Our week in Cuba was a cultural tour with visits to the National Ballet of Cuba performance of the Nutcracker (in the Grand Teatro built in 1837) and visits to artists galleries. Our opportunity to watch this flamenco dance company rehearse was extra special. The room was very small and their passion for the dance huge.
These three guys provided the music and beat for the rehearsal. The wooden box is a traditional percussion instrument for Cuban flamenco. We had dinner and a fabulous flamenco performance Meson de la Flota too.
We visited Taller de Grafica Experimental a printmaking cooperative with 130 artists, started in 1962 (above)
We saw a rousing musical "Besame Mucho" at the old Riviera Hotel. (The hotel was built in the 1950 by a mafia boss.)
We watched dance classes and rehearsals at Centro Pro Danza a school for 850 students founded in 1988.
The rehearsal spaces are on the second floor.
|This is the first floor of the dance studio...|
Fabulous salsa dancing, with Buena Vista Social Club music at La Taberna. I was mesmerized by the dancing and hip swinging! Talk about sensual dancing...
Here's the group we traveled with. Fifteen delightful, congenial people!
|Our driver, Thomas and our guide Osmeen (in the red). They were so wonderful! |
Osmeen was a wealth of knowledge and a darn good dancer.
They were both Cuban, of course, and had never traveled outside Cuba.
Our trip was full of planned activities and meals and walking tours, as you'll see over the next few days. I felt we had total freedom, though, to skip the activities and go out on our own. To me, Cuba was very safe, and the people exceedingly welcoming.
Don't miss yesterday's photos of the buildings of Havana.
Tomorrow, a post on the interiors of some of the buildings and the infamous old American cars.