|Originally from Santiago de Cuba, Danys "La Mora" Pérez is an internationally renowned master of
Afro-Cuban folkloric dance. Pérez's special expertise as dancer, teacher, dance ethnologist, and
choreographer is in the unique styles of her native region of the Oriente province in Eastern Cuba. Oriente
attributes its rich cultural heritage to the infusion of Afro-Haitian influences to an already vibrant
Afro-Cuban context. Pérez began her dance training at an early age with Afro-Cuban and Afro-Haitian
dance ensembles. At 13, she was asked to join the renowned national folkloric ballet company, Cutumba,
and toured internationally with the company for 18 years. In 1994, she was evaluated and granted the
designation of primera bailarina and primera profesora by the National Dance Commission in Cuba, and
has taught outside of Cuba - in Italy, Spain, France, Canada, and the United States.
In addition, while she was still dancing with Cutumba, she founded her own dance company, Adiro
Omode, for Children ages 4 to 15 in Santiago de Cuba. Adiro Omode has trained some of the
internationally acclaimed professional dancers currently working with Cutumba and Folklorico National
de Oriente. In 1998, Pérez was the founder of another dance company, the original Oyu Oro, with
professional and amateur dancers which was also based in Santiago de Cuba.
Since her first visit to the States in 1996, she has taught at numerous universities such as Brown
University,Cornell University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Williams College, University of New
Mexico, Wayne State University in Detroit, University of Michigan at Ann Arbol and Flint, and
Marygrove College, Tulane University etc. She was invited by the legendary Katherine Dunham to
participate in her East Saint Louis seminars and the icon's invitation to Wayne State University led to the
inaugural performance at the African-American Museum in Detroit.
For the past ten years, she has been teaching weekly Afro Cuban dance classes in New York City. She
currently teaches at The Ailey Extension program and at CUMBE African & Diaspora Dance & Drum.
She has also attended in several dance programs and workshops outside New York, as a guest instructor
and choreographer, including the consecutive participations to the summer intensive dance program at
Humboldt University in California. .
She is the founder and the artistic director of Oyu Oro, an Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble in
New York City and the founder of the annual Dos Aguas Dance Program in CUBA. Danys "La Mora"
Pérez is an international artist who offers a profound contribution not only to the dance world,
but to the world of cultural study as a whole.
|Danys "La Mora" Pérez
Founder, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Professor