Neri Torres – Choreographer, Performer, Lecturer & Researcher
Born in Havana, Cuba, Neri holds an MFA in dance with a minor in film from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also studied at Instituto Superior de Artes and Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Artes in, Havana, Cuba. She is the founder and artistic director of IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company, based in Miami, which repertoire combines traditional and contemporary dance. In addition, Torres produces the IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival every summer in Miami, FL, since 1998 in partnership with Miami Dade College and lately with History Miami Museum. The festival attracts participants from all arund the US and abroad. World.
Torres has toured extensively. She choreographed and was a principal dancer for two world tours for singer Gloria Estefan. Neri also choreographed Estefan’s Grammy awarded video No me Dejes de Querer and actor Andy Garcia’s directorial debut movie The Lost City. In March 2013, Neri received the State of Florida Folk Heritage Award from Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner for her significant contributions to Florida’ s cultural heritage through her outstanding achievements as a performer and advocate of Afro-Cuban traditional dance. Other recognitions include winning two prestigious Knight Foundation Challenge awards for her company’s dance projects.
Currently, Neri is the Coordinator of Dance at The University of the West Indies, Barbados where she created and chairs the Biennial International Dance Conference attended by renowned international scholars ad practitioners. Neri is also a PhD student in Cultural Studies at the same university. Her research focuses on Cuban dance and migration, hybridization in popular culture and spirituality. Cambridge Publishers is due to release Perspectives on Dance Fusion and Dance Sustainability in the Caribbean: Rituals of Modern Society, a book edited by Torres from the proceedings of the first two conferences in February 2019.
Keynote topic: “Afro-Cuban Dance Beyond Borders: Perspectives from Two Shores.”
The presentation examines the displacement, appropriation and transformation of Afro-Cuban dances introduced mainly by black Cuban migration in global cities from port-revolutionary Cuba. It also delves into the social asymmetries produced by the negotiations of the transnational embodiment of these dances in the shaping of Latino and black identities.
Workshop: “Borderland in Motion: Dancing Cuban Identity”
A look at the application of an embodied nationalist philosophy to build identity in Cuban dance that has crossed transnational borders.