Técnica Cubana/AfroCuban Modern Dance
Sound Space (2511 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia)
($10 for students, dance professionals, and members of philadelphiadance.org)
The class is suitable for dancers of all levels.
Relatively obscure in the United States due to the infamous Cuban embargo, Afro-Cuban Modern dance or “Tecnica Cubana” is a unique blend of North American modern technique (Duncan, Graham, Limón) and European ballet (Ballet Alicia Alonso) with social and sacred Afro-Cuban traditions. The class will start with a warm-up focused on contraction and release techniques and undulation exercises, followed by across-the-floor and choreographed combinations.
Leilani Chirino started dancing at the age of three at the Conservatorio de las Artes de Conchita Espinosa, a Cuban arts academy started in Havana. She later became a principal dancer for the company of Ada Linares, specializing in flamenco, ballet, and modern jazz. In college, she studied Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban modern dance. Afterwards, she worked on incorporating Cuban body movement to her contemporary and modern jazz pieces. She currently also teaches weekly classes on Cuban popular dances.
Leilani’s focus is on mastering the control and isolation of particular muscles in the body, allowing students to take command of their body movements. This class will help students build confidence and develop a new avenue for self-expression, in addition to improving strength, flexibility, and technique.