La Ceiba is a production based on the true life story of Melena, a world-class professional percussionist born in Havana, Cuba. Share in this journey of self discovery as you join Melena in her search for her family history through the music of her culture. Throughout her journey, Melena overcomes obstacles with passion and determination because of her intense desire to learn as much as she could about her native country. The theme of the play is based upon the sacred tree of Cuba "La Ceiba", in which its roots cannot be cut. Melena relates to La Ceiba and how important it is to hold on to your roots.
Melena recites poetryandmonologues; and through musical performances, demonstrates how she held onto her culture and learned about herself through the music. Throughout the play, you see and hear Solo Percussion performances on a diverse range of percussion instruments such as: Congas, Bongos, Batas and Timbales. The production is full of colorful wardrobes, narration, poetry, monologues....and of course MUSIC, DANCE, AND SONG from the traditions of Congo, Yoruba, and Dahomey of Africa! Melena is able to perform an excerpt of La Ceiba as a Solo Artist, or she can offer the whole production with a cast ranging from 5 to 10 members. As an Afro Cuban percussionist, Melena is one of the most accomplished female percussionists in the Latin music industry.
"How are we going to grow without our roots without the strength of our ancestors? How do we know where we are going, if we don't know where we came from?"
I may have physically left Cuba at a young age, but Cuba has never left me. Cuba lives in me and is expressed through my hands when I touch the skin of the drums. My spirit is like La Ceiba tree from Cuba, and the sacred tree Iroko from Africa...our roots can never be cut."
Writer, Producer, Artistic/Musical Director and Choreography - Melena