©2019 by ABQ Latin Dance Festival

Kati Hernandez

CUBAN CHOREOGRAPHER AND EDUCATOR

Kati Hernandez brings her humble, yet explosive and uplifting energy to the United States. Kati’s knowledge of
dance and choreography reveals her intricate and versatile style, making her a highly sought-after educator and performer, nationally and internationally.
A native of Cuba, Kati grew up surrounded by the rhythms and sounds of the drums from her Afro-Cuban culture .
Her dance studies included Folkloric, Popular, Modern, Ballet, Choreography, Composition and Staging. Her earlier performances include the Havana International Jazz Festival with Cuban stars such as Bobby Carcases and Chucho Valdez and the Biennial Internacional de La Habana with Afro-Cuban music and performance icon Mercedita Valdez and visual artist Manuel Mendive.
Kati’s international journey began when she toured in Spain with the well-known orchestra Manolito Simonet y Su Trabuco. Soon after graduating from one of Cuba’s superior national art schools specializing in dance, Kati’s fiery style awarded her the invitation to tour Internationally with several Cuban music and dance productions throughout Portugal, the Bahamas and Costa Rica, where she later resided for five years. This gave her the opportunity to refine her talents in teaching and choreographing dance, and to expand her range as an actor and dancer/choreographer for television. Kati also volunteered her time and skills teaching dance to children and young women in impoverished communities throughout Central America, empowering them to use dance as a medium for expressing emotions, experiences, hopes, and dreams.
Following her extensive travels abroad. Kati moved to California where she feels a deep responsibility to preserve and promote Afro-Cuban culture by producing regular events and teaching workshops that create a community that bridges dance and music across cultures. She is the co-founder of KimBamBula Production which produced the annual events “Essence of Cuba” a paramount reunion of Afro-Cuban masters in Los Angeles including members of the renowned group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas with California’s finest Cuban folkloric masters. Kati recently created one of her dream projects “Isupo Irawo” an ensemble of Legendary Afro-Cuban masters from around the world. This group features Maestro Lázaro Galarraga, one of founding members of the Conjunto Folklorico de Cuba, who has been a lifelong inspiration for Kati, and recently a mentor to her development.
Their most recent performances include the Esalen International Music and Dance Festival and the opening act for the world-renowned Brazilian Jazz percussionist Airto Moreira at Avila Beach, CA.
Kati’s other accomplishments in Los Angeles include: The Ford Amphitheater where she choreographed, performed
and led Afro - Cuban Jam community sessions and collaborated with the Ford hosting Dance Workshops with Síntesis
(acclaimed progressive Afro-Cuban-Rock visiting from Cuba), Grand Park and Getty Museum “Cuba antes y ahora” A series of dance & Music workshops in collaboration with visiting Cuban artists, Skirball, where Kati was the artistic
director and choreographer, “Tropicana in Hollywood”where she was a choreographer, costume design advisor and production coordinator; the dance installation “Fire” directed by Judith Davis and presented at Pomona College;
UCLA’s film project, “Raiz” and choreographed for the Santa Monica College dance company Global Motion In addition, She is praised for her tribute piece to legendary Afro-Cuban master percussionist Francisco Aguabella at Esalen in Big Sur, CA.
Kati guest teaches dance classes and lectures at several colleges, universities, and dance studios around the country. She continues to tour, bringing her flavorful Afro-Cuban dynamite to national Afro-Cuban folkloric and Salsa
dance conferences. Emphatically she continues spreading the roots of Cuban Culture, she is now the co-founder of Afro-Timba, a dance fitness program that she is currently touring nationwide along with her own training dance Programs “Oricha Therapy” & Corporal Expression on rhythm. Kati is known for her unique teaching techniques, her vibrant energy and sabor on the dance floor. Her work is a true illustration of her heritage and an endless celebration of Cuban dance and music.