In persistently promoting Afro-Cuban dance, IFE-ILE has established not only a cultural experience to local and visitors; but also a tradition that slowly has produced eager local and international followers.
Miami has the highest number of Cubans (including Afro-Cubans) in the U.S., and Cuban and other African, Caribbean and Latin American cultures thrive and pulse in the neighborhoods. Here, culture is alive, living and present –
Renowned Afro-Cuban choreographer and dancer Neri Torres founded the IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Festival in 1998 and from 2002 through 2005 called it BAILA USA. She began the festival to reflect the multiple ethnicities of South Florida, and include other dance traditions that share African roots. Says Torres, “Our festival gives people of all backgrounds — whether they’re dancers or not — the opportunity to enjoy, learn and engage in a celebration of the folk traditions of the African Diaspora in Latin America and the U.S.”
Previous guest artists include La Familia Cepeda from Puerto Rico, the African American Ensemble and the late Dr. Katherine Dunham, as well as renowned scholars and instructors.