Havana comes to Harlem in new public art project this August

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Havana comes to Harlem in new public art project this August
Liquid Heat | La Rumba Llama by artist Jessica Angel is a photography installation and international education program celebrating the rhythms of Cuba.

NEW YORK, NY.- An international public art project that brings together photography, dance and education to celebrate Afro-Cuban Rumba, returns to Harlem with an eclectic new program.

Liquid Heat | La Rumba Llama by artist Jessica Angel is a photography installation and international education program celebrating the rhythms of Cuba. Liquid Heat | La Rumba Llama takes place at Harlem Hospital Mural Pavilion from Monday 5 August to Monday 30 September as part of HARLEM WEEK.

Angel has worked with renowned Afro-Cuban dancers and the Pogolotti community, a Havana neighborhood famous for its Rumba, to create a series of vibrant, life-sized photographs that capture the energy and passion of Rumba. The never seen before photographs are being accompanied by a custom-made soundtrack including a reading by Alden Knight of one of Afro-Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén’s poems set to Rumba percussion.

Running alongside the photography installation, Ritmo y Color, a free dance program for children aged six to twelve years old run by Cuban dancer and choreographer Luanda Pau, will take place in the exhibit space at Harlem Hospital Mural Pavilion between Monday 12 August and Friday 16 August. Taking inspiration from Angel’s photography, which aims to express the improvised and endlessly creative nature of Rumba, the workshops will give children who would not have had access to summer dance programs, the opportunity to explore Cuban dance through movement and art, creating links to their own cultural heritage. The children will give a final performance to the public on Saturday 17 August.

A traditional Cuban Rumba following the outdoor children’s performance will take place with Cuban musicians Melvis Santa and her group Ashedí. The Rumba will include live music, a Rumba demonstration, a class with Luanda Pau and then a Rumba gathering for everyone to join in. Voza Rivers, executive producer of HARLEM WEEK says of the artist:

“The Liquid Heat public art project, part of HARLEM WEEK’S 45th Anniversary, is as deeply rooted in Harlem as it is in Havana. Jessica Angel celebrates the power of Afro-Cuban Rumba and the sense of community that it brings, and this is what we believe public art is all about. The cultural and historical connection between Harlem and Havana is celebrated and honored through initiatives such as these.”

An international artist, working with photography, dance and the moving image, over the last 20 years Jessica Angel has captured dance on camera with exhibits at; RAW SPACE, Harlem; United Nations, NYC; Museo Casa Guayasamin, Havana; and, Laban Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Jerwood Space in London. She has worked with many acclaimed choreographers and dance companies including Santiago Alfonso, Arthur Pita and Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance.

Liquid Heat was conceived by Jessica Angel to be a celebration of Latin and African-American culture, dance, photography and art for all. Liquid Heat is also planning an expanded program of exhibits and education in Havana, and Rio de Janeiro and to return to Harlem in 2020. Liquid Heat | La Rumba Llama is sponsored by the Harlem Community Development Corporation, Tahl Propp Property Development, the World Music Institute and the Cuban Artists Fund, New Heritage Theatre Group and Harlem Arts Alliance.

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