Combining modern dance and Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions, the spirit and diversity of the Caribbean comes to life with the launch of the ninth annual CubaCaribe Festival. Spanning three weekends and three different venues, the programs feature dance and music by local Caribbean artists, as well as the first U.S. appearance of Afro-Cuban modern dance company Teatro de la Danza del Caribe, of Santiago, Cuba.
This year's theme is "Tributes to Our Teachers," honoring recently deceased Danza del Caribe artistic director Eduardo Rivero, who mentored CubaCaribe director and choreographer Ramon Ramos Alayo. The family matinee April 14 includes face-painting and storytelling, and Program 3 at Laney College premieres choreography by Alayo for Danza del Caribe and Alayo Dance. With special events including lecture demonstrations by percussionist John Santos and painter Silfredo La O, CubaCaribe promises a vibrant and varied cultural experience for audiences of all ages.
The CubaCaribe Festival presents Danza del Caribe at 7 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Tickets are $30-35. The festival runs April 12-28 at various locations; visit cubacaribe.org.