April 05, 2019 2 min read

Originally from Santiago de Cuba, Danys "La Mora" Pérez is an internationally renowned master of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance. Perez'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. Perez 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.

 

Danys directs Oyu Oru Dance Ensemble at Lincoln Center 

 

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, Las Mora 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 Cornell University, University of Wisconsinat Madison, Williams College, University of New Mexico, Wayne State University in Detroit, University of Michigan. 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 four years, she has been teaching weekly Afro Cuban dance classes at The Alvin Ailey Extension program. She has also attended in several dance programs and workshops outside New York, as a guest instructor and choreographer, including the annual participation to the summer intensive dance program at aHumboldt University in California andTulane University in New Orleans.

She is the founder and artistic director of Oyu Oro, an Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble in New York City. 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. http://www.oyuoro-afrocuban.com

Learn More about the Wula Retreat Faculty