Published On: Thu, Apr 17th, 2014

World Famous Cuba National Ballet to perform in Mérida

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Viengsay Valdés and Víctor Estévez the top ballet dancers of the Cuba National Ballet will have a feature presentation in Mérida, Yucatan, on May 2 and 3 at Teatro Peón Contreras.

The Cuban National Ballet (Ballet Nacional de Cuba) is a classical ballet company based at the Great Theatre of Havana in Havana, Cuba. Founded by the Cuban prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso in 1948, it has become recognised as one of the world’s leading ballet companies. The official school of the company is the Cuban National Ballet School.

In 2003, The Cuban National Ballet toured the United States for the first time with new dancers in the troupe, and what was considered a very successful tour impressing audiences with an exuberant version of Don Quijote in New York and other cities. The lead roles were danced by Viengsay Valdés and Joél Carreño.

Viengsay Valdés

Viengsay Valdés

But the “Carmen Suite”, which will be the feature presentation this coming May here in Merida has a story worth of telling.  It is a one-act ballet created in 1967 by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso, on music written by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin.

The music, taken from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet and arranged for strings and percussion, was initially banned by the Soviet Government for decades,  as it was considered “disrespectful” to the opera.

But in time it has become Shchedrin’s best-known work and has remained popular in the Western World, as what reviewer James Sanderson of calls “an iconoclastic but highly entertaining retelling of Bizet’s opera.”

Ballet del Centro Estatal de Bellas Artes del Estado de Yucatán

Compañía de Danza de la Secretaría de la Cultura y las Artes del Estado de Yucatán

Under the supervision of choreographer Alberto Alonso and producer Sonia Calero, The Cuban National Ballet will be the main event of the second edition of the “Gran Gala Internacional de Ballet “Danza de América”, with the performance the suite “Carmen”.

Press conference (SEDECULTA and Ballet Nacional de Cuba)

Press conference (SEDECULTA and Ballet Nacional de Cuba)

It was said in the Press Conference that this event will highlight a great opportunity for Yucatecan dancers from the Ballet del Centro Estatal de Bellas Artes de Yucatán, to share the stage with one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, and show their great skills and potential during this presentation.

Ballet Dancer Extraordinaire Viengsay Valdés

Ballet Dancer Extraordinaire, Viengsay Valdés

The Cuban Delegation also mentioned the good relation between Cuba and Yucatan, and how local dancers have been improving significantly throughout the years in this discipline.


National Ballet of Cuba

The head of the Dance Department of the State Ministry of Culture and the Arts (SEDECULTA), Gracia Torres Polanco, underlined the need to position the Yucatán Ballet Company in the first place in the country, and that’s why there is such an intense academic exchange with World Class ballet institutions as the National Ballet of Cuba.

Tickets for the “Gran Gala Internacional de Ballet “Danza de América” on sale at the Teatro Peon Contreras Box Office.

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