of Alberto Mendez’s “Iyare-Mi,” and “Rumberos, Gaga,” and “Tumba Francesa” by Manolo Micler.

By Frank Gonzalez

April 30, 2018


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