The image is still moving, like the first day. We can see Alicia Alonso on the stage, greeting the audience surrounded by the participants in the International Festival of Ballet in Havana. This has always been the closing of this event, which for a long time, has been the most important event for the dance in Latin America. It has allowed the audience to appreciate the job of those groups and soloists of almost all the continents worldwide.
The Festival has been the best event to demonstrate the performance of the main companies: the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), essential host and protagonist of these meetings.
We could applaud moments of great art: Faune, by Pontus Lidberg Dance, the great performance of Other Dances, from James Robbins danced by Ashley Bouder and Joaquin de Luz (New York City Ballet backed by masterly pianist Marcos Madrigal, and the pas de deux Love for loss, from Ricardo Amarante, assumed with seductive fluency by Aki Salto and Wim Vanlessen from the Royal Ballet of Flanders.
There was also the performance of Swam Lake by Yolanda Correa and Joel Carreño, extraordinary despite the many technical problems Karl Marx Theater has; also the
Tango from Estable Ballet of the Argentinean Colon Theater, the intense Valsette from Vicente Nebrada, where Viengsay Valdes and Victor Estevez closed the festival back my pianist Madrigal too.
There were also other weak proposals, but the great classics are still attracting the audience eager to see the scenery but it has shown the need to review the assemblies like in the second act of The sleeping beauty which was not very attractive, and the end of Swam lake too.
It would be worth update some choreographic sequences, but the most important thing should be solved in the training halls, the dancing corps and some soloists seem to ignore the sense of many of the actions. Perhaps it was due to the pressure of having so many performances in a short period of time, but there was lack of orientation.
Besides all these things, it was a good festival. It was nice to see all the theaters crowded, what shows that ballet in Cuba is still a popular phenomenon.
Just one reflection: we respect the decision to homage William Shakespeare in his 450 anniversary; the contributions of the English dramatists to the universal dance. But it is difficult to understand the relative omission of Fernando Alonso’s figure. Several mastery classes at National Ballet School, no matter how good they were, are not enough to pay the honor he deserved. In the celebration of his centenarian, this festival should have been devoted to his memory.