Cuban dancers learn traditional style of Spanish Flamenco

CGTN’s Michael Voss reports, Nov 23

From salsa to ballet and modern dance: Cuba has a diverse history and love of rhythm. But it’s the Flamenco that’s taking on a popular role in Cuban dance.

That’s why some of the world’s best instructors traveled to Havana to teach Cubans in the traditional, Spanish style.

Flamenco is one of the most traditional of Spanish dances, but everyone in the Ecos Dance Company is Cuban. This week dozens of Cuban flamenco dancers gathered at a Havana studio for a chance to go back to basics.

Alfonso Losa is a dancer and instructor from one of the most famous flamenco schools in Spain, Amor de Dios, in Madrid. This is the first time the school has sent two of its teachers to Cuba for a series of free workshops, concentrating on classic Spanish flamenco.

“They have used these rhythms, and there’s a lot of stylized dance. So we came here to show real flamenco and give shape to their understanding, so that flamenco can further develop here. That’s our objective,” Losa explained.

There are several flamenco dance companies in Cuba, but many of them add a bit of Latin spice and rhythm to their performances. The Spanish teachers make sure they don’t forget their traditional roots.

Most of the class performs in Cuban flamenco groups, including the founder and lead dancer of Ecos, Ana Rosa Menses.

“For us, it’s fundamental to receiving information, and these sorts of classes from Spanish experts and from the Amor de Dios School are an immense gift,” Menses said.

It’s an intensive four days of classes, but it’s not just for experienced dancers. Students of all ages join the workshops. The aim is to ensure that the flamenco tradition lives on in Cuba.

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