The Music Center is rolling out “Cuba: Antes, Ahora/Then, Now,” a three-day exploration of the traditional and contemporary arts of Cuba with more than 48 Cuban and Cuban-American musicians, dancers, and visual artists.
Performances take place at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Grand Park, and Annenberg Space for Photography from Thursday, Nov. 30 to Saturday, Dec. 2 as part of the Getty-led initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. More than just entertaining, they show how the arts have evolved.
“There has been this perception that since the U.S. pulled out of Cuba in the ’50s, Cuba stopped in time, but we just weren’t there to see it,” says Michael Solomon, vice president of presentations and education at The Music Center who visited Havana twice in the last year. “When I see the visual arts scene down there, yes, they’ve got the classical dancing that you would expect, but they also have so many great contemporary dancemakers.”
Here are the highlights:
Cuba: Antes, Ahora/Then, Now – Artist Conversations: This panel discussion includes live demonstrations by Master tres guitarist Pancho Amat, percussionist Yissy Garcia, and rapper Telmary Diaz all of whom are world-renowned. Betto Arcos, a regular contributor to PRI’s The World, hosts the event in conjunction with the exhibition “Cuba Is” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30. Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, L.A. Free, with reservations. 213-972-0711. www.musiccenter.org.
Afro-Cuban Dance and Percussion Workshop and Rumba Dance Party and Jam Session: Grand Park sets the stage for these community events, the latter of which features the L.A.-based Afro-Cuban band Made In Cuba, along with Amat, Garcia, and Diaz. The workshop is 12 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 and Rumba performances take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Free.
Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours: For its 10th edition of this favorite late-night experience, The Music Center transforms the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with the sights and sounds of Cuba. Think live performances, photographic, sound and light installations, film screenings, and a marketplace for Cuban artwork and merchandise. 11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 to 3 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Free, with a $6 per ticket handling fee, beginning 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27. www.musiccenter.org.
Malpaso Dance Company: Under the leadership of Osnel Delgado, this Havana-based company blends ballet techniques with modern dance and street moves. Among the three works it performs is the world premiere of “Face the Torrent” by the Emmy-nominated “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Sonya Trayeh and commissioned by The Music Center. Other works include “Indomitable Waltz” by the L.A.-based choreographer Aszure Barton and “24 Hours and a Dog.” In that last work by Delgado, the company depicts a day in the life of a dancer in Havana to a live score by Afro-Cuban jazz composer and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. $28-$87. 213-972-0711. www.musiccenter.org.