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The Cuban Style


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On the whole I can't detect a definitive overall style and find that there is a rather diverse look about them; the big plus is that they are usually strong personalities. From a personal view I find myself loving some, e.g. Acosta and (sorry) hating others, the downside of that diversity I mentioned. At least they are never bland.

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find that there is a rather diverse look about them; the big plus is that they are usually strong personalities. At least they are never bland.

I find too that there is a rather a diverse look to them. They don't seem to be chosen to fit a predeteremind set of body characteristics. Other companies/schools do this and it leads to a more uniform look overall but often this goes a bit too far into facelessness and as Mashinka notes, the Cubans aren't bland or faceless.

As a defining trait there seems to me to be a tremendous focus on virtuosity which is sometimes amazing. But often I have a problem with the boundries between this terrific virtuosity and form, musicality, and taste.

At their best the cubans can be wonderful and at their worst they can be crude and tasteless.

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...and this is a quote from a more extensive writing on the subject, from Havanajournal.com.

"She[Mme. Alonso] is feisty, especially so when busting the myth that the success of Cuban ballet was the result of the Soviet Union’s influence. Thanks to Alonso, in fact, ballet may well have been the one aspect of Cuban life not influenced by the Soviets.

’‘The Cuban style comes from deep within the Cuban spirit, from our joys and from our sadness,’‘ Alonso says. “Some people are turned inward. The Cubans are always out, sensual. What looks natural on the Soviets would have looked mimetic, like a mannerism on us. We had a hard time explaining that to our Soviet friends.’'

Alonso refused Russian ballet teachers ’‘except for character dances: They do czardas, mazurkas very well.’‘ She also discouraged her own dancers from taking advantage of Soviet scholarships.

’‘When Lazaro Carreno did go study in Moscow,’Simon recalls, “we had to spend months after he returned just getting him to dance like a Cuban again. It was a constant fight with Alicia."

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