Founded in December 2012 by two alumni of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, the ten-member MalPaso Dance Company recently stepped out for its first appearances outside Cuba. Dance scholar Elizabeth Schwall offers background on MalPaso, some of the factors in their success, and the history of contemporary dance on the island.
For three years, filmmaker Mary Jane Doherty followed a secondary-school class at Havana’s famed National School of Ballet. In an e-mail interview with Nadine Covert, she talks about the filmmaking process, her immersion in the world of Cuban ballet students, and the unexpected twists that her story took.
Cuban music took the world by storm in the 1920s and 30s, and found a special welcome in Paris. Last month the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) offered a rousing program that interwove the concert hall, the nightclub, and the theater, with music by José White, Eliseo Grenet, Ernesto Lecuona, Luis Casas Romero, Alejandro García Caturla, Sindo Garay, and Miguel Matamoros. The show also featured songs by Moisés Simóns, including excerpts from his rarely performed 1934 operetta Toi C’est Moi. NYFOS director Steven Blier reviews the history of this music in his informative program notes.
For many years, Rochy Ameneiro has been one of Cuba’s most acclaimed singers. Now, she’s putting her popularity to work for social change, especially in combating domestic abuse and other violence. Here’s the latest on her work with the Todas Contracorriente (Against the Tide) campaign.
Havana’s music video industry continues to produce some of the most interesting video clips anywhere, and they hit the spotlight with the annual Lucas Awards, presented late last month in Havana. As a holiday celebration, here’s a quick look at some of the top winners for 2013—with videos, of course.