Afro-Cuban Dance Festival returns to Miami

18th IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival - Miami 2016The 18th Annual IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival will get South Florida dancing once again to the sweet rhythms of Cuba on August 11-13. The festival is a celebration of Afro-Cuban culture through dance and music, featuring workshops, panel discussion, live performances, after parties and the premiere of the new choreographic work Ciudad de Orishas (City of Orishas). All events will take place at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center.


Founded by choreographer and dancer Neri Torres through her nonprofit organization IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company, the festival welcomes everyone, from novices to professionals, to participate in a variety of classes and workshops over the course of three days, including salsa, rueda, rumba (guaguanco, columbia and Yambu), Gaga from the Eastern part of Cuba, orishas, reggaeton, and Afro-modern, among other dance disciplines.       


Afro-Cuban traditions have impacted music, fashion, visual arts, literature and dance through rich mythology and cosmogony. This year’s festival centers on the fusion of Santeria traditions in urban settings as a testament of the continuous influx of the Cuban exodus for more than 50 years. In addition, there will be a panel discussion entitled Cuban Modern Dance: A Tribute to Victor Cuellar dedicated to the late Cuban choreographer Victor Cuellar. IFE-ILE musicians will perform following the panel.


Choreographed by Torres, Ciudad de Orishas will premiere at 8 pm on Saturday, August 13. This special performance is a collaboration with guest Afro-House singer Frank Oba Lords and DJ Oscar G, who fuse Afro-House compositions by Lords with traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms. Guests can meet the artists after the performance in the theater lobby.


Single dance workshops are $20 each and a one-day pass is $105 – $120. A two-day pass is $210 while a three-day all-access pass (includes live performance) is $220. Tickets for Ciudad de Orishas are $20 general admission; $15 for seniors and students. To register or for more information about the festival, visit


Image: The 2016 IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival. Photo by Karime Arabia Photography.