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International Dance Festival

Below please find more information about the scheduled performers for the International Dance Festival:


Eduardo Goitia was born in the Bronx in a family of immigrants from Puerto Rico. He is an architect at the top New York design firm Mancini, Duffy and lives in midtown Manhattan.

Carina Moeller is an accomplished dancer with training in modern dance, ballet, tap and jazz from the Stage School of Dance and Drama, the G. Baudach Ballet Institute and the Ellys Dance School in Germany. She is a graduate, with honors in modern dance, from DANCEWORKS Berlin, and received her theater degree from the Michael Tschechow Studio Berlin. In 1995 Carina moved to New York City and danced with the Doris Humphrey Repertory Company. In 1998, in the heart of Manhattan, Carina opened her own dance studio: Triangulo; New York City's only dance studio exclusively dedicated to Argentine Tango, which still exists today.

Carina is known for her engaging and precise teaching style, and her tango teaching method has been described as the "Zen of tango". She creates a completely stress-free atmosphere, particularly appreciated by novice dancers, and she is supportive and patient. She has taught at the Spanish Institute and the Argentine Consulate in Manhattan, Yale University, City College and, Fordham University.

She has appeared on the Isaak Mizrahi Show, teaching tango to Molly Shannon from Saturday Night Live and she was a guest in the Martha Stewart Living Radio, on the Sirius satellite radio network.

Indian Dance

Founded in the Spring of 2007, Dhoom of Columbia University is a Bollywood-fusion dance group aimed at exposing its audience to the various styles of Bollywood dance. They focus on Bollywood songs and dance but incorporate other styles of dance included hip-hop, jazz, ballet, Bhangra, Raas and classical Indian dance forms, such as Kathak and Bharatanatyam. They are a competitive dance team and have placed at various competitions.


The New York Times called the purity and invention of Meira's dancing joyous" and "powerful." Widely recognized as a master teacher and performer, Meira began her extensive training in her native Los Angeles with Roberto Amaral and Carmen Mora and has performed in Spain. She has performed with many of the giants of Flamenco, including Antonio Canales, Diego Carrasco Manolo Soler, La Repompa de Malaga and Juanito Habichuela El Camborio.. Meira has performed throughout North America in venues such as Carnegie Hall. She holds an MFA in choreography as well as an EdD in dance history from Temple University, and has published numerous articles on Flamenco history. She has taught at NYU, Princeton, Sarah Lawrence College and  Ballet Hispanico.  She has been a faculty member at FIT since 2005, teaching Flamenco and also a Liberal Arts survey course, Dance as Art.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cristian Puig is the son of Gloria Monreal, Flamenco singer and Pablo Puig, Flamenco guitarist. At age 19, Cristian began his studies in classical guitar at the conservatory of Manuel de Falla. His father started him on the Flamenco guitar. Soon after, he took classes in Flamenco guitar with Quique de Cordoba and furthered his studies in jazz, bosa nova and contemporary music. Using his musical influences and inspirations as his guide, in 1990 he formed the flamenco fusion group Rabat. Rabat appeared in various theaters and venues in Argentina and later went on to travel to various countries in South America. Looking to fuse jazz and bossa nova with Flamenco, Cristian integrated instruments such as the piano, electric guitar and saxophone, experimenting with his original compositions. In 2000, Cristian came to New York, and since then has been an integral part of the Flamenco scene, working and composing music for local and foreign artists and companies. He is currently working on recordings of his own compositions and continues working as a soloist, composing music for Flamenco companies. He also works as a Flamenco singer, interpreting the traditional and modern Flamenco styles.

Born and raised in Seville, the heartland of Flamenco music, Alfonso Cid received his earliest training from his mother, an amateur singer from the Flamenco enclave of Triana, and his grandfather. He has participated in the activities of one the most significant Flamenco clubs in Andalusia, the Pea Flamenca Torres-Macarena since 1987. In 1990, Alfonso enrolled at the Seville Conservatory where he received classical training and studied flute and music theory. He also attended classes at the Cristina Heeren Foundation for Flamenco Art in July of 2007 in Sevilla, Spain with maestro Paco Taranto and new talent Rocio Mrquez. Since his arrival in New York in 1997, Alfonso has performed with Flamenco artists, such as: Pilar Rioja, Andrea del Conte, Nelida Tirado, Sara Erde, and La Conja. He has also performed in the following venues: Town Hall with the World Music Institute, the Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sala Covarrubias in Mexico City, Carnegie Hall (Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall), Joyce Theater, the American Embassy in Madrid (Spain), The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, The Spanish Theatre Repertory, Thalia Spanish Theatre, and The Theater for the New City.  He has toured in Spain, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico and the tri-state area. In 2006, with his Flamenco fusion project Gazpacho Andal, he released his first CD titled Flamenco de vuelta e ida.

Morna and Fado (musical selection)

Hector Zaraspe  was eight years old when he learned  the folk dances of Argentina, and later the Spanish dance. He learned classical ballet at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, from  Otto Weber and George Castillo, among other teachers. The artist also worked as a dancer and ballet master at the company Mariemma. During the eleven years of his stay in Spain, he taught Antonio Ruiz Soler, Antonio Gades, Luisillo and Luis Fuente, among others. The artist has worked at the prestigious Julliard School for several years, and in1998 an award was created in his name. The Zaraspe Award is given annually to outstanding choreographic work.

Born in the city of Mindeloin, Cabo Verde, Antonio Moreno is an Advertising and Marketing Communications major at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In the past Antonio has worked as a PA (Personal Assistant) and later a Assistant Manager to Cabo Verdean singer Fantcha. He is presently studying voice, sound and movement with Julliard Maestro, Hector Zaraspe, here in New York City.  Last August, he presented a recital at the CCM in Mindelo, Cabo Verde.  Music nurtures his Soul!

Middle Eastern Dance

Andrea (aka Andrea Anwar) began performing Middle Eastern dance at New York's cabarets, clubs and cultural events in 1990. She has taught weekly dance classes since 1993, and has performed Middle Eastern dance as a soloist and company member with Elena Lentini's Caravanserai, Anahid Sofian & Dancers, Jehan Kamal's Ballet Exotiqa, and SaZ Dance Theatre. In 1997, Andrea opened for Ricky Lee Jones' GHoSTYhead tour in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Her versatile palette ranges from traditional ethnic dance to technologically savvy multimedia performance art. Andrea has been making dance related films & videos since 1987; she recently edited The Zar Dance DVD featuring Ibrahim Farrah's Near East Dance Group. Her films have been screened in New York at Anthology Film Archives, Andrea has been a dedicated teacher of the Middle Eastern dance arts since 1993, sharing her technical expertise and passion for dance with future generations of dancers. She has also helped create videos for children which have aired on Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, and the Comedy Channel, as well as in galleries and museums worldwide.

Ismail Butera is an accordionist known for his lyrical style of playing Middle Eastern and Balkan music. He has performed in many clubs and restaurants with well known musicians, and appears on several recordings. Ismail performs regularly with the Metropolitan Klezmer Band and directs the Sounds of Taraab, an ensemble that performs music from Zanzibar.


PAKA (Passing Ancestral Knowledge Along) is a Foundation and Dance/Theatre Company dedicated to preserving and promoting the diverse cultures of the world through the arts and to serve as a beacon to unite people through cultural understanding.

Performers will include Patricia Dye, Winston Benons, Francie Johnson, Daryl Lobban, Cimone Graves, Lacina Coulibaly, Carolyn Webb, Devon ( Smuff) Alexandra, Chyrstal Dabady, and Edwin Brathwaite.

Patricia Dye - Founder - MA: NYU (Dance Education and Performance), BFA: Adelphi University (Dance), has presented workshops for the NYC Dept. of Education Region 8 and conferences like NDEO, SDHS, NDA and CORD. Ms. Dye has taught master classes and workshops, choreographed and appeared in videos, industrial shows, Broadway shows, television commercials and movies throughout the U.S. and throughout Europe. She has served as assistant and Dance Captain for Dr. Chuck Davis since 1988 and in 1993 became founder and Artistic Director of Passing Ancestral Knowledge Along Dance Company (PAKA).

Dana Manno (Afro-Caribbean) is a senior member of the Dance and Performing Arts faculty at Fashion Institute of Technology and Director/Advisor of the F.I.T. Theatre Ensemble. As a former dancer with Katherine Dunham and member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, Professor Manno was also the founder of the Adelphi University Arts Ensemble and developed their curriculum for Ethnic Dance and Black Performing Arts program. She has taught at Pratt Institute, Hofstra University, CUNY Staten Island, Sarah Lawrence College, Holy Cross, Dance Theatre of Harlem, The New School University and Yale University. As Artistic Director of the PAKA Foundation, Dana has produced and directed productions at the 78th Street Theatre Lab and the United Nations Library Theatre. Dana is also currently a faculty member at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center.

Carolyn Webb is a dancer, choreographer, and musician specializing in dance and music from the African Diaspora.  Performance and research have taken her to Egypt, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Montreal, Norway, Senegal, Guinea, and throughout the USA. She has appeared as a dancer and drummer with legendary Ladji Camara West African Dance Ensemble, Jean Leon Destines Afro Haitian Dance Company, Retumbe Afro-Caribbean Dance and Music Ensemble, and the Linda Diamond Modern Dance Company to name a few. She is delighted to dance with PAKA this season.

Ms. Webb earned an MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan. She has extensive experience as a dance educator of all groups. She is currently part of the Dance faculty of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University Steinhardt Dance Program, Queens College Dance Program, and the 92nd Street Y Harness Dance Center.

Raised in Burkina Faso, Lacina Coulibaly trained in West African dance and European contemporary dance. He performed with the Ballet National du Burkina Faso, Compagnie Salia N Seydou, and Irne Tassambedo, before co-founding Kongo Ba Teria with Souleymane Badolo. The company is a leading promoter of contemporary dance in West Africa which has reshaped traditional values to speak to present day concerns. Coulibaly is a featured artist in the documentary Movement (R)evolution Africa, which shows the emergent African contemporary dance scene. Their joint creations include the development of a duet titled Ici Ou Ailleurs and a new work for Ballet Memphis, scheduled to premiere in Memphis in February 2011.

From 1996-2000, Compagnie Kongo Ba Tria performed on many African stages. Since 2000, the company has toured throughout Europe. Coulibaly and Badolo's creations have won international awards, including the Pan-African competition SANGA. Coulibaly recently created a solo, which he has presented at Cornell, NYU and Stonybrook University, among other venues, and made guest appearances with internationally known Faso Dance Theatre. He has taught at the University of Florida, Ohio State University, Princeton University, and Brown University, and is currently on faculty at Yale.

Maron Smart - Costume Designer and  F.I.T. student.

Grupo Capoeira Brasil

Shem Alleyne was introduced to Capoeira by his older sister in 1985 at the age of ten.  He trained for about two years then stopped.  Sixteen years later, in 2003, he began training with Mestre Caxias of Grupo Capoeira Brasil. Shem has been committed to the art form for the past seven years.

Rosella Fabbri, aka Professora Lua, first experienced Capoeira in the late 1980s on the streets of New York City. Having come from a dance and sports background, she was instantly mesmerized by the diversity of movement, which seemed to combine the rhythmic and intense momentum of a warrior with the agility and grace of a dancer. Professora Lua has been a student of Mestre Caxias of Grupo Capoeira Brasil since 1993. Her Capoeira knowledge and abilities are recognized internationally. She presently teaches at-risk youth at various schools in NYC as well as adults in sport club, gym and university settings locally and throughout the US.

Shanise V. Rhiney was intrigued as a teenager when she learned that there is an African based martial art that was cultivated in Brazil.  Shanise took her first Capoeira class at a dance center in Brooklyn in 2006 and has been training ever since. Also known as "Cacau" to her fellow capoeiristas, Shanise is a student of Mestre Caxias of Group Capoeira Brasil.  With the support of Mestre Caxias and her fellow group members, Shanise has introduced young people to Capoeira through various youth development programs in New York City.  Shanise is a New York City native and lives in Brooklyn.


Christina Tavarez is an Advertising and Marketing Communications major in her senior year at F.I.T. and is of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent. She attributes her love for Salsa music to her dad who always displayed a love for music by playing it in the house or while driving. In 2006, she too became passionate about Salsa dancing.  Christina is the current President of the F.I.T. Salsa Club which she founded with the hopes of creating a community united through this dance.

Isabel Cabrera was raised in a Dominican household that was built on love and dance. Her roots trace back to the history of the music and the culture that originated with her ethnicity. Seeing her parents dance with passion and love to the Latin music led to her fascination of exploring the different dances from her Latin culture and loves the essence of moving her body to each beat and rhythm of the music. She expresses her love towards dancing and refers to dance as an art of expression and creativity the human body can embrace. She enjoys letting the music touch her heart and sharing that feeling with others.

Princess Arevalo is in her junior year as an FIT Advertising and Marketing Communications student and secretary of the Salsa club. Princess is of Colombian and Ecuadorian descent and grew up in South Florida. Her love for an eclectic range of music, especially Latin music, comes from growing up in a family where music was constantly being played. She loved to watch her family dance. Her parents expressed their love through moving to the music. Her experience at the annual Boston Salsa Congress left her amazed at the way different performers danced and told stories with their bodies. It was then she promised herself she would dedicate herself to really learning how to dance salsa like the performers.

Daniel Morales is an FMM Junior at FIT. He was born and raised between Milwaukee, WI and Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. As a young child his mother instilled in him the tropical beats of salsa and since then has partaken in many dance events throughout his childhood. His biggest event involved a performance in a professional theater with an audience of over 20,000 spectators. Daniel enjoys a continued passion in salsa through his involvement in the FIT Salsa Club.