Oriki Omi Oddara ("Homage to the Clear or Blessed Waters") is a professional performance ensemble dedicated to preserve the art and culture of the Afro-Cuban traditions through local, national, and international performances; education programs; lecture demonstrations; and collaborative projects.
The Ensemble, comprised of dancers, musicians and singers from Cuba, now living in New York City, as well as natives representing an array of cultural backgrounds, perform repertoire from the authentic Afro-Cuban genre in addition to original dance works whose inspiration draws from the African-based sacred performances.
Felix "Pupy" Insua, Founder and ArtisticDirector, is the fire the fuels this Ensemble. Insua, who left Cuba in 1995 under a directive from Shango and blessings from the Orishas, came to the United States to enlighten audiences and preserve the beauty and richness of his culture.
Insua's vision was to create an ensemble that provided opportunities to the many talented Cuban artists who have otherwise been unnoticed and students and professionals in the US who have been trained under Insua and share a passion and belief in his mission and vision. This collective would best exemplify the natural evolution and transformations that exist within the Afro-Cuban performance aspects and culture.
Oriki's repertoire illuminates the roots of the Cuban rhythms beginning with the sacred music, song and dance of the Yoruba, Congo, Calabar and Dahomey cultures and their influences on contemporary and social dance forms. Given his mastery of the folkloric technique coupled with his extensive training in classical and contemporary ballet, modern, and jazz, Insua’s choreography surpasses the realm of traditional dance.
Explosive and masterful arrangements of rhythms and vocals, executed by renown percussionist Roman Diaz, coupled with invigorating, fresh, and authentic choreography, Oriki Omi Oddara shares the beauty, complexity and intensity of the Afro-Cuban Culture with a world audience.
Prejudice is bred by ignorance. Education, inspiration and enlightenment are the undercurrents of this group. The mission of Oriki Omi Oddara is to breakdown cultural barriers through the arts, creating acceptance and compassion through the recognition of all peoples and cultures everywhere.
Felix “ Pupy” Insua