Afro-Cuban Drum & Dance Ensemble


December 9, 2012 - 2:00pm


Space Place Theatre

Contact Name: 

Mendenhall, JD

Contact Phone: 

+1 319 335 3213


FREE and open to the public.

This event is part of the UI Arts Share Community Concert Series, which offers family–friendly concerts that are free and open to the public.

The Afro–Cuban Drum & Dance Ensemble is led by James Dreier from the UI School of Music, Paul Cunliffe from the Department of Dance, and well–known folkloric dancer and Latin dance instructor Modei Akyea, who also works in University Communication and Marketing. The group studies and performs the folkloric music and dance traditions of Cuba, which have greatly influenced the music of North America and other parts of the world.

Through the UI outreach program Arts Share, the ensemble has performed concerts and lecture/demonstrations on campus and in public schools and colleges throughout Iowa. Each fall semester the ensemble can be seen at Space Place Theater.

The group originated following a March 2003 trip to Cuba. With support from the UI Division of Performing Arts, International Programs and the Department of Dance, Cunliffe and Dreier organized a study abroad trip for UI dance and music students. The group traveled to Matanzas, Cuba to study Afro–Cuban folkloric dance, drumming and songs with the world–renowned folkloric ensembles Los Munequitos and Afrocuba de Matanzas. Upon returning, the Afro–Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble was formed by Cunliffe, Dreier, and former UI Department of Dance visiting professor Daniel Stark.

Arts Share continues UI's long tradition of sharing creative resources from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Its goal is to strengthen the arts in underserved areas, reaching out to provide access to life–enriching arts experiences throughout Iowa.