In advance of upcoming UK tours by Cuba’s internationally acclaimed dance companies, The Guardian surveys dance culture on the island today. Comments from Cuban National Ballet director Alicia Alonso, Cuban Contemporary Dance director Miguel Iglesias, and dancers Carlos Acosta, Viengsay Valdés and Miguel Cabrera round out the picture.
Headed by Eva Despaigne, who had been a member of the prestigious National Folklore Group for 20 years, Obiní Batá is the only Afro-Cuban percussion group comprised solely of women.
Marking his first appearance in the United States in more than ten years, popular Cuban singer and composer Carlos Varela participated in a recent conference on Cuba in Washington, DC. Varela’s December 3rd lecture was originally scheduled for a space on the American University campus, but unexpectedly strong audience response prompted a move to a larger venue.