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Great Cuban Ballerinas of the 60's, 70's and 80's-(VII)


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Marta Garcia was considered by many Cuban balletomanes as the 5th jewel. (There’s even a fan and great connoisseur of her dancing on youtube who has adopted that nickname in her honor, Quintajoya-(fifth jewel), and from which I will borrowing a couple of comments that will better describe this ballerina). Within the generation that followed that of the 5 jewels, Marta Garcia was that who kept the most solid technique and dominated the stage like only she knew. Besides that she was always extremely gifted in characterization, and was famous interpreting those roles which required great demand of facial expressions. She was a truly master of the face as a vehicle and used this skill with no shyness at all to enhance her always thrilling performances. Garcia was also a master in those ballets which required some Spanish flavour. She was particularly superb in the Cuban version of Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre-(Blood Wedding), which became her trademark . Another ballet that she shined in was Alberto Mendez’ “Tarde en la Siesta” (see link above), which is sort of like a XIX Century Cuban recreation of 4 female characters-(sisters) to the unique music of Ernesto Lecuona. This wonderful ballet at times pays homage to the great Antony Tudor, and it’s has been a trademark of the Cuban Company for many years. Garcia created the role of Soledad-(Loneliness), which describes the tormented soul of the woman. Quintajoya made the comment that : “How fitting that Mr.Tudor-(I recall him standing after a performance of Marta’s Soledad clapping feverishly)-loved it so much. What a "HAGAR" Marta Garcia would have been in his "Pillar of Fire" I can only dream..” I had the opportunity to see a lot of her dancing well into the ballet feast that was the 90’s in Havana. Her Giselle was ravishing. Again, this is what her fan Quintajoya said about it during her entrance in Act II: “By going on pointe in the "Initiation" the Cuban ballerina gives this difficult variation an added dimension into the wili sisterhood.”

Today Garcia is a coach and Maitre of Scaena, the 1st. private Dance/Ballet Center and School in Madrid,Spain. She is currently excluded from the Cuban National Ballet official roster, where she used to figure as a faculty member.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Marta Garcia:

In Grand Pas de Quatre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT2BVz_B6Ik

Initiation of Giselle Act II

As “Soledad”-(Loneliness)-in “Tarde en la siesta”

In Spanish-flavored “Majisimo”-(doing the diagonal of fouetees/chainees)

Scaena’s official site, where Garcia teaches.


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Thank you for this. When the Ballet Nacional de Cuba first came to dance in Washington D. C. Marta Garcia was one of my favorites -- the other was Rosario Suarez.

Still, I'm afraid that I only saw Garcia a few times and don't have very vivid memories of her performances. What memories I have don't really correspond to the You Tube excerpts except perhaps a teensy bit to the last one with the fouettes on a diagonal.

I remember her as quite tall and as someone whose dancing had a quality of spaciousness and amplitude (I think that's the word) and great technical assurance. I have an image in my head of a series of very confident centered turns in Coppelia...

I have to add that I don't entirely trust my memory in its details and youtube (as has happened to me before even with dancers I saw often) unfortunately just confuses me.

I had no idea that she had defected. She must have a lot to contribute as a teacher...

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