Thursday, 18 March 2010

Danza Contemporanea de Cuba

"From the heat of Cuba comes the heart of dance.
World famous, but rarely seen outside of Cuba, this breath-taking company of 21 dancers bring the heat and passion of Cuba to the stage with an eclectic mix of contemporary dance fused with Afro Caribbean and Spanish styles."

The Cubans landed in Nottingham on Thursday 04 March. The following four days in the city were IMMENSE.

image courtesy of Manuel Harlan via Dance Consortium [Mambo 3XXI by George Céspedes]

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to shadow Heather [Co-Ordinator] and Nina [Interpreter] of Dance Consortium who bring international dance to venues across the UK, during their stop in Nottingham. As I arrived to greet them at their hotel, the hoard of 21 or so dancers, Director and Team from Cuba's infamous Danza Contemporanea de Cuba came floating through the door; I knew this was going to be a pretty cool experience.

During their manic tour around.. everywhere [?], I got to catch a glimpse of what it's like to be on tour, to organise the days within a venue while on tour, and the general workings of bringing an international company to the UK. Heather occasionally gives talks on the subject at LIPA, and I gradually caught on to many of her 'Touring 101 Tips'. [I basically noted these down on a two year old notepad. Complete geek.]

image courtesy of Manuel Harlan via Dance Consortium [Folia by Jan Linkens]

They performed three pieces:
Demo-n/Crazy, choreographed by Rafael Bonachela - I'd seen Bonachela Dance Company a few days before at the Playhouse, so it was a wee bit interesting to see the piece he'd done with the Cubans
Folia, choreographed by Jans Linken
Mambo 3XXI, choreographed by George Cespedes - Their in-house choreographer, George led class each day with them, which I was lucky enough to join in with [I need to exercise waaay more]

The company were absolutely brilliant to be around; despite the sliiiiight language barrier, I was able to understand enough not to look like a complete mong. [Nanny Pereles would be proud.] [N.B. If any Cuban's are reading this/Nina, I have duly enrolled onto a Spanish course which starts April 01. YES.] They have a different way of communicating and behaving with each other, which was really beautiful; it reminded me of being with family or something, pretty sweet.

Highlights from the experience include: the curtain raising on the first night and realising what it was about / Nina pulling me onto stage for the Post-Show Talk / random golden tips from Heather when I would least expect them / having a philosophical conversation about age and personality and the body and the mind in two languages while listening to a beaut of a playlist / cutting the hair of a company member communicating only through screams / finding Nicola, the Dresser at Playhouse, soaked after the steamer had exploded / running around, and actually knowing where I was going and who I was looking for / being sat in the Auditorium, the curtain raising on the second night and knowing I knew the people who walked on stage / the Capoeira party at Nottingham Contemporary after the second night [They can definately dance.]

The remaining dates are both in London at Sadler's Wells:
+ Friday 19 March / 7.30pm
+ Saturday 20 March / 7.30pm

LINK=HERE for more information.
And on that note, I'm probably going to Cuba for my next holiday.

But this isn't the end... In May, the Brazilian Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker will be hitting the Nottingham Playhouse stage through Dance Consortium, and I will be shadowing once again. Should be awesome. More info later...