Dance legends at Cumbe

The Center for African and Diaspora Dance (Cumbe) will host two living dance legends on Saturday, May 12.

Chuck Davis, artistic director and founding elder of DanceAfrica (the renowned celebration of the cultural vitality of Africa and its diaspora, marking its 35th anniversary this May) is in town from Atlanta to teach – a truly rare event. He is teaching a master dance workshop from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. called See the Rhythm and Hear the Movement. His class will explore the concept of the self as a repository of culture, using rhythms and movements from Africa and its diaspora.

Juan de Dios and members of his company Raices Profundas are in town from Cuba to teach Afro-Cuban dance, music, and folklore, as well as perform. Juan de Dios is highly revered as a teacher and historian, and has been a major influence in conserving, documenting and maintaining Cuban cultural traditions.

He is teaching three workshops at Cumbe from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and performing at 9:00 p.m. with other guest artists at a “Roots of Salsa” dance social. The “Roots of Salsa” dance social is the culmination of a week of workshops at various locations, and is also a fundraiser for their 2012 U.S. tour.

A limited number of tickets will be sold for both events online and at the door at under “Special Workshops and Events.”

Cumbe is a new dance and drum studio in the BAM Cultural district, and opened in January 2012. It is a labor of love from co-founders Jimena Martinez and Dominique Bravo, and artistic director Pat Hall – an internationally acclaimed dancer, teacher and choreographer who was also one of Jimena’s first teachers. “The studio realizes our dream of having an array of amazing teachers under one roof, with African and diaspora culture as the main attraction,” said Jimena.

They aim for Cumbe to be a community that celebrates exuberance, sensuality, power, and laughter, and brings the energizing spirit of dance to people’s modern lives. The new space is beautifully renovated and has two large dance studios, music room, locker rooms with showers, and almost every subway line outside its front door. It offers dance and music classes for adults and children, cultural workshops, and space rentals.

About Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance

Cumbe is the new home for African and diaspora dance in Brooklyn, bringing together classes and cultural education for dances from Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean under one roof. Our website is: Cumbe is located at 558 Fulton St. (near Flatbush Ave.), 2nd floor, near the 2/3/4/5 (Nevins St.), B/Q/R (DeKalb Ave.), and 2/3/4/5/B/D/Q/N/R/LIRR (Atlantic Ave./Pacific St.).

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