Havana Ballet Festival is on its way!
The lights go down and the bell rings one… two… three times; my heart beats quickly and I count the seconds until the curtain opens to reveal the stage… I´m an adult and I still can´t contain my excitement when a dance performance starts.
Ballet entered my life when I was a little child and I got my hands on a magazine about Alicia Alonso, a symbol of classic ballet in Cuba. The pictures captivated me, and when I finally had the chance to see a National Ballet performances I cannot put into words what it meant to me. It was simply breath-taking to see one of the most important ballet companies in the world and to know that they were Cubans like me performing… not human beings from another dimension!
It is important to note that I am not a dancer (I’m not even a critic or an arts specialist), but I can assure anyone that a visit to a classic ballet show in Cuba is most definitely an unforgettable experience (and affordable for that matter). In Cuba you can see a world classic performance, that could be compared to other reputable companies such as the Bolshoi or the American Ballet Theatre. There are many Cuban dancers who have been recognised internationally including Alicia Alonso, Carlos Acosta, Orlando Salgado, Jorge Esquivel, Ofelia González, Pablo Moré, Viengsay Valdés and so many others. The Cuban School of Ballet is a highly respected dance school developed by Alicia and the deceased Fernando Alonso.
Every time I get the opportunity, I will catch a performance or two at the Havana Ballet Festival. The Havana Ballet Festival takes place every two year and offers visitors (and locals) the chance to see the best of the best ballet companies and celebrities from all over the world perform. This is a key moment not only for those who, like me, are ballet lovers, but also for dance specialists, choreographers, entrepreneurs, dancers and art students, who can all interact and learn from the best in the business (either theatre performances or theoretical).
The significant number of premieres (more than 200) and the number of guests who attend the Havana Ballet Festival (over a thousand) are a measure of the relevance of this non-competitive event.
This years edition of the Havana Ballet Festival will be dedicated to the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. The National Ballet of Cuba will perform several pieces based on his plays, such as Shakespeare y sus máscaras and Prólogo para una tragedia. The Ópera de Nice, which has been specially invited to this year’s festival, will dance La pavana del moro, also based on Shakespeare’s work. The ballet Tula, choreographed by the legendary Alicia Alonso, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 19th-century Cuban playwright and writer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda.
Other classical and well-known ballets choreographed by Alicia Alonso will also be presented at the Havana Ballet Festival: Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle and La magia de la danza (The Magic of Dancing). The last one is an anthology of scenes from several classical ballets together with The Gottschalk Symphony.
The Havana Tour Company invites you to attend a performance during the Havana Ballet festival (October 28 – November 7). We can organise your tickets as part of tailor-made Havana tour experience. Our Full Day Havana Tour (our most popular tour) combined with a performance at the 2014 Havana Ballet Festival might be the perfect way to see the city, and experience its strong traditions in music and dance.