orisha_web.jpgMIAMI — Miami Dade College (MDC) will help kick off the 14th Annual IFE-ILE Dance Festival with a pre-festival event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, free and open to the public at the College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.

The evening will feature lively music and dance performances, a panel discussion, film presentation and more.

The festival itself takes place all day on Aug. 11 at the Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center, 212 N.E. 59th Ter., Miami. Tickets for classes, workshops and other events from $10; to $105 in advance, $115 at the door for a full-day pass. To register, obtain a complete schedule or any other festival information, call 305-796-1125 or visit ife-ile.org

Organized by renowned choreographer and dance professor Neri Torres through her nonprofit organization IFE-ILE, the festival is a unique celebration of Afro-Cuban culture. It includes a variety of classes and workshops offering rumba, orisha, Afro-modern and casino-style salsa among other dance disciplines.


Miami-based IFE-ILE is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and cultivation of Afro-Cuban culture and folklore through the arts. Its mission is to develop cross-cultural understanding and to educate community members and visitors through traditional and contemporary dances, music performances, festivals, lectures, workshops and master classes.

The dance troupe is renowned for its traditional Afro-Cuban dances, Mambo, Rumba, Conga, Chancleta, Son, Salsa, and the ritual dances of the Orishas. The company also boasts a repertoire featuring a wide range of other genres including modern dance, ballet and hip-hop.

Dancers are accompanied by live music played on a variety of traditional and classical instruments: bata drums, congas, chekeres, yesa drums, bells, wooden boxes, bongos, piano, tres, timbales and trumpets. The shows are  electrifying, leaving audiences enchanted with the live music, colorful costumes, and contagious energy of the performers.

IFE-ILE’s repertoire ranges from short theater performances designed for schoolchildren to several mainstream productions and concerts for larger scale audiences.

The company has performed at the Latin Grammy Awards, Super Bowl Sunday and the Billboard Awards, as well as in festivals such as the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival and the Emancipation Celebration in Trinidad-Tobago. IFE-ILE has also performed in several videos and commercials, as well as Andy Garcia's new film, The Lost City.

Its website touts IFE-ILE as the only organization in South Florida that is actively preserving the heritage of Afro-Cuban folkloric arts

traditions through regular performances, classes and workshops, that entertain and educate people of all backgrounds and keep traditions alive through workshops and classes.


The organization affirms that its programs “help strengthen the reputation of Miami-Dade County as a destination for cultural heritage tourism and the arts. We're a draw for the growing number of people — locally and worldwide — enchanted by Afro-Cuban culture and eager to learn about and experience it.”

Beyond preserving  and cultivating the heritage of Miami's Afro-Cubans, objectives include building bonds and cultural understanding between different communities, organizations and residents; and enhancing cultural awareness, pride and opportunities for residents of low-income neighborhoods.

“Through our collaboration with government agencies, educational institutions, and local/national organizations, we offer our programs in schools and universities, tourist destinations and low-income neighborhoods of South Florida.” Partners have included Florida International University, the City of Homestead, The Non-Violence Project USA and Viernes Culturales.


WHAT: 14TH Annual IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival, and Miami Dade College Annual Pre-Festival Event

WHEN: Pre-festival event,

Aug. 9, 7 – 10 p.m.

WHERE: MDC’s Wolfson

Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, Bldg. 6, Rm. 6100

COST: Free and open to the

WHEN: Dance festival, daylong Aug. 11

WHERE: Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center, 212 N.E. 59th Ter., Miami

COST: Tickets for classes, workshops and other events from $10; to $105 in advance, $115 at the door for a full-day pass

CONTACT: Call 305-796-1125 or visit ife-ile.org

Photo courtesy of Miami Dade College