HAVANA._ The XIV International Circuba Festival is adding an extra touch of glamour to the Cuban summer, incorporating memorable performances by artists from Colombia, Mexico, Germany, the U.S, and a 17-year old Russian artiste who holds the world record for keeping nine rings in the air.
Her seemingly incredible feat was so confident, authentic and skilled that for the first time in the festival’s history the jury awarded a Prize for Originality to Russian juggler Diana Stepanova.
The young star also took four further prizes awarded by the National Circus of Cuba, The Meso-American People’s University, the Albacete Circus Festival of Spain and Firebird Productions Inc.Stepanova, of the Russian State Circus, Rosgoscirk, made her trip to Cuba with the simple ambition to perform in front of and please her audience. This she did indeed. Although angelic, timid and delicate she is also assured and graceful, having been identified as a jewel of the new generation Russian circus and at the same time being a worthy ambassador for her country’s established juggling school.
Her dedication is hereditary being part of the third generation of a family immersed in the craft of juggling.
She says that “as a child I wanted to be just like my mother, who put in everything that she could. She taught me that the circus was more than just a job, people go there in search of joy thus the artists should give it their all”.
This was a general premise of the Festival, the artists from twelve countries performed with the shown intention of entertaining their audience, not just with their technical expertise but also with their artistry, because the circus is essentially a shared experience.
Members of the National Circus of Cuba’s Havana Company displayed their varied specialties of Acrobatic Scaling, Acrobatic Swinging and Flying Trapeze, in which the artists persisted until they accomplished the mortal triple jump. But it was the Russian Bar that was eventually raised, reaching the Grand Prize and the Popularity award among other awards in the present run of the contest.
The Colombian duo “Mano a mano” (hand to hand) made up of Jose and Gaby won the Golden Tent with the Havana Company’s Acrobatic Scaling, an act that took a total of eight prizes for their spectacular showmanship. The Acrobatic Swingers from that same company shared the Silver Tent prize with the Colombian Requiem duet. The Bronze Tent remained with members of the Havana Company, having been won by their spectacular Flying Trapeze and Pole Dance acts.
Cuban, Karel Alvarez, a child of only 12 years old, received the Artist Revelation Tent prize and the Agenda Productions collateral prize for an excellent performance of a complex hand balancing act that captivated the audience, noteworthy not only for amazing flexibility and physical preparation, but also for technical perfection. This child gives a fine example of the phrase “the future is secured”, if someone can do so, it is him.
Other collateral prizewinners were Anna Shedkova from Germany, Christian Salinas of Mexico, Garret and Sadie from the US, the clowns: Metebulla and Pestillo, Tico and Giobi and the Havana Company from Cuba. The non-verbal communicative skills of the clowns were especially admired.
The event’s jury comprised circus artists from the U.K., Hungary, Denmark, the U.S., France, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, El Salvador and Cuba.
Since the 17th of last month the Festival show has brought their “Circuba travels Cuba” tour to a number of provinces across the country including the cities of Camagüey, Bayamo, Holguín, Las Tunas, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Santiago de Cuba and the Isle of Youth.
The visiting artists – with the exception of the young Russian – are remaining part of the cast free of charge, bringing joy to many far flung corners of the Caribbean island, on a tour that runs until this coming September 3.Share on FB Share on TT