Danza Contemporanea De Cuba tours UK
- Kelly Apter
- 18 April 2012
Exceptional Cuban dance company with European influence
Watching Danza Contemporanea de Cuba on stage, you quickly start to form an opinion. Full of energy, dressed in colourful costumes, these talented dancers are here purely to entertain.
But keep watching, and new sides to the company start to emerge. In the course of an evening, the dancers convey not just a joy of living, but a deep understanding of life’s many challenges. No wonder, given that electricity and drinking water are not always to be taken for granted in their Havana studios.
‘We have many problems,’ agrees artistic director, Miguel Iglesias. ‘And yet some of the best dancers in the world are Cuban, so we’re doing something right.’ Fusing a variety of styles, including Afro-American, ballet, contact improvisation and Cuban, this exceptional company has become even more interesting since 2000, when a new partnership was set up to introduce some European influence.
‘In the past ten years, we’ve had Jan Linkens, Rafael Bonachela, Mats Ek and others,’ says Iglesias. ‘We use something from all the choreographers, because you look at a Van Gogh or a Picasso, and one is not better than the other – they’re both necessary in the world. For me, it’s the same in dance.’
The company’s Edinburgh show highlights the new mix, with Cuban dancer George Céspedes’ uplifting Mambo 3XXI, Carmen?! by Finnish choreographer Kenneth Kvarnström and a brand new work by Israeli Itzik Galili. As Inglesias says, however, it’s about the two worlds coming together: ‘Europe has so many things, but in the Amazon we have trees that purify the air – so we need each other.’
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 15 & Wed 16 May