HAVANA._ Those who would like to learn the essence of the Cuban ballet school’s methodology can do so through the international dance course that will be offered in Havana this summer.
The “Cuballet” takes place every summer in the Center for the Promotion of Dance, known as Prodanza, whose founding director is Laura Alonso.
“Cuballet aims to provide opportunities and to exploit young talent as I believe in the artistic potential of our youths, and for their talent to flourish you need to provide them with opportunities,” stressed the professional dancer, daughter of the founders of Cuba’s National Ballet and its school, Alicia and Fernando Alonso.
During four consecutive weeks, from July 6 to August 2nd, inscribed students and teachers alike will receive ballet classes, including tiptoes, adagio, repertoire, physical efficiency, modern dance, Spanish dance, popular Cuban dance, ccting, and make-up artistry.
So far, the dancers that have signed up represent an international bunch; from Mexico, Argentina, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, the United States, Panama, the islands of Guadaloupe, and Puerto Rico. Up to this point, the latter country will bring the largest delegation yet the inscription period still remains open.
This year’s Cuballet will conclude with the performance of the popular classic “Don Quixote,” a much-needed work in the repertoire of all the important dance companies and competitions around the world.
“The summer courses offer the possibility of getting familiar with different dancing styles of other countries and always bring new, interesting, and fun experiences in order to ensure a great,adventure to all participants,” the founder of Cuballet said.
The event started in the 1980s as a response to the interests of foreign teachers and dancers in getting to know the details of the Cuban ballet school’s methodology.
“My mother put me in charge of organizing the first course in 1983 yet the interest in learning the Cuban ballet method back then was due to the excellent work of my mother and my father, Fernando Alonso, creator of that method,” Laura proudly recalled.
“He trained many world-famous dancers that caught international attention and caused people to wonder how Cuban dancers achieved such outstanding levels on stage,” she said.
The work of the Alonsos (also including the choreographer Alberto Alonso, Laura’s uncle and author of the famous ballet “Carmen”), consolidated a school with unique characteristics and solid academic bases that produced many generations of extraordinary dancers; many of whom shone at several international competitions and festivals.
At the end of the 1960s, the critics started to talk about the “Cuban miracle,” which is why it should come as no surprise that the Cuballet was a great success from its very first edition.
For the teacher and choreographer Hector Figueredo, these events help to exemplify to students and professionals, how to set up the performance of a great classic, which consists of everything; from great discipline in constant rehearsals to the learning of acting techniques.
While this year’s master piece is “Don Quixote,” last year’s performance was “Swan Lake,” and next year’s will be another classic, yet perhaps more ambitious, work by choreographer Marius Petipa, “The Pharaoh’s Daughter.”
Putting up such great classic performances in such few weeks is a challenge but a great experience once you witness the fruits of your efforts.
”We should not forget that Cuballet is an event that aims to give opportunities yet when it comes to the distribution of roles, the technical level of each dancer is considered,” commented Figueredo, founder of the event and a long-time graduate from the prestigious choreography school in Moscow.
Student of different dance schools all over the country will also participate in the Cuballet course that will take place in the Prodanza Center in the Havana municipality of Marianao. It will be directed by the 2004 National Dance Prize winner, Alberto Mendez.
“Don Quixote” will be performed in the Avellaneda Hall of the National Theater on July 31, and August 1st and 2nd.Share on FB Share on TT