Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Ballet Nacional de Cuba in Costa Mesa

Recommended Posts

I attended the June 18 evening performance of Ballet Nacional de Cuba at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, at which The Magic of Dance, a program of selections from Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and Gottschalk Symphony was performed. It was interesting to read CubanInUSA's review of the Washington, D.C., performances of the company. I can agree that there was an air of inexperience in the efforts of the lead dancers, particularly in some very tentative dancing in the "first act" (Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker) . . . and yet . . . and yet . . . and yet, by the end of the evening, I was very much with them every step of the way. The troupe showed a very traditional sensibility, no doubt flowing from the group’s venerable, accomplished, and sensitive founder, Alicia Alonso. In the current general aesthetic environment, in which presentations seem somehow out of touch with their own Art, I found this sensibility refreshing, and a vivifying renewal of the very kernel of the Ballet experience. It was what I found so enthralling back in the 1970s and 80’s when I first became enchanted by Ballet. It’s very hard, even for someone who parses feelings so minutely as I, for me to put my finger on just what it is; but most companies seem to me to have lost in the ensuing decades that animating artistic spark which was formerly present. Not so with the Cubans! Their spirit, their easygoing but dedicated "presence," the way in which each member of the troupe engages the audience such that the audience member feels that he or she is part of the performance--this is the dynamic which all companies should strive for. With the company's recent experience with defections, this, admittedly, may not at this time be seasoned, stratospheric dancing—though I must say that never have the Wilis seemed so frightening, so implacable—but seeing the Cuban troupe is like finding a Fabergé in a bin of plastic souvenirs: They clearly are very much in touch with the Magic of Dance. I will not detain you further with ramblings about specifics, other than to state that this was the most exciting Mazurka from Coppelia I have seen; and Arian Molina and Sadaise Arencibia were beautifully strong and outstanding in the Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux. Miss Alonso is guarding the sacred flame of Ballet well. Bravissima, maestra!

Link to comment
Miss Alonso is guarding the sacred flame of Ballet well. Bravissima, maestra!


The other day I was listening to the moaning of a friend related to the defections issue and to "what a shame was it that the Cuban Ballet can't present themselves with a proper troupe", given the high volume of defections. I reposted that, on the contrary, never was the Cuban Ballet more well known internationally as when our dancers started leading major troupes around the world. Hence the final situation is a winning one...CNB is everywhere, and its style and schooling is widely seen, recognized and respected via the body of those dancers now showing their art in major companies worldwide. Can we ask for more..?

Link to comment

Thank you for your review and your perspective on the recent performance of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Odinthor.

I love the company, its art, its traditions, its "four jewels" (three of them now unfortunately passed.) I watched this company (and ballet) for the first time in 1978 in Havana, and was forever enchanted with it. In 2001 I traveled to New York to see them. And now in 2011 I traveled to DC to see them again. I hope to see them in Cuba one day. The Cuban ballet dancers work hard, they strive to be the best, they defect, then they go back to Cuba, then they defect again. There are many views about the political aspects, but I try to stay away from them, and focus on the art and beauty of this legendary company. My review from Washington DC was honest, and I enjoyed all three performances, except as noted. Please keep posting. Best.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...