Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble
New York / Santiago de Cuba
Oyu Oro is a New York City-based Afro-Cuban dance company founded by Danys “La Mora” Pérez, the 2019 Dance/USA Doris Duke Fellow. The company is committed to building bridges among African diasporic and Hispanic cultures as well as between traditional and unconventional dance forms of modern age while preserving Afro-Cuban culture through dance, song and music. Oyu Oro’s traditional repertoire pays tribute to African lineages derived from the Yoruba, Congo, Carabali, Arara and Dahomean cultures of West Africa and Haiti. The popular dance choreographies celebrate the national Cuban heritage.
Oyu Oro – one of the artists represented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance – has performed at national and international cultural festivals. In 2007, Oyu Oro premiered “Palenque,” an epic poem of Afro-Cuban folklore and its first evening-length work, at La Mama Annex stage. For this performance, Pérez assembled seasoned Afro-Cuban artists in America, including 20-plus New York-based dancers, vocalists and musicians. Since then, Oyu Oro has premiered presentations in New York City and performed at events, including Teatro Mella in Havana, Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba, Chase Latino Cultural Festival, DanceAfrica, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Harlem Havana Festival. Since 2011, Oyu Oro has received grants from the New York City Council of the Arts. Last year, it was featured on ABC News’ “Soul of a Nation” during its airing of “Corazon de America: Celebrating Hispanic Culture.” Oyu Oro aspires to create works that serve as informational tools for researchers in academia and as a source of enjoyment for audiences of all ages and multicultural backgrounds who seek a greater development of “art among people.”