AfroOchoDance is a Miami-based dance project with the fiscal sponsorship of The Miami Foundation and support from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation (we are 2018 Winners of the Knight Arts Challenge!). We are programming site-specific dance performances in public spaces to commemorate the all-too-invisibilized and silenced histories of Afro-Latinos, African-Americans and others of African descent.
The founder and producer of AfroOchoDance is Corinna Moebius, a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Florida International University, the co-author of the book, A History of Little Havana, and a Little Havana tour guide for many years. Corinna's research focuses on the intersections of race, public memory and public space.
In 2018 and 2019, we are producing an 8-day series of dance choreographies, with a different performance (and site) each day, and a different form of Afro-Cuban dance each day. The lead performer and choreographer is Marisol Blanco, formerly of Cuba's first all-female drum and dance company, Obbini Bata, who now lives and teaches in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. The performances take place from September 21-28, 2018 ("Hispanic Heritage Month") and Feb. 15-22, 2019 ("Black History Month"). Marisol will be performing with other professional Afro-Cuban dancers, including members of her Sikan Afro-Cuban Dance Project.
Each performance commemorates people (all but one of African descent) who are:
- Already represented in murals, monuments, street names, etc. in Little Havana (but who are not necessarily well known, or who are only represented in a very superficial ways)
- Creators of sites/murals/spaces in Little Havana -- part of Little Havana history
- Lived, worked, "hung out" or have some other connection to Little Havana
We are in the process of recruiting a staff of paid interns who will receive a minimum level of compensation that will raise dramatically if we can come up with the matching funds needed to receive our $25,000 grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. We are about to launch our Kickstarter Campaign and are also securing sponsorships.
We are also recruiting partners and collaborators interested in offering related events to take place before and after each performance. These could include panel discussions, book signings, poetry readings, art exhibits, walking tours, etc., all with the focus of honoring and discussing the contributions of people of African descent and others who deserve inclusion in our tellings of the past.
Read more at AfroOchoDance.com.