I was fortunate enough to lead our company’s first trip to Cuba since 2003, and was thrilled to find that the Cuban art world is thriving. Our trips are focused on interaction with locals, so we were able to meet, talk to, and enjoy performances by a surprising variety of artists and performers. Here’s a glimpse at two of my favorite performances:
In Havana we attended a rehearsal of the Contemporary Dance Company of Cuba in their studio. During most of the rehearsal, a bongo player and singer provided live music and filled the room with energy as their songs became more and more up tempo. Later the male dancers joined in as the group practiced a new routine for an upcoming performance. We were all envious of their talent, and surprised at how quickly the time flew by while we were watching! Here’s a short video clip of their rehearsal:
Los Cantores de Cienfuegos serenaded us with a variety of popular Latin American and Spanish songs, as well an American song sung so beautifully that sent chills down my spine. The acoustics were fantastic, and the group was very friendly and happy to answer all of our questions. (I didn’t include a clip because it just doesn’t do the group justice!)
The Cantores told us that there is an intense audition process to become a member, and that the group practices nearly every day. They really treat this as their job. Many went to school to become musicians, and play instruments and practice their own music on the side.
I hope you enjoyed these clips and photos as much as we enjoyed the performances!