On Stage at the Gran Teatro and the Party Congress

Cuba Central 4/22/2016 | Last weekend, on the eve of a visit by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, we sat in a performance hall named for Cuba’s eternal Alicia Alonso, with hundreds of Cubans, their hands filled with programs and smartphones, and waited for the curtain to rise for a premier performance by the dance company led by Carlos Acosta.

Here, in a cathedral that honors the Cuban ballerina and choreographer – who danced with George Balanchine in New York, who fled the Batista dictatorship to dance Giselle in Russia; who returned home with support from her revolutionary government to transform her ballet company into the National Ballet of Cuba – we applauded Acosta’s return from abroad.

Born in Havana, Acosta danced at the National Ballet School of Cuba under Alicia Alonso and, after leaving Cuba, landed roles as a guest principal artist with leading ballet companies around the world. On the heels of his classical training, he brought to the Gran Teatro’s stage in Havana a program that was exciting, breathtaking, and new.

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