Natalia

BNC @ Kennedy Center 2011: Mixed Bill & Don Q

34 posts in this topic

Natalia:

It's a shame that it's so hard to find bio information on the current BNC stars and soloists anywhere. That, I believe, is the huge downfall of the otherwise-lovely coffee-table tome, Cuban Ballet, by Octavio Roca, i.e., that one buys it thiking that it has all of the inside scoop on the current (last 10 yrs) company and it turns out to be another bio-homage of Alonso. Practically ALL of the 'current' Cuban stars mentioned and pictured by Roca are exiles! We end up knowing more about the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami as about the current, actual dancers in Havana.

This was my feeling about Roca's book, which was really a well-done Times Magazine profile on Alicia Alonso. I bought a copy wanting to know about this golden age at the Cuban, ballet from the 1990's to the present, and how it came about: How were the schools structured, what were the classes, who were the teachers, what were the differences between the teaching styles within the schools. Joan Boada once talked about how important the partnering class was... One dancer in Roca's book says that things changed after Josefina Mendez's death – was she the guiding force?

There was also little in "Cuban Ballet" about the pre-Alonso period – for instance about the ballet(s) of Amadeo Roldan.

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....There was also little in "Cuban Ballet" about the pre-Alonso period for instance about the ballet(s) of Amadeo Roldan.

You're so right. Also, there is little discussion about Alberto Mendez' many wonderful ballets, except for his final 1995 work, Tarde en el Amanecer...but almost no mention and no photo of (to me) his greatest gem, Tarde en la Siesta. No Munecos. No Canto Vital (A. Plisetski). No Bach x 8 (Jose Pares). It's almost as if Roca was writing a "history" of Cuban ballet through his own prism...very one-fan-centric, rather than a 'big picture-total history'...yet marketing it as if it were the big picture. Tarde en el Amanecer was likely mentioned because that's what Roca saw in San Francisco in 1995!

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Well, I simply could not let this one wonderful review of Osiel Gounod escape us. From Roslyn Sulcas, writing in today's NY Times, about the Magia de la Danza opening program in Brooklyn, this week:

The one invigorating moment in the program came from Osiel Gounod, partnering Grettel Morejón in “Coppélia.” Although Ms. Morejón couldn’t resist darting coy glances at us, both are truly lovely dancers who actually inhabited their characters, with Mr. Gounod particularly exciting in his smooth, springy jump and beautifully extended lines.

Link to full review:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/arts/dance/ballet-nacional-de-cuba-at-bam-review.html?_r=2

:clapping::clapping::clapping:

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I am glad to read about Barbara Garcia, one of the most complete Cuban dancers of all times. I am her one of her fans in Cuba, and with a few friends we keep a recently created page on Facebook on her name Barbara Garcia. You are all welcome to visite and become fans if you like !! You will have the opportunity to see her latest pictures of The Swan Lake, May 30th, in the GTH, in Havana. We also have the video, but we can not post it yet, because of Internet connection speed. It was simply perfect. One of her teachers said: "Seing this Swan Lake has erased all the others I have seen in my life". He loves her very much, indeed, but we were ther, and there is no doubt that it was one of the most beautiful and perfect things I we have seen in a longtime. I hope you will enjoy the performances of the BNC, especially Barbara's.

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I am glad to read about Barbara Garcia, one of the most complete Cuban dancers of all times. I am her one of her fans in Cuba, and with a few friends we keep a recently created page on Facebook on her name Barbara Garcia. ....

Bienvenido al foro BalletAlert!, KGC! Thanks for this & welcome. It's great to hear from new balletlovers in Cuba. I, for one, will definitely 'check out' Barbara Garcia's Facebook page and become a Friend. :)

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It is clear that the BNC has lost its main artery of talent and artistry. Sad. For so many years BNC was a treasure.

I’ve been aiming to talk about this for a while and finally this recent post by CubanInUSA was the definitive trigger.

I’ve been listening for a while of many complaints by friends and some posters here that the Ballet Nacional de Cuba “is not what it used to be”, that “the quality of the dancers has diminished” etc etc. And this is my time to totally disagree and object to this statement.

Ballet Nacional de Cuba is not just the fraction of dancers who recently danced in Washington DC and NYC. The dancers that make up for the ranks of the company from the past and present decade is a magnificent one, and one that has very few-(if any)-competitors worldwide. Who are/were the ballerinas of the Cuban Ballet of the 90’s and 2000’s…? Lorena Feijoo, Lorna Feijoo, Halihaydee Carreno, Xiomara Reyes, Lourdes Novoa, Hayna Gutierrez, Catherine Suaznabar, Yolanda Correa, Anissa Curbelo, Barbara Garcia, Sadaise Arencibia, Yanela Pinera and Viengsay Valdes. And who were/are the danseurs…? Jose Manuel Carreno, Carlos Acosta, Lienz Chang, , Rolando Sarabia, Taras Domitro, Joel Carreno, Nelson Madrigal, Osmay Molina, Isanusi Garcia, Romel Frometa, Karel Cruz, Reyneris Reyes, Carlos Quenedit, Ernesto Alvarez, Dani Hernandez and Alejandro Virelles. This incomplete list-(from the top of my head)-makes the grand total of 28 Principal Dancers-(only two of them retired, former real life couple Jose Manuel Carreno and Lourdes Novoa)-...only 7 of them are still dancing in Cuba.

The Cuban Ballet keeps an output of Principals that overflows the input. I don’t think there’s ANY company out there that has that many Principal dancers trained and formed within a national school dancing somewhere else. I don’t know the totality of Russian dancers that became principals-(or were already)-pre or after defections during the 70 years of communism in the Soviet Union, or even if the list could be somehow similar in numbers EVEN if we add the Russians-(and those from the former Soviet republics)- dancing abroad after 1989-(hence not “defectors” any longer per se…like Vishneva, Part or Dvorovenko).

I would be surprised if no dancers defect in this American tour, and if they don’t I would be willing to bet that reinforced measures are being taken for sure. If by personal choice, well…then I would be surprised that any current Principal would be back…

In any case…join me in my celebration of the CURRENT/ REAL Cuban Nacional Ballet, of which those 28 mentioned Principal dancers-(along with many, many others of lesser rank)-are part of.

A curious note. I’m almost sure that Miss V. is the ONLY Cuban dancer, male or finale, past or present besides Alonso that has been for so long in the company without having to defect-(for whatever reasons, political or artistic)- while at the same getting the chance to have international exposure. .

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.....I would be surprised if no dancers defect in this American tour, ....

I'm almost waiting for the inevitable. They have 2 more weeks to go on this tour - Orange Cty this week and L.A. the next.

In an ideal world, Alicia Alonso & the "other powers" (Ma Elena Llorente, Loipa Araujo, Pedro Simon...whoever) would allow all top Cuban soloists to intermittently guest-star with companies outside Cuba - a privilege that Viengsay Valdes alone seems to be enjoying nowadays.

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Thanks, CM. Interesting that this clip comes from the "Archivo Deportivo"...ballet as sport!

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