Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to watch Danza Contemporánea de Cuba presented by Dance Consortium at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. This opportunity was made possible because I am on the Bloggers Scheme at the Theatre, if you don’t know what this scheme is about, read my short announcement for it here.
We were in for a treat as before the show, we had a Q&A with three of the performers, Laura Rios Curbelo, Claudia Rodriguez Pozo and Norge Cedeño Raffo. It was lovely to meet them, as we got to ask them some interesting questions to know more about them and what they do with Dance Consortium. Danza Contemporánea de Cuba was founded in 1959, they have become the nation’s flagship contemporary dance troupe.
They have performed more than 300 premieres, with major international tours across the world including Canada, Italy, Australia and United Kingdom. Choreographers have been invited to Cuba through Dance Consortium to work with Danza Contemporánea de Cuba including Theo Clinkard and Annabelle López Ochoa, whose works are included in the 2017 UK Tour.
We were in control of the Q&A as we came prepared with questions for the performers, all of them agreed that Danza Contemporánea de Cuba was one big happy family, which sometimes included group hugs to end their training. This was incredible to hear as with 24 performers you need to get along with one another. One of the main things that I love about Danza Contemporánea de Cuba is that they are all Cuban.
There’s no language or culture barrier between them all, making them the only one nationality dance troupe. With this in mind Laura spoke about how they always have a lot of energy which she suggested could be related to their weather, which is miles better than ours shall I add! Even though they are given a dance to perform created by their choreographer, they add elements to make themselves shine.
It’s the performer’s interpretation of the piece. I wasn’t able to come up with creative questions like the other bloggers, but it was still interesting to hear the performers answers. I did ask one question though, which was what do you like about being apart of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba? everyone loved this question and I received some really good answers!
Laura loves that you are given an idea from the choreographer but then you can manipulate that to showcase your creativity and personality. With Claudia expressing that she’s normally quiet and shy but becomes loud when she’s on stage. The performers are also a translator of so many different topics, through dance they are able to create a story for the audience.
Once the Q&A was over, we had the excitement of watching the performance, it was interesting how it was laid out as they were performing three different pieces with two intervals. The three performances, Reversible, The Listening Room and Matria Etnocentra were all very different from one another, I suppose this is down to the fact that they’re choreographed by three different choreographers.
Reversible by Annabelle delves deep into the path of gender matters, sudden changes in relationships, the rivalry and pleasure of being opponents and dissidents. The Listening Room by Theo is a celebration of expressive and instinctive dancing, as the performers in headphones respond to an alternate soundtrack, inviting the audience to create their own relationship between what they hear and what they see.
The final performance Matria Etnocentra by George Céspedes sees the dancers moving to a drill-like rhythm. This was my favourite out of the three, as it was upbeat dancing and I liked the story behind it. Words cannot describe exactly my thoughts and feelings to these performances, it’s amazing how talented all the dancers were. They were all in time with one another, there was not one person out of sync.
The performance at the Theatre Royal Plymouth is apart of their 18 day tour of the United Kingdom, a location they haven’t performed in since 2012. I had an amazing time, I loved every second of the performance and I’m really grateful of Theatre Royal Plymouth for making this opportunity possible. I cannot wait until the next performance with the other Bloggers.
*Theatre Royal Plymouth invited me to the performance Danza Contemporánea de Cuba through the Theatre’s Bloggers Scheme. All thoughts are honest and my own, for more information please see my About Page.