Ife-Ile is a unique and fantastic Miami institution in dance. Almost by a thread, this dance company and its summer festival weave together intriguing performances using extremely limited resources. They’ll be on display once again as the Ife-Ile Afro-Cuban Dance Festival kicks off at Miami Dade College (Room 6100, Building 6) this Thursday. In its 14th year, the festival is under the direction of founder and arts instigator Neri Torres. Miami’s close physical and cultural ties to the Caribbean, with its strong dance history steeped in African heritage, make it an ideal place to disseminate Ife-Ile’s characteristic dance traditions. The festival continues Saturday with a jam-packed day at the Little Haiti Cultural Center that will include 15 workshops on dance and drumming — two disciplines that really can’t be untangled — including ones on Cuban-based orisha dance; (orishas are Yoruban deities or spirits); Afro-Brazilian capoeira, the athletic martial arts of that South American country; batá drumming; Afro-modern; and Cuban son, rumba, and salsa rueda. The day will culminate in a gala performance at 8 p.m., followed by a descarga at Little Havana’s Cubaocho (1465 SW Eighth St., Miami).
Thu., Aug. 9, 7 p.m., 2012