Staff Members

Ed Cubano Martin

Ed Cubano Martin had the great fortune to meet a Japanese Zen master who took his time to share some extraordinary concepts, philosophies and perspectives towards the study of martial arts. I tested his teachings with a few years of informal martial arts studies with 2nd and 3rd degree black belts of various styles. He was my mentor and Teacher. one point I heard about a small group practicing Capoeira and decided to meet them. From there a great friendship was attained with individuals that have the right spirit and of utmost character. For some years now we have been providing Capoeira classes to inner city youth and adults.

The thing I love most about martial arts is its ability to strengthen character, instill modesty and wisdom and above all would be its ability to profoundly impact so many lives and to live on through your instructors. And most important, the incredible ability to learn from one's students. I also enjoy the impact that it has when a student finally overcomes a personal challenge and the pride and humility they express in having attained the goals we give them.



Jason Lee Byrd

Jason Lee Byrd helped to co-found “The Association of Capoeira de Angola, Los Angeles, which later became known as “Pastinha’s Garden of Capoeira de Angola (PGCA)”. In addition to training Capoeira and being a practitioner of Shotoshinkai Karate, Jason is a practitioner of Pentjak Silat Aliran Kanekes and Kali Silat under the tutelage of Guru Ed Martin. Also, I am a nationally certified Personal Fitness Instructor under the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Since the 1990’s, I have dreamed about finding a Martial art that utilizes “Ground Maneuverability”. Jason is an actor and has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1998.



Ta Tanisha

Ta Tanisha arrived in Los Angeles from Detroit, Michigan in the sixties. In the early seventies, she began studying theatre at the Performing Arts Society Los Angeles (PASLA) where she performed in several plays including Blues for Mr. Charlie and A Raisin in the Sun. She also appeared in A Black Girl in Search of God at the Mark Taper Forum. After a while, Ta Tanisha began to get roles in television shows and motion pictures such as Room 222, in a recurring role as Pam, Good Times, Sanford & Son and the Mod Squad. She co-starred as a deaf mute on the hit show, Mission Impossible and was nominated for the NAACP Image award for this performance. She was also in the academy award winning movie, The Sting. She received an award from the City of Los Angeles for “helping to heal the city” after the uprising in 1992 in South Los Angeles. As a part of ongoing work with Repertory Arts, Ta will continue to conduct a team that will coordinate an afterschool performance program.


Zandore Zetina

Zandore Zetina, known as Zan, has an extensive background that includes Al Gilbert, Bill and Jackie Landrum, Claude Thompson, Steven Peck, and Alvin Ailey. She became one of the principal dancers with the Repertory Dance Theatre of Los Angeles under the direction of Jon Johnson, Chester Whitmore and Lady Walquer Vereen. Today she is one of the choreographers and Acting Executive Director. She has choreographed and staged many leading recording artists in Japan, working with Future Dreams, Inc., and was instrumental in developing the first dance variety show on Japanese television. After returning to the United States she began studying filmmaking. It was there she found her niche filming documentaries. Zan is also a senior instructor with Pastinha’s Garden of Capoeira Angola.



Ashitosh Swarup

Ashitosh "Ash" Swarup, with his background in Engineering and Mathematics, brings in a technical approach towards art. While Mathematics and Engineering may appear to be black-and-white subjects, there is inherent artistry and creativity involved in both the study and the practice of both these areas. Ash works with the grantwriting and fundraising programs atRepertory Arts, and is currently working on developing the STEM division of the organization. 



Acknowledgements

A special and heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Parnes, for their years of support and friendship to RDToLA. The generosity of the Parnes family gave action and funding to the vision and beginnings of RDToLA, which led to world-traveled performances for audiences that experienced the talent and the talented company of African Americans dancers. With support from their donations and fundraising, RDToLA successfully toured the globe and created programs for local youth to begin to fulfill their dreams. Mr. and Mrs. Parnes were true patrons of the arts. RDToLA and Repertory Arts will never forget the many lives they helped to illuminate and become stars, and who now inspire the next generation of artists, mentors, and dancers.

 

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