The Ancient Art of Rituals

The Ancient Art of Rituals was commissioned by the TheGallery and explores the making of a Palo Mayombe ritual dance performance. Palo Mayombe is an ancient religion from the Congo regions of Africa that came to Cuba with the slave trade hundreds of years ago. Traditionally used to exorcise participants in ritual events, the Palo Mayombe dance is rhythmically challenging and physically draining.

In this short documentary, students from the university describe the challenges of tackling an utterly foreign form of religion and dance, curators give insight into the connection between ritual performance and contemporary art, and the audience witnesses some of the bewitching movements that define the Palo Mayombe.


Director/Producer: Julia Alcamo
Director of Photography: James Broome
Original Music: William Hernandez-Abreu