Camagüey`s 2014 Theatre Festival



Camagüey`s 2014 Theatre Festival
Ruy López-Nussa band performs as part of 2014 Leo Brouwer Festival
photo by Alex Mene
Cover picture of Fito Páez with Leo
Brouwer looking on at the 2014 Leo
Brouwer Festival Photo by Alex Mene
Theatre in Cuba is often seen as the poor relation of Cuban arts and culture. There has been no equivalent
of Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van or Carlos Acosta taking the world by storm. Overly dramatic,
impenetrable to understand (without impeccable Spanish) and a mixed bag of facilities, leave many to bypass
or simply never find what is on offer. Understandable as this sentiment may be, there is a lot to miss—from
the flamboyant to the introspective, avant-garde to the classical, performing arts in Cuba offers not just
some brilliant acting and direction, but an insight into both contemporary and historical Cuba with a style
and an edge which is puro Cubano.
From October 4-14, Camagüey’s 2014 Theatre Festival showcases the best of Cuban theatre in the city’s
theater houses. To mark the occasion, this issue has features on Carlos Diaz, brilliant director of El Público,
as well as a review of his latest and most provocative work—Antigonón—and a review of Piñera’s Aire frío in
contemporary Cuba
For those thinking of making the trip to Camagüey, we have two features on this central province from
esteemed travel writers Jill Worrell and Lydia Bell. Our Havana section also features stories on Havana’s
Barrio Chino and in keeping with the theatrical theme, El Caballero de Paris.
October also sees the continuation of the Leo Brouwer Festival. Now at the mid-way point, this 6th Edition
has been nothing short of spectacular and for the renowned Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, who recently
celebrated his 75th birthday, it represents a fitting tribute to his ability to organize, inspire and manage one
of Cuba’s premier music festivals.
Do check out our expanded Havana Guide, which is growing to accommodate the new bars, restaurants and
casas particulares that continue to spring forth adding vitality and energy to Havana’s entertainment and
hospitality scene.
October 2014 Highlights (Havana, unless stated)
Sep 26-Oct 12, Leo Brouwer Festival
Oct 1-31, Brazil Month of Culture
Oct 4-14, Camagüey Theatre Festival
Oct 9-19, British Week: Tremendo swing
Oct 17-20, Fiesta de la Cubanía (Bayamo)
Oct 20, Cuban National Culture Day (birth of Cuba’s National Anthem)
Oct 24-30, Fiesta de la Cultura Iberoamericana (Holguín)
Oct 28-Nov 7, International Ballet Festival
Thanks to all of our contributors, sponsors, partners and readers. All enquiries should be directed to [email protected] All the best. Viva Cuba!
octuber 2014
Roberto Fonseca performs as part of 2014 Leo Brouwer Festival
photo by Alex Mene
Leo Brouwer
Leo Brouwer – Cuba’s classical maestro turns 75 years
young p5
Cuban Theatre
Camagüey Theatre Festival p10
Visual Arts p15 — Photography p17 — Dance p18 —Music
p20 — Theatre p26 — For Kids p28
British Week: Tremendo swing (Oct 9-19) p32
Brazilian month of culture (Oct 1-31) p34
Havana Style
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
Driving through Cuba’s provincial heart with
hitchhikers p37
The Gentleman from Paris (El Caballero de París) p39
Not to miss during Octuber 2014
Monday night
Monday night
Monday night football Birth of the National Monday night
Sep 30
Dinner at Mr Miglis’s
fusion oasis of good
food and style in
Centro Habana
Inauguration of
British Film Week
with ‘The Invisible
Woman (2013) by
Ralph Fiennes @
Cine 23 y 12, 8.30pm
Get a beer or six at
Havana’s best new
brewery: Cervecería
Antiguo Almacén
de la Madera y el
Oct 28-Nov 7,
International Ballet
Through Oct 12, Leo Dinner at El Litoral,
Brouwer Festival
one of Havana’s best
new restaurants—
This 6th Edition has watch life pass by the
been nothing short of Malecón.
spectacular. Still lots
left to see. Don’t miss
Dinner at Santy,
Jaimanitas’s off-the
beaten track worldclass sushi restaurant
Dinner at Walter’s
Carboncita. Enjoy
the best pizzas in
town—be warned:
the Diablo is hot!
Dinner at Habana
Mía 7.
Dinner at La Guarida
Havana’s most famous
(and arguably best)
restaurant located in
Centro Habana
October 9-19, British Watch peace break
out between Russian
and Ukrainian
God Save the Queen
diplomats at
by Retazos @ Teatro
Cuba’s premier
Las Carolinas, 8pm
Soviet restaurant,
Brazilian music
concert @ Casa de
las Américas as part
of Brazil culture
month, 7pm
Take a 1950’s
Chevrolet to La
California to keep
in touch with the
historic neighborhood
in this
Take in the drag
show at the one and
only Humbolt 52.
Documentary Leo
Brouwer Festival @
Cine Chaplin, 5pm
Tropical con Swing
@ Salón Rosado de
la Tropical, 9.30pm
featuring DJ Alain
Dark, Déjà Vu, et al
Oct 24-30, Fiesta
de la Cultura
Dinner at the
exceptional Starbien.
Ask for the tuna
Oct 1
Alas by Ballet Lizt
Alfonso @ T
Oct 4-14, Camagüey
Theatre Festival
Concert El arco y la
lira @ Teatro Marti,
Ruth Palmer @
Convento San
Francisco de Asís,
Caperucita Roja, el
musical @ Teatro
Mella, 8.30pm
(premiere). Sunday
Opening of
Revelaciones @ San
Francisco de Asís by
Nelson Domínguez
Sep 29
Roberto Carcassés
& his trio @ Café
Phantom of the Opera
@ Anfiteatro de la
Habana Vieja, 9pm
National Symphony
Orchestra @ Teatro
Nacional, 5pm
Concert de los
ancestros including
Chucho Valdés @
Teatro Karl Marx,
Alice in Wonderland
@ Teatro de las
Estaciones, 10.30am
( for kids)
La Máquina de la
Melancolía, with
Frank Delgado and
Luis Alberto García
@ El Sauce, 5pm
Muy Cubano...
Cubanísimooo @
Carpa Trompoloco,
Sat & Sun, 4pm
Oct 17-20, Fiesta
de la Cubanía
The new kid on the
block is a spectacular
new addition to
Havana’s food scene.
With a
Passion for
what’s on havana
photos by Alex Mene
Leo Brouwer – Cuba’s classical maestro
turns 75 years young
by Ricardo Alberto Pérez
Leo Brouwer has just turned 75. You would never
know from looking at him although perhaps
by reviewing his repertoire, his record, his
contribution to Cuba’s musical heritage you would
wonder how he had accomplished so much in
such as short span of years. His music has created
an entirely new way of thinking, a tuning fork for
interpreting human sensibilities which covers
a multitude of themes including renovation,
universality, roots, fecundity and mystery.
Aldo López Gavilán performs as part of
2014 Leo Brouwer Festival
Leo was born in Havana in 1939 and grew up
obsessed with music. As a teenager he was lucky
to cross paths with Isaac Nicola, an exceptional
guitar teacher who opened the doors to composers
such as Gaspar Sanz, Luis de Milán and, later on,
Fernando Sor and Francisco Tárrega.
Upon making his decision to concentrate on the
guitar, Brouwer had determined the essence of his
musicality and, to a great extent, the nature of his
entire body of work. He became an exceptional
performer, one of the most brilliant innovators
ever known in the field of classical guitar. As he
matured, on stage he transformed the guitar into
a small orchestra. This phenomenon has its roots
in the unprejudiced manner in which he handled
the most diverse concepts, working without any
sort of discrimination and shining a spotlight on
the folkloric vein in the marvelous compositions of
Bach and Villalobos.
Ernán Lopez Nussa performs as part of
2014 Leo Brouwer Festival
Both Cuba and other countries owe Brouwer an
eternal debt of gratitude for his founding and
running such an extraordinary event that is the
International Guitar Festival of Havana. It has been
decisive for the formation and development of the
highly respected Cuban School of Guitar not to
mention crucial for the fate of the instrument on
a world scale.
Brouwer’s musical thinking has been able to
accommodate a broad spectrum of sound,
including guitar classics and the most important
elements of Cuban and Latin American music, and
encompassing phenomena such as Hindu music,
The Beatles and jazz. His trajectory as composer
took off after the 1950s and has had important
moments with works such as Elogio de la danza
(1964), La tradición se rompe… pero cuesta trabajo
(1969), La espiral eterna (1970), De Bach a los Beatles
(1978), and Manuscrito antiguo encontrado en una
botella (1983).
His guitar concerts have built up a beautiful history
upon which he has extended the instrument’s
possibilities. Brouwer’s compositions handle
a fascinating mythology, with concerts being
identified by names of specific cities and persons
to which they have been dedicated. And so we have
the Liege, Helsinki, Toronto and Havana concerts,
all enriched by his intelligent dialogue with the
great guitar tradition.
From 1970 to 1980, Brouwer’s performances
amazed the world as he repeatedly toured
through England, Germany, France, Austria,
Holland, Canada, Argentina, Mexico and other
countries, establishing contacts with the world’s
most famous performers and composers. This
trajectory and those unique experiences later
became an inestimable reservoir for him when he
was forced to abandon the guitar at an early age
due to crippling arthritis; he has finally devoted
himself to composing and conducting orchestras.
Leo has always had an incredible talent for taking
on several creative projects at the same time.
While he was establishing himself as a solo artist,
he created the greatest musical project Cuba
(and possibly the American continent) has known:
the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC
(ICAIC’s Experimental Sound Croup) that would
provide sound tracks for Cuban films and bring
together Cuban musical talents, such as Silvio
Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés and Sergio Vitier. This
musical process outstripped his expectations
and grew into a genuine school, captained by the
Maestro himself.
He has also conducted the Symphonic Orchestra
of Cordoba in Spain and the National Symphonic
Orchestra of Cuba. Talented young people, some
barely out of their teens, often visit his offices
hoping to sit in on a short class or merely wanting
a bit of advice. He always welcomes them modestly
and kindly and never ignores them. Joaquín Clerch,
today one of the world’s guitar virtuosos and a great
composer, was one of those youngsters. Like many
others, he received help from Leo’s intuition and
talent. So widespread are Brouwer’s contributions
to Cuban music in general, that it would take a
specialist to accurately describe them.
Pancho Céspedez performs as part of
2014 Leo Brouwer Festival
Fito Paez performs as part of 2014 Leo
Brouwer Festival
Ernán Lopez Nussa performs as part of 2014
Leo Brouwer Festival
The Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival began on September 26 and will end on October 12, 2014 in
Havana; it is yet another reason to joyfully celebrate his 75th birthday.
Ernán Lopez Nussa, Pancho Céspedez
performs as part of 2014 Leo Brouwer Festival
Photos by Alex Mene
6th Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival
Through October 12, 2014
Karl Marx, Mella, Martí, Miramar theaters; Basílica Menor del Convento de San
Francisco de Asís, Charles Chaplin Cinema, Fábrica de Arte Cubano, Café Miramar,
Habana Café, Centro Cultural El Sauce, Casas de la Música de Miramar y Habana
Organized by the Leo Brouwer Office, the 6th Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival—probably4 the most
important music event of the year—began this past September 26 and will continue until October 12, 2014.
Unfortunately, the organizers have announced that this will be the last one and will be bidding farewell
to the growing audiences that have packed theaters and concert halls to enjoy “the perfect combination
of different kinds of intelligent music,” which has been the purpose of the festival throughout the years.
Wednesday, Oct 1
Teatro Karl Marx, 9pm
Concert Fito Páez Esencial
Leo Brouwer, Orquesta de Cámara de La Habana
(Cuba) e invitados
Thursday, Oct 2
Teatro Miramar, 9:30 am-12:30pm
Clase magistral de Leo Brouwer
Teatro Mella, 8:30pm
Concert Palabras
Haydée Milanés, Ernán López Nussa, Enrique Plá,
Gastón Joya, Nam Sam Fong, Edgar Martínez,
Roberto García, Molote, Carlos Frank, Schola
Cantorum Coralina and Cuarteto de Cuerdas Presto
(Cuba) e invitados
Friday, Oct 3
Teatro Miramar, 2:30pm-5:30pm
Clase magistral de Leo Brouwer
Kcho Estudio Romerillo. Laboratorio para el Arte,
Exposición Praga, ciudad de la música
Photos: Jiří Všetečka
Friday, Oct 3
Casa de la Música Miramar, 7pm-2am
Noche Blanca del Flamenco
Aceituna sin Hueso, Josué Tacoronte, Reynier
Mariño, Gabriel Elizondo, and others
Teatro Martí, 8:30pm
Concert Les Voix Humaines
Jordi Savall (Spain)
Saturday, Oct 4
Teatro Martí, 5pm
Concert Donna in Musica. Compositoras italianas
ss. xvi-xvii
Anna Aurigi y Giovanni Bellini (Italy), Vocal Luna
(Cuba) and guests
Teatro Mella, 8:30pm
Concert Vivaldi siglo xxi.
Sinfonity (España)
Sunday, Oct 5
Teatro Mella, 5pm
Concert Del medioevo al danzón
Horacio Franco, Victor Flores and Santiago Álvarez
Monday, Oct 6
Friday, Oct 10
Teatro Martí, 8:30pm
Concert De Praga a La Habana
ArteMiss Trio y Pavel Steidl (Czech Rep.), Niurka
González, Gretchen Labrada and Orquesta de
Cámara de La Habana (Cuba), Leo Brouwer
Tuesday, Oct 7
Teatro Martí, 8:30pm
Concert Jenny Q Chai & Friends
Jenny Q Chai (US), Niurka González and Orquesta
de Cámara de La Habana (Cuba) and guests
Wednesday, Oct 8
Teatro Martí, 8:30pm
Concert Tras las huellas de Mangoré
Berta Rojas (Paraguay), Arístides Porto (Cuba),
Ricardo Gallén (Spain), Josué Tacoronte (CubaMexico), Orquesta de Cámara de La Habana (Cuba)
and guests
Thursday, Oct 9
Centro Cultural El Sauce, 7pm-2am
Noche Blanca de la Trova
For more
Teatro Mella, 8:30 pm
Ballet Lizt Alfonso
Saturday, Oct 11
Basílica Menor del Convento de San Francisco de
Asís, 6pm
Concert El amor en el baile. Inéditos pianísticos
cubanos del s.xix
Liana Fernández, Lianne Vega, Milagros de los
Ángeles Soto, Lisa María Blanco and Gabriela Pineda
(Cuba), Josué Tacoronte (Cuba-Mexico),
Teatro Martí, 8:30pm
Concert El arco y la lira
Carlos Prieto (Mexico), Yo-Yo Ma (US), Ricardo
Gallén (España), Brasil Guitar Duo (Brazil)
Sunday, Oct 12
Basílica Menor del Convento de San Francisco de
Asís, 10am
Cello Plus (el cello más largo)
Professional cellists and students of the instrument
throughout the Island will play the longest cello
Teatro Martí, 8:30pm
Concert Las cartas de Julieta
Cuarteto Latinoamericano (Mexico),
González and Augusto Enríquez (Cuba)
Cine Charles Chaplin, 5pm
Presentación del documental Festival Leo Brouwer,
sus raíces de Joel Ramírez
El Ciervo Encantado, 11am
Musica electroacústica: 50 años del primer concierto
en Cuba
Quinteto de Viento Nueva Camerata, Ricardo
Martínez and Victor Piverno (Cuba)
Teatro Karl Marx, 5pm
Concert de los ancestros
Leo Brouwer, Orquesta de Cámara de La Habana,
Chucho Valdés, , Cuarteto Presto, Rodney Barreto,
Gastón Joya, Yaroldy Abreu, Dreiser Durruthy and
Reinaldo Melián (Cuba), Ricardo Gallén (Spain)
Casas de la Música de Miramar and Habana 10pm6am
Noche Blanca del Son (homenaje a Juan Formell)
Festival de Teatro de Camagüey
October 4-11, 2014
Casablanca Movie Theater,
Camagüey’s 2014 Theatre Festival
by Victoria Alcalá
Every two years, the lovely city of Camagüey,
which recently commemorated 500 years since
it was founded, gauges current Cuban theater.
Fourteen previous editions validate the National
Theater Festival held in the ancient colonial city
of Puerto Principe as the most outstanding stage
for Cuban theater arts and as the most important
national encounter of its kind.
A decision was taken in 2012 to eliminate the
competitive nature of the Festival, complete with
the awarding of prizes. This gave rise to different
opinions: some believe it could take interest away
from participation and also shortchange a sector
that lacks recognition. Others think that there is
less tension in the air when you remove the rivalry.
What is certain is that the generous presence of
groups from various provinces belies the dropping
off of interest since the mere fact of being selected
from amongst the proposals received by the
organizers constitutes a kind of prize in itself.
with present-day issues and others that venture
into an interesting symbiosis of genres and
Dozens of productions have been announced from
28 Cuban companies hailing from 12 provinces;
such a truly national stamp has been one of the
most important gains of the Camagüey festival.
Surpassed only by Havana, there has been a healthy
infrastructure put together in order to stage work
produced from September 2012 to June 2014.
Facilities have been expertly set up, some of them
by the actors of the companies themselves, as in
the case of Teatro del Viento. City squares will also
provide excellent stages thereby taking dramatic
representations back to earlier times.
photo by Alex Mene
This year as we remember the 200th anniversary
of the birth of the playwright and poet from
Camagüey Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, the
festival has taken on a meaningful theme: Theater:
memory, feelings and transfers. The plays, which
revolve around this slogan, have been organized
in different sections, so that audience may enjoy
productions that established guidelines in prior
editions and continue to be part of the repertoires
of emblematic groups, along with plays that deal
page 10
Festival Elsinor
photo by J.Calcagno
Far beyond the essential material conditions, the
well-versed, educated and soberly hospitable
audiences of Camagüey will surely be among
the true prizes for artistic prowess among the
selected participants. Groups from Pinar del Río,
Artemisa, La Habana, Isla de la Juventud, Matanzas,
Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey,
Las Tunas, Granma and Santiago de Cuba will
add a glow to the festival, which will also feature
the performance of the popular young singer
Luna Manzanares, as well as the opening of four
exhibitions dealing with the festival’s curatorial
The venue for the theoretical event will be the
recently refurbished Casablanca Movie Theater
on “the street of movie theaters” that came to
life during the inspiring celebrations marking the
500 years of the city. A special feature will be a
seminar given by the French theoretician JeanFrédéric Chevallier who will stage his plays as
tools for the construction and interpretation of
contemporary theater. As usual, there will be
colloquiums, meetings with critics, a roundtable
with international theatrical programmers,
dramaturgy pitching aimed at new Cuban
playwrights, book launchings by the Tablas Alarcos
press, the presentation of the Conjunto magazine
and the Report of the 14th Festival (2013), and an
International Marionette Union (Unima) forum.
Performances in theaters
Teatro de la Academia de las Artes Vicentina de la Torre
Gris / Teatro Tuyo
Oct 4-5,
Oct 9-11,
Contigo pan y cebolla / Teatro Pinos Nuevos
Sala Teatral Teatro
Oct 6-9,
Jardín de estrellas / Compañía Teatral La Andariega
5 pm
Teatro del Viento
Oct 4, 9pm
Las lágrimas no hacen ruido al caer / Proyecto Mujeres Fuente de Creación
Oct 5, 5pm
Oct 8, 9pm
Delantal todo sucio de huevos / Teatro D’Dos
Oct 9, 5pm/9pm
Oct 10, 9pm
Burundanga / Teatro de Las Estaciones
Oct 11, 5pm
Sala Teatro José Luis Tassende
Oct 4-5, 9
El millonario y la maleta / Teatro del Viento
Oct 6-7, 9
Mundo de muertos / Estudio Teatral Macubá
Oct 9-11,
9 pm
Fíchenla si pueden / Argos Teatro
Teatro Avellaneda
Oct 4 y 5, 9
Oct 9-11, 9
Cuba y la noche / Estudio Teatral de Santa Clara
Semen / Teatro El Portazo
Teatro Principal
Oct 4-5, 9
Oct 6, 9
Oct 7,
9 pm
Oct 8, 9
9 pm
Oct 11, 5 pm
Oct 9-10,
Delirio Habanero / Teatro de la Luna
Sab / Ballet Folklórico de Camagüey
Concierto de Luna Manzanares
Tu noche con Kike / Kike Quiñones
Rascacielos / Teatro El Público
Sala Espacio Interior
Oct 4-6, 9
Oct 8-10, 9
Aleja a tus hijos del alcohol / Teatro El Público
La panza del caimán / Teatro del Espacio Interior
Café Teatro 15 Festival de Teatro
Oct 6-7,10:30pm
Kafé verde pero dulce / Proyectos varios
Oct 8-10,10:30pm
Mujeres de la luna / Teatro de la Luna
Performances for kids
Teatro Guiñol de Camagüey
Oct 4-5,
Oct 6-7,
Oct 8-9,
Festival Elsinor
photo by Alex Mene
Oct 10,
El gato simple / Guiñol de
El gato con botas / Guiñol de
Aventuras en pueblo chiflado
/ Los Cuenteros
Alicia en busca del conejo
blanco / Teatro de Las
Sala Teatro José Luis Tassende
Oct 4-5, 9
El millonario y la maleta / Teatro del Viento
Oct 6-7, 9
Mundo de muertos / Estudio Teatral Macubá
Oct 9-11,
9 pm
Fíchenla si pueden / Argos Teatro
page 12
Teatro La Edad de Oro
Los pintores / Teatro Escambray
Oct 4-5,
Oct 6, 5pm
La muchachita del mar / Teatro de Títeres Retablos
Oct 7-8,
Oct 9,
Oct 10,
Se durmió en los laureles / Teatro Papalote
Oct 11,
Performances in plazas
Plaza del Gallo
Oct 4, 6
¡Ay, Margarita! / Teatro
Oct 6, 6
En busca de una antigua
ilusión / Teatro Tecma
Plaza del Carmen
Teatro Espontaneo
photo by Y. Monte
Oct 5, 6
¡Ay, Margarita! / Teatro
Oct 7, 6
En busca de una antigua
ilusión / Teatro Tecma
Plaza Joaquín de Agüero
Oct 6, 6
¡Ay, Margarita! / Teatro Andante
Oct 8, 6
En busca de una antigua ilusión / Teatro Tecma
Plaza de los Trabajadores
Oct 8, 6pm
Troya / D’Morón Teatro
Avenida de la Caridad
Oct 9, 6pm
Troya / D’Morón Teatro
Plaza Joaquín de Agüero
Oct 10, 6pm
Troya / D’Morón Teatro
Plaza del Carmen
Oct 11, 6pm
Troya / D’Morón Teatro
page 13
Theoretical program
Multicine Casablanca
Oct 4, 9:30pm
Gertruids Gómez de Avellaneda – Back in her kingdom
Oct 5, 9:30pm
Theater management
Oct 6, 9:30pm
Dramaturgy pitching
Oct 6, 12
Presentations by Tablas Alarcos
Oct 6, 2
Seminar: How did I stage my productions? / Jean-Frédéric Chevallier
Oct 7, 9:30pm
Colloquium on Criticism I
Oct 7, 12
Presentations by Tablas Alarcos
Oct 7, 2
Oct 8, 9:30
Oct 8, 12
Oct 8, 2
Seminar: How did I stage my productions? / Jean-Frédéric Chevallier
Oct 9, 9:30
Oct 9, 12
One island, one theater
Presentations by Tablas Alarcos
Seminar: How did I stage my productions? / Jean-Frédéric Chevallier
Presentations by Tablas Alarcos
Oct 10, 9:30pm
Colloquium on Criticism II
Oct 10, 12
Presentations by Tablas Alarcos
photo by Ana Lorena
page 14
Visual Arts
Las otras narraciones:
una década de animación
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo
Lam, Through Oct 18
As part of the 6th Salón of Cuban Contemporary
Art, this exhibition explores a decade of the
work of 50 Cuban artists involved in animation
films through TV spots, messages for the public,
cartoons, music videos, installations, videogames,
visual experimentation, interactive works and
Hacia el poeta
Lloyd’s Register
(Calle B #310, e/ 13 y 15, Vedado)
Throughout October
The Spanish artist Mariví Nebreda reinterprets
the work of great Spanish-speaking poets .
La utilidad de la historia
Factoría Habana, Throughout October
The curatorial project, which includes the
particpation of Abel Barroso, Celia y Yunior,
Arianna Contino, Rigoberto Díaz, Ricardo Elías,
Alex Hernández, José Manuel Mesías, Frank
Mujica, Fernando Reyna, Lázaro Saavedra and
José Ángel Toirac, takes as its starting point the
creative processes and historical research that
sometimes become artistic events. The project
includes works by a group of young artists who
prioritize research and the use of documents
linked to the final result, as well as artists from the
1980s and 90s, representing the generations that
have influenced the newer generations in their
way of understanding art.
page 15
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Edificio de Arte
Through Oct
Abstraction. Thirty-eight works
by nine African-American artists
make up this selection, which
was curated by Nanette Carter,
Melvin Edwards and Ben Jones.
The exhibition is dedicated to the
memory of the African-American
poet and artist Jayne Cortez.
Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Opens Oct 24 Japón:
reino de personajes.
Exhibition of anime and manga
characters as an essential part
modern popular culture.
Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño
Oct 17
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Edificio de Arte
Through Oct
Cundo Bermúdez: pasión y
lucidez. With this selection of 25
pieces from 1940 and 1964, the
National Museum of Fine Arts has
organized, for the first time, a solo
exhibition of one of the leading
artists of the so-called School
of Havana and of the second
Cuban artistic avant-garde, who,
according to Roberto Cobas
Amate, curator of the exhibition,
“deserves that both critics and the
public recognize the validity and
strength of his art.”
Biblioteca Pública Rubén Martínez Villena
Opens Oct 9
First solo exhibition by the
young Cuban designer Edel
“Mola” Rodriguez, consisting of a
selection of drawings, illustrations
and interventions in space.
Convento de San Francisco de Asís
Opens Oct 4
Olvídate de todo y pinta.
Watercolors and ink on cardboard
by César Towie, who uses
Havana’s architecture as an
object of meditation to induce
concentration, introspection and
reflection in pieces featuring
the traditional format in which
kakemonos were made in Japan, or
the hanging scrolls of China.
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Oct 12
Hay un presagio en el aire
made of plaster, stone, rope and
fiberglass by Tomás Oliva Agüero,
with a theme visited by the 20thcentury avant-garde—the toilet—
to represent fear, anguish, surprise
and shock.
Pintura en acción. Exhibition by
Eduardo Roca (Choco).
Galería Centro Cultural Fresa y Chocolate
Throughout Interludio. Exhibition of works by
students and teachers of the San
Alejandro National Academy of
Fine Arts, which touch on elements
related to music, dedicated to
Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s
75th birthday.
Galería El Reino de Este Mundo. Biblioteca Nacional
José Martí
Oct 8
Casa Oswaldo Guayasamín
Opens Oct 2
varios phases in the rich and
diverse artistic production of
Nelson Domínguez, especially
emphasizing the period from 2010
to 2014.
Mascaradas. Exhibition by the
Italian artist Alfredo Cannatello.
Casa de Asia
Opens Oct 15
La intención como otro nivel
de conciencia. Andy Rodríguez
takes a look at everyday life by
way of irony and parody, critically
interpreting contemporary reality
through characters and settings
that caricature reality.
Universos de Girona. Drawings,
oil paintings, watercolors, inks
and gouaches by one of the
most original Cuban artists of of
the 20th century: Julio Girona
(1914-2002), whose work, forever
young and restless, goes from
art informel through figuration
to abstract expressionism are
exhibited all month on occasion of
the centenary of his birth.
Galería Habana
Oct 24
Dulzaides, essential figure in
Cuban photography, video art,
installation and public art, explores
everyday commonplaces.
page 16
Nosotros los de abajo
Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y
Diseño, Throughout October
The Mexican photographer Pablo Méndez makes
use of events that made the headlines in the
Novedades newspaper to assemble a discourse on
Mexican social issues and their spiraling violence.
Casa Oswaldo Guayasamín
Oct 13
Silencio roto. In the 16 black and
white pictures by Annia Leyva
and Aníbal de la Torre, the human
figure is combined in the forefront
with objects associated with
everyday life.
Fototeca de Cuba
Throughout xl´2. Focused on the concern of
young artists in relation to the
meaning of communication in
everyday life, this exhibition,
which is part of the 6th Salon of
Cuban Art, deals with the impact
of alternative forms in information
flow in Cuba.
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Oct 25
Out of the Blue. Photographs
inspoired by Maestro David
Gilmour’s guitar solos.
Palacio de Lombillo
Oct 13
Breakfast in Havana. The different
poetics of Ridel Calero and
Armando Zambrana meet in their
realistic look of Havana, its people,
its environment and its symbols.
page 17
Ballet Lizt Alfonso, Teatro Mella, Fri 10, 17 &
24; Sat 11, 18 & 25, 8:30pm, Sun 12, 19 & 26,
Danza-Teatro Retazos and Grupo Gigantería
Sat, Oct 4, 4:30pm, Jardines del Teatro Martí
Alas, a hymn to the spirituality of humankind, pays
tribute to the distinguished Spanish flamenco
dancer Antonio Gades on the 10th anniversary of
his death.
Everyone is welcome to come with their own
masks to this concert/performance and be part of
the show!
page 18
XXIV Festival Internacional de Ballet de La Habana
October 28-November 7, Mella, Karl Marx and Nacional theaters
Presided over since 1960 by the legendary Alicia Alonso, the International Havana Ballet Festival brings
together outstanding international ballet stars, companies and celebrities of the ballet world, as well as
critics and entrepreneurs alongside the Cuban National Ballet. More than 200 world premieres to its
name and over a thousand guests attest to the significance of the Havana Ballet Festivals in the world
of dance. The festival, which is not competitive, focuses on the fraternal meeting of ballet artists from
all over the world.
2014 Preview
This year’s festival will be dedicated to the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba will perfom several ballets based on his plays, such as Shakespeare y
sus máscaras and Prólogo para una tragedia. The Ópera de Nice, which has been especially invited
to this year’s festival, will dance La pavana del moro, also based on Shakespeare’s work. The ballet
Tula, choreographed by Alicia Alonso, will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the 18th-century
cuban Cuban playwright and poet Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda. Other classical and well-known
ballets choreographed by Alonso will be presented: Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle and La magia
de la danza (The Magic of Dancing). The latter is an anthology of scenes from several classical ballets
together with The Gottschalk Symphony, choreographed by Alicia Alonso.
page 19
Contemporary Fusion
Club Habana Party
Photo Alex Mene
The contemporary fusion and electronic music
scene has expanded recently as new bars
and clubs have opened party promoters have
organized events in parks and public spaces.
Good live music venues include Bertolt Brecht
(Wed: Interactivo, Sunday: Déjá-vu) and El Sauce
(check out the Sunday afternoon Máquina de la
Melancolía) as well as the newly opened Fábrica
de Arte Cubano which has concerts most nights
Thursday through Sunday as well as impromptu
smaller performances inside.
In Havana’s burgeoning entertainment district
along First Avenue from the Karl Marx theatre to
the aquarium you are spoilt for choice with the
always popular Don Cangreco featuring good live
music (Kelvis Ochoas and David Torrens alternate
Fridays), Las Piedras (insanely busy from 3am) and
El Palio and Melem bar—both featuring different
singers and acts in smaller more intimate venues.
Café Cantante, Teatro Nacional
Fresa y Chocolate
Manana Club
11 pm
Arnaldo Rodríguez y su Talismán
Wednesdays Qva Libre
5 pm
Elaín Morales
5 pm
Charanga Latina
5 pm
Mucho Ruido
10 pm
5 pm
Havana Hard Rock
Every other
Soul Train, a show of soul music
Sat & Sun
Cover bands
10 pm
Submarino Amarillo
Café Concert El Sauce
Aceituna Sin Hueso
10 pm
5 pm
9 pm
Tercera y 8
La Máquina de la Melancolía, with
Frank Delgado and Luis Alberto
Los Kents
Baby Lores
11 pm
page 20
Maikel Blanco
Photo by Alex Mene
y su Salsa mayor
October 6, 8pm
Teatro Mella
Salsa / Timba
Casa de la Música Habana
5 pm Caribe Girls
Casa de la Música de Miramar
5 pm
11 pm
Habana C
Sur Caribe
5 pm El Noro y 1ra Clase
11 pm NG La Banda
5 pm Habana D’Primera
11 pm Pedrito Calvo y La Justicia
5 pm Pupy y los que Son Son
11 pm Charanga Latina
5 pm Juan Guillermo
11 pm Adalberto Alvarez y su Son
5 pm Azúcar Negra
11 pm Manolito y su Trabuco
5 pm Manolito Simonet
11 pm Habana D’Primera
5 pm El Niño y La Verdad
11 pm NG La Banda
Piano Bar Tun Tun
11 pm NG La Banda
5 pm Gens (pop-rock)
5 pm Manana Club
11 pm Gens (pop-rock)
11 pm Electronic music
Café Cantante, Teatro Nacional
Manana Club
5 pm Tumbao Habana
5 pm Bamboleo
11 pm Chispa y sus Cómplices
Jardines del 1830
Azúcar Negra
10 pm
11 pm
page 21
MUSIC jazz
Café Jazz Miramar
Shows: 11 pm - 2am
This new jazz club has quickly established itself as
one of the very best places to hear some of Cuba’s
best musicians jamming. Forget about smoke filled
lounges, this is clean, bright—take the fags outside.
While it is difficult to get the exact schedule and in
any case expect a high level of improvisation when
it is good it is very good. A full house is something
of a mixed house since on occasion you will feel
like holding up your own silence please sign!
Nonetheless it gets the thumbs up from us.
Jazz Café
Calle 88A No. 306 e/ 3ra y 3ra
A, Miramar. +53 (07) 209-2719
Shows: 10:30pm - 2am
Mellow, sophisticated and freezing due to extreme
air conditioning, the Jazz Café is not only an
excellent place to hear some of Cuba’s top jazz
musicians, but the open-plan design also provides
for a good bar atmosphere if you want to chat.
Less intimate than La Zorra y el Cuervo – located
opposite Melia Cohiba Hotel.
La Zorra y el Cuervo
Shows: 10:30pm - 2am
The ‘Fox & Crow’ offers an intimate environment
in this basement venue notably marked by a red
English telephone box at its entrance. Top jazz
players perform here on a nightly basis. Dark,
cramped, low ceilings and an absolute firetrap this
has much more atmosphere of the gritty kind than
the Jazz Café, which seems too pretty and sterile
by comparison.
Asociación Cubana de Derechos de Autor Musical
Café Miramar
Alexis Bosch (pianist) and Proyecto
Jazz Cubano.
Oct 16
6 pm
6 pm
Casa de la Poesía
Oct 17
10 pm
&composer) and his trio
Jazz Poetry, with the group
Polaroid and young poets from
Oct 9
2 pm
Peña La Esquina del Jazz hosted by
showman Bobby Carcassés.
page 22
MUSIC Bolero, folklore, son & trova
Asociación Yoruba de Cuba
Los Ibellis (Folkloric group)
4 pm
Waldo Mendoza
4 pm
10 pm
Waldo Mendoza
Centro Memorial Martin Luther King, Jr.
Oct 16
Marta Campos
4:30 pm
Café Concert El Sauce
Oct 7 & 28
Oct 9
6 pm
Café cantante, Teatro Nacional
Casa Simón Bolívar
El Jelengue de Areíto
Plus Trova with Charly Salgado
and guests.
Frank Delgado
11 pm
Tanda de Guaracheros
5 pm
Conjunto Chappotín
5 pm
Wednesdays Trovando, a meeting with good
Casa de África
Oct 3
Obba Ilú
2 pm
Oct 4
Obiní Batá
4 pm
6 pm
Conjunto de Arsenio Rodríguez
Rumberos de Cuba
5 pm
5 pm
Hotel Telégrafo
Casa del Alba
Oct 30
5 pm
4 pm
Oct 11
5 pm
Peña El Canto de Todos, with
Vicente Feliú
Ivette Cepeda.
9:30 pm
Hurón Azul, UNEAC
Casa de la Cultura Comunitaria Mirta Aguirre
Oct 26
5 pm
Get-together with trovador Ireno
Oct 11
Mundito González.
10 pm
Pabellón Cuba
Casa de la Cultura de Plaza
Oct 11
Peña with Marta Campos.
7 pm
Centro Cultural Habaneciendo
Fausto Durán and guests
3 pm
Casa Memorial Salvador Allende
Oct 24
5 pm
Peña La Juntamenta, with trovador
Ángel Quintero.
Casa de la Música Habana
Yoruba Andabo
5 pm
5 pm
Peña Tres Tazas with trovador
Silvio Alejandro
Piano Bar Tun Tun (Casa de la Música de Miramar)
Peña with trovador Ray Fernández
5 pm
Centro Iberoamericano de la Décima
Oct 28
5 pm
El Jardín de la Gorda with trovadors
from every generation.
Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Oct 11
5 pm
Abel Geronés, Wendy Besada and
Wendy Vizcaíno
page 23
classical MUSIC
Photo by Ivan Soca
Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís
Oct 1
Concert with the Camerata Romeu.
11 am
Oct 4
6 pm
Oct 18
Premiere of works by Cuban composer Juan Piñera interpreted by the Promúsica duo, violist
Anolan González and other renowned musicians.
Concert with the Camerata Romeu.
6 pm
Oct 25
Concert of works by Cuban composer Juan Piñera
6 pm
Casa del ALBA Cultural
Oct 5
En Confluencia, conducted by guitarists Eduardo and Galy Martín.
5 pm
Oct 12
Tarde de Concierto, conducted by soprano Lucy Provedo.
5 pm
Oct 19
De Nuestra América, conducted by pianist Alicia Perea.
5 pm
Oct 26
Concert by guitarist Rosa Matos.
5 pm
page 24
Centro Hispano Americano de Cultura
Oct 15
5 pm
Oct 18
Concert Trova de Cámara, with version from Cuban Trova interpreted by Annie Garcés
Santana, accompanied by a string ensemble from the Guillermo Tomás Conservatory.
Lyrical gala directed by Pedro Arias Domínguez.
5 pm
Biblioteca Nacional José Martí
Oct 11
Concert with Ensemble Solistas de La Habana conducted by Iván Valiente.
4 pm
Oct 18
Recital by saxophonist Javier Zalba and pianist María del Henar Navarro.
4 pm
Museo Nacional de Bella Artes. Edificio de Arte Universal
Oct 11
3 pm
The Vocal Leo choir will sing Cuban and Latin American pieces and have invited the percussion
group from the Guillermo Tomás Conservatory to their performance.
Oratorio San Felipe Neri
Oct 23
Concert by clarinetist Arístides Porto accompanied byu a chamber ensemble.
7 pm
Oct 25
Piano recital by Lianne Vega who will play pieces by Beethoven, Liszt and Liget.
4 pm
Oct 30
6 pm
Presentation of the Polish soprano Dominika Zamara and the Mexian pianist Alejandro
Sala Covarrubias, Teatro Nacional
National Symphony Orchestra
5 pm
Sala Gonzalo Roig. Palacio del Teatro Lírico Nacional
Oct 26
Cuerda Dominical with guitarist Luis Manuel Molina.
5 pm
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Edificio de Arte Cubano
Oct 4
3 pm
Directed by María Felicia Pérez Concert, the Exaudi Choir wuill sing religious songs from
the Romantic period (Mendelssohn, Elgar, Saint Saëns and Gounod); contemporary pieces
(Knut Nystedt [Norway], György Orbán [Hungary] and César Carrillo [Venezuela]; and Cuban,
Argentinean and Venezuelan popular music.
Oratorio San Felipe Neri
Oct 5
Piano recital by Yadasny Portillo.
6 pm
Oct 17
Concert with the Lyceum Mozartiano Chamber orchestra conducted by José Antonio Méndez.
6 pm
Oct 19
6 pm
The violinist Evelio Tieles qill play works by Mozart and Cuban composers Guillermo Tomás
and Julián Orbón, with guests Iresis García Chao (violin), Roberto Herrera Díaz (viola) and
Alejandro Rodríguez Tirado (cello).
page 25
Neurótica Anónima
Directed by Joel Angelino, Opens in late
October, Sala Adolfo Llauradó
Authored and starred by renowned Cuban actress
Mirtha Ibarra, the play is about an usher (Mirtha)
of a movie theater that will be soon be demolished.
She lives her life through the lives of the actresses
in the movies she has seen—lives that are very
different from the real life she leads in the company
of a gay janitor and the projectionist who is in love
with her but whom she despises, considering him
not only mediocre but a coward.
Cuentos del campamento
Té-Atro / Directed by Elio Fidel López, Tue,
Wed & Thurs, 6pm, Sala teatro de la Orden
Aimed at the teenage public, the play deals with
actual events that occurred during a “School
goes to the countryside” program, related to the
characters’ past, future and dreams.
Caperucita Roja, el
Joel Angleino Company / Directed by Joel
Angelino, Oct 25, 8:30pm; Oct 26, 5pm, Teatro
The Spain-based Cuban actor Joel Angelino
(Germán in Fresa y Chocolate) will premiere in
Cuba his own musical version of the immortal
story, which, in his own words, suggests “a
dialogue among generations, tolerance towards
differences and harmonious coexistence.”
page 26
Panorama desde el puente
ViTal Teatro / Directed by Alejandro Palomino
Fri, & Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 5pm, Teatro Raquel
This play by Arthur Miller, adapted to the Cuban
scene by Amado del Pino and Alejandro Palomino,
addresses the conflict in a family descended from
immigrants who decide to welcome into their
home two young compatriots who want to restart
their lives.
Antigonón, un
contingente épico
Teatro El Público / Directed by Carlos Díaz
Fri & Sat, 8:30pm; Sun, 5pm, Teatro Trianón
Antigonón, un contingente épico, Carlos Diaz
and his troupe, Teatro el Publico’s most recent
performance involves a trip back to the classics,
guided and partnered by Rogelio Orizondo who
wrote Antigonón, un contingente épico especially
for them. Carlos is the most well-known and
brilliant Cuban theatre director with a reputation
for directing plays with abundant nudity,
transvestites and subtle winks at the Cuban
national reality. Antigonón does not disappoint—
go see it for yourself!
The Phantom of the Opera
Sat & Sun, 9pm, Anfiteatro de La Habana Vieja
Alfonso Menéndez celebrates his 30th anniversary
in show business with The Phantom of the Opera,
the famous musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Menéndez is responsible for the script, Spanish
version and production of the musical. The main
roles will be interpreted by Maylú Hernández/
Marla Pileta as Christine; José Luis Pérez/Andrés
Sánchez as The Phantom; and Rigoberto López/
Rogelio Rivas as Raoul, who will be accompanied
by a cast of young singers, many of whom are
newcomers to the stage. Also participating in the
production are the Ballet de la Televisión Cubana
and the Ballet de Bertha Casañas.
page 27
For kids
Teatro La Proa, Oct 10 & 17, 3pm; Oct 11-12,
18-19, 11pm & 5pm, Teatro Nacional de Guiñol
Through puppets, games and traditional songs,
two puppeteer friends tell four classic stories:
Historia de burros and El perro y el burro by
René Fernández Santana; El Burro Caturro
Perimpimplujo by Jesús del Castillo, and Platero y
yo by Juan Ramón Jiménez.
Muy Cubano...
Circo Nacional de Cuba, Sat & Sun, 4pm &
7pm, Carpa Trompoloco
Brand new circus show with exciting acts
combined with the vernacular humor that the first
circuses in Cuba were based on. The kids will love
the clowns, the trained animals, the fire-eaters, as
well as other highly skilled acts, such as aerial silk,
tumbling and trampoline, juggling, acrobatics, and
much more.
La Colmenita
Photo by Alex Mene
page 28
Teatro de Títeres El Arca
Avenida del Puerto y calle Obrapía, Habana Vieja
Funciones: viernes, sábados y domingos, 3 pm
El Arca: Where new puppets are born
by Margaret Atkins
Ever since an old popular song fixed in the memory
of every Cuban the tragic death of Lola, a woman
of questionable moral who was killed by her lover
at 3pm, this hour in the afternoon would forever
be dubbed “the time when Lola was killed.”
Today, however, at least for the kids who live in Old
Havana, this time of day has a completely different
connotation—it’s puppet show time.
“After the kids have played out in the sun in the
nearby park, they come to El Arca and take refuge
here,” says director Liliana Pérez Recio as she
welcomes us to Teatro de Títeres El Arca—The Ark
Puppet Theater—where in a lovely room the actors
are rehearsing a puppet version of Shakespeare’s A
Midsummer Night’s Dream.
photos by Y. Monte
When we ask Liliana how El Arca came to be,
she tells us about her student days at the Higher
Institute of the Arts (ISA) when a group of students
gathered round researcher, playwright and theater
expert Freddy Artiles who devoted his career to
the validation of the at times misunderstood art of
puppetry; of the nearly ten years she spent with the
Guiñol National, Cuba’s national Puppet Theater
and of her relationship with Roberto Fernández,
a director with a lengthy and fruitful stage career
who was her teacher and friend. And of course,
she tells us about Eusebio Leal, Historian of the
City of Havana, heart and soul of the revitalization
With a capacity for 64 spectators, El Arca is situated
on the ground floor of Casa Pedroso, whose upper
floors are home to the Office of the City Historian
of Havana. Liliana takes us around the place, which
includes the theater, the typical central courtyard
of Cuban colonial homes, and the puppet museum.
El Arca is located right across the Bay of Havana
and the environment is the pretext for the name:
El Arca (The Ark) the refuge where puppets come
to life and where they travel from one show to
page 29
project of Old Havana, who never forgot a project
suggested to him by a group who wanted to set up
a street puppet theater. “Several years had passed
and you might think he wouldn’t remember, but
one day we met here on the corner and Leal said,
‘What are you doing? Are you free? Come with me.’
He took me by the hand and showed me this place,
recited some verses by Calderón de la Barca and
asked me, ‘It’s a theater, isn’t it?’ And that’s how
it all began,” Liliana tells us, clearly showing her
emotion from knowing that her dream came true.
From the very beginning, the project included a
puppet museum. “I asked Eusebio,” Liliana recalls,
“How can we have a museum if we don’t have a
collection?” And he replied, “Don’t worry, we’ll have
one somehow.” “But we have no money,” I said, “so
where will we get the puppets?” “We’ll have one
somehow,” he said again. Liliana’s eyes shine when
she speaks of the City Historian. She can’t hide her
respect and admiration for Leal. The adventure of
traveling throughout the island knocking on the
doors of puppet theaters everywhere in search of
pieces for the museum began in 2008. “First we
went to the provinces,” says the director of El Arca,
“and told everyone that we were going to create
a museum and that we wanted all the puppeteers
and puppet troupes in the island to be represented
in this museum.”
It was neither a quick nor an easy task. Some
groups that had been important in the history
of puppetry in Cuba no longer existed and many
pieces were in the hands of people who had
already retired, or of family members who usually
had no idea how to preserve them properly.
“So, step by step, we began to create a Cuban
collection,” and Liliana continues, “I believe that
right now our collection has an acceptable level
of representation, which reflects certain features
that allow us to speak of Cuban puppetry. We owe
our international collection to donations made by
friends from Belgium, Africa, Spain, India, Brazil,
Peru, Mexico. And while some puppets, for some
reason or another, may not be extremely valuable
as museum pieces, they have an educational value
for us.” The idea is to have an interactive museum
in which the children will be able to understand
and learn the different puppetry techniques and
to handle puppets. “Our aim is to make it fun,”
assures Liliana.
El Arca Theater opened with “Lilo’s Cat,” a shadow
play. This technique was not common in Cuba and
Liliana explains further: “Many people thought
that El Arca was a theater for shadow plays and I
always say, ‘No, El Arca is a laboratory, today it may
be shadow plays and tomorrow something else.’”
page 30
And in justification of these words, she tells us
about the premiere of The Musicians of Bremen
and Brazos Caídos adapted both for paper theater,
also called toy or model theater. This is the
result of a paper theater workshop for children
and adolescents who live in the Historic Center.
Like many other institutions in the area, El Arca
gives participation to the local community in the
cultural process that is part of the revitalization
and preservation program of Old Havana’s Historic
At the time of our interview, the company
was preparing Sueño de una noche de verano
based on William Shakespeare’s immortal A
Midsummer Night’s Dream. This show has become
a hard learning process especially for the less
experienced actors who have had to work with rod
puppets for the first time, in addition to the text
by Shakespeare, quite different from the everyday
language they are used to working with.
Like the biblical Ark, El Arca is a refuge and a place
of promise where new puppets are born to help
populate the rich world of Cuban puppetry.
page 31
Semana Británica en la Habana: Tremendo swing!
Del 9 al 19 de octubre estaremos celebrando diez días con muchísimo swing al mejor estilo británico. No
faltarán el cine, la música, el teatro, la historia y mucho más. ¡Algo muy especial !
Cine de primera
Ven con nosotros al Cine 23 y 12. “La mujer invisible” dirigida por Ralph Fiennes y “El Gigante egoísta”
del Dir. Clio Barnard son, entre otros filmes los platos fuertes de esta oferta cinematográfica.
“Tropical con swing”
¡Para los cardiacos a la música más movida, el viernes 17 los esperamos con nuestro gran concierto
“Tropical con Swing” en el Salón Rosado de la Tropical! ¡No te pierdas a Déjá vu, Robertico Carcasses e
Interactivo! Y para los más clásicos, la Camerata Romeu y la joven y talentosa violinista británica Ruth
Palmer ofrecerán un concierto el sábado 18 de octubre.
page 32
page 33
3rd Month of Brazilian Culture in Cuba
October 1-31, 2014
Different venues in Havana
Lovers of Brazilian culture will have a blast with
the wide and diverse program that has been
organized for the entire month of October in the
Cuban capital, thanks to the joint efforts of the
Brazilian Embassy in Cuba, the Cuban Ministry of
Culture, ICAIC, Casa de las Am¬é¬ricas and other
participating institutions.
The Brazilian Culture Month opens with a concert by sax player César López and Habana Ensemble,
which will be followed in subsequent days by a varied program that includes, among other, theater,
visual arts and photography exhibitions, lectures and cinema. The latter will occupy a privileged space
with the Brazil Film Club, which screens and discusses films from different epochs¸ genres and trends,
every Wednesday at 3:00 pm at Multicine Infanta, and especially with the series of feature films as a
tribute to the popular actor José Wilker, who passed away in April this year. The films will be shown at
Sala Charlot of the Chaplin Theater from October 1-15.
Casa de las Américas
Oct 23
7 pm
Opening of the 3rd Brazilian Month with a Brazilian music concert featuring sax player César
López and Habana Ensemble
Jazz Café
Oct 4
Brazilian Night: Performance by César López and Habana Ensemble
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Oct 18
Launching of the DVD “La Pena de Malandro,” an autobiographical documentary about the
musical trajectory of the Cuban singer-songwriter Yolo Bonilla and his love for Brazilian
Casa de las Américas
Oct 1 - 31
Exhibition of significant Brazilian artwork from the Casa de las Américas collection
7 pm
Casa de las Américas Library
Oct 22-31,
opens Oct
22, 4pm
A retrospective of Brazilian literature with an exhibition of books and documents from the
institution’s collection
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Oct 16-31,
opens Oct
16, 6pm
Photographic exhibition: Capoeira Cubana
page 34
Casa de África
Exhibition Arts & crafts: Skills and Traditions
Oct 18
10 am
Centro Fe y Cultura Loyola
Teatro Nacional Guiñol
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Oct 18-19
Oct 24, 3pm; 25-26,
11am & 5pm
Oct 31
10 am
9 pm
A Farsa do Boi ou o Desejo de Catirina, Teatro Viajero. Puppet show that mixes African-Brazilian culture with
legends from Amazonia.
Theoretical events
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Lecture: The Sao Paulo Biennial, Courses of Action and Challenges
Oct 16
7 pm
Casa de las Américas Library
Panel: Presence of Paulo Freire in Cuban educational institutions.
Oct 22
Danza-Teatro retazos
Fábrica de Arte Cubano
Plaza Vieja
Oct 15
Oct 16-18,
Oct 19
5 pm
Performances of Capoeira, an African-Brazilian tradition
The event will pay special tribute to actor José Wilker (1947-2014) from October 1-15. The opening will
be held on October 2, 8:30pm at Cine 23 y 12 with the film El hombre de la capa negra
Sala Charlot, Charles Chaplin theater
October 1
2 pm Los inconfidentes
5 pm Doña Flor y sus dos maridos
October 9
2 pm Giovanni Improtta
5 pm Los inconfidentes
October 2
2pm & 5pm Jango
October 10
October 3
2 pm El hombre de la capa negra
5 pm La batalla de canudos
2 pm Doña Flor y sus dos maridos
5 pm El hombre de la capa negra
October 11
2 pm La batalla de canudos
October 12
2 pm María, madre del Hijo de Dios
5 pm El hombre del año
October 14
2 pm El mayor amor del mundo
5 pm Embarque inmediato
2 pm Romance
5 pm Giovanni Improtta
October 4
2 pm El hombre del año
5 pm María, madre del Hijo de Dios
October 5
2 pm Redentor
5 pm El mayor amor del mundo
October 7
2 pm Canta María
5 pm romance
2 pm Embarque inmediato
5 pm El bien amado
October 8
October 15
page 35
Around Cuba
Fiesta de la Cultura
October 24-30, Casa de Iberoamérica, Holguín
The Ibero-American Culture Festival seeks to
recover and promote the Spanish roots and
background of Ibero-American nations through
a program of concerts, exhibitions, workshops
and popular festivities, with the participation of
important Cuban artists and guests from all over
Ibero-America. A different festivity is held each day,
including the Fiesta de la Semilla (the recreation
of Ibero-American cultural roots), Fiesta de los
Tambores (drum festivity), Fiesta de las Guitarras
(Guitar Fest), Fiesta de la Solidaridad (cultural
dialogue among the communities of Iberian
natives and descendants, the neighborhoods and
the visitors, which aims to promote joint projects)
and Fiesta de los Pueblos (a celebration of the
identity built from the American confluence of
different ethnic groups and cultures).
Fiesta de la Cubanía
October 17-20, City of Bayamo
Art and culture in a festival that contributes
to a reunion with the roots of the nation. The
theoretical section of the event will deal with
the topic The Melting Pot of Cuban Nationality.
Highlights of the event include a solo exhibition
by Ever Fonseca, National Visual Arts Prizewinner
2012; performances by Pancho Amat, Tony Ávila,
Enit y su Piquete, Bororó y su Re Mayor, Arturo
Jorge y su Cuarteto Tradición; Reynier Mariño
and his band, and a special show with the popular
comedian Kike Quiñones. Other activities include
fashion shows and the sale of books. The gala on
Cuban Culture Day will take place as usual at Plaza
del Himno Nacional de Bayamo on October 20. On
this occasion, a wax figure of the late musician
Juan Formell will be unveiled and His band, Los
Van Van will close the festivitoes with a special
page 36
photos by Alex Mene
Driving through Cuba’s provincial heart with hitchhikers
by Lydia Bell
An old man, with a warm smile decorated by a single tooth, is our hitcher of choice for the morning.
His wiry grandson helps him haul a bulky package into our rented car, which emits a loud grunt.
‘The pig,’ the old man announces in Spanish, ‘is for my eightieth birthday party on Thursday.’
In Cuba, a country where a vehicle is a precious
commodity, hitchhiking is popular. In the mindnumbing heat, those resigned to waiting for a ride
are found killing time in patches of shade. If I drive
past a hitcher, my Cuban husband tuts in reproach.
We are in the Central Provinces of Cuba, the
middle chunk of this long streak of island, and in
search of the country’s provincial face. We start
awkwardly, in commercialized Varadero, where
poolside bingo, stale buffets, and cabaret dancers
in cerise spandex are easy to leave behind. This
close to such self-indulgences, the revolutionary
posters that plaster the road out of Varadero read
strangely. Patriotism or death. Revolution forever.
Quickly though, the spanking bitumen peters
out into potholed pathway as we amble through
modest villages, and after two hours we are in
Cienfuegos, a port city on the south coast.
An adolescent hustler on a pushbike screeches to
a halt beside us. We arrange for him to pick us up
later so we can check out some paladares (private
restaurants in the homes of locals). This will set
the tone for most of our evenings in the Central
Provinces: being whisked around by ‘jineteros’
(aka, hustlers). They get a bad rep, but their
commissions are small and they are helpful. This
one secures me a £4 seafood grill in a cosy paladar
decorated with wall-mounted crustaceans. I can’t
reveal the location, since the trade is illegal in
Cuba—but you’ll find it if you want to.
To reach Trinidad, our next destination, we edge
through the foothills of the palm-smothered
Escambray Mountains, then dip down to the
coast, passing quiet villages backed by mountains
and roads crisscrossed by giant crabs. Without
20-something Abelito in the car (going to visit his
mother in Trinidad), we would certainly have got
lost. There is a dearth of road signs. Trinidad is
simply the most handsome town in Cuba, in one of
the most idyllic provinces, Sancti Spiritus. Founded
page 37
feels workaday, its concrete-boxes in shades of
peeling pastel, but the town has life, and history.
The university is dominant, especially its medical
school. Students throng the humming streets,
many sporting white coats and stethoscopes.
Next morning we leave for our final destination:
Camagüey, a four hour drive away through flat
plains, crisscrossing over railway lines choked
with weeds. Cuba’s third largest city—which still
feels like a village—is enchanting, especially the
Colón hotel, where we are staying. Built in 1927
and apparently unaltered since, it has a soberly
mysterious air and an elaborate mahogany bar.
We arrive on a Saturday, the night of the weekly
street party. There are trestle tables, pigs on spits,
copious children and the ubiquitous reggaeton
music that has ousted salsa for the Cuban under25s.
Camagüey’s streets are full of blind alleys and
forked streets—a deliberate ploy to foil the pirates
who plagued this part of Cuba in the 16th century.
Away from the main drag, the town is deserted, its
streets strings of genteel terraced houses slinking
away down the next curve, where you might find
in a quiet square a ruined church with a oncegrandiose façade.
in 1514, the giant village—for that’s all it really is—is
wedged between the towering Escambray range
and shimmering coast. It was once an important
colonial town, which grew fat on sugar between
1750 and 1850, when its lavishly beautiful valleys
were dotted with scores of sugar mills.
When the slaves were freed, fortunes dipped and
Trinidad stopped growing. Today, it’s an exquisitely
preserved museum piece of cobblestone streets
and sumptuous squares. Walk a few streets and
the village peters out into red earth, drooping
palms and mountains. Drive eight kilometres and
you reach a perfect stretch of beach, Peninsula
Ancón, where you step out of your cabana onto
white sand. We go in search of views: of red-tiled
roofs, sea and mountain from the bell tower of the
Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos, and
of the soaring countryside from the ruined church
We visit the Plaza de la Revolución, reverberatingly
empty but for a group of adolescents, kitted out
in the full all-American regalia and engaged in
a baseball game of some skill. Unbelievably, we
come across Pedro, our ancient hitcher, sans
pig. ‘Tomorrow!’ he reminds us delightedly. ‘My
eightieth!’ So the pig’s time is over then. And so is
ours. Tomorrow we hit the road again, this time
back to Havana, and then the modern world. We
have grown attached to the simple charms of the
provinces. On our way home we stop to join the
locals on the marble benches of a sleepy square.
We stay there till the sun fades then walk back
through silent streets.
Next stop, Santa Clara, capital of Villa Clara
province, and home to the eternal flame that
commemorates Che Guevara’s burial place. We
pass through villages, glimpsing the kind of rural
life lost in the rest of the Caribbean: oxen ploughing
fields; farmers sowing crops by hand. Santa Clara
Lydia Bell is a brilliant award-winning freelance travel and features journalist. See for more information.
page 38
The Gentleman from Paris
(El Caballero de París)
by Margaret Atkins
photo by Y. Monte
Among Havana’s many charming stories, the
legend of the Caballero de París (literally, the
Gentleman from Paris) is one of the loveliest.
In the early 20th century, this immigrant from
Galicia, an unsuccessful restaurant server in his
teens, was sent to El Príncipe Penitentiary, where
he became ill before being released. A renowned
lunatic and unforgettable character, the remains
of the Caballero de París lie today in a crypt in the
Basílica Menor del Convento de San Francisco de
Asís, the very same place that holds the remains
of viceroys, admirals, famous monks and other
important persons. The Caballero de París, who
proclaimed himself king and god, has become a
sort of miracle-working saint by the divine grace
and will of the people. And half serious and half
joking, people who pass by the convent touch
the beard, a finger or the cheeks of the statue (by
renowned artist José Villa Soberón) erected in his
memory with the hope of fulfilling a wish or having
some good fortune.
When he was born in Fonsagrada, Lugo, Galicia,
Spain, he was baptized José María López Lledín,
but he lost his name when he quit his job, let his
hair and beard grow and began to wander around
Havana, which he did for over fifty years. Dressed
in French-style suit and coat, with no place to live
but the streets of the city (which he baptized his
“Dulcinea”), his appearance reminds us of Don
page 39
The adventures of Andrés began at the age of 16
when he quit school. Pressed by his mother, he
began to work at a large spinning mill. He would have
stayed there, in anonymity, had he not overheard
of an announcement to join a group of theater
aficionados. And this is precisely what he became:
a stage aficionado who had a long training period.
But then came the day when he felt he needed
more and found what he was looking for in Cuban
stage actor and director Vicente Revuelta (founder
of the emblematic company Teatro Estudio, which
at one point in time was the best of Cuban theater).
Under Vicente, Andrés told me, a new world
opened up to him and he became a professional
actior. But things were very unstable with Vicente,
mainly due to his psychological disorder (and once
more a halo of illustrious craziness surrounds
this story) and Andrés found himself unemployed
again. Then he took a crucial decision: to continue
trying until he was 30—that would be his limit. If he
hadn’t made a name for himself by then, he would
give up the pursuit of art. When he failed to meet
the deadline he had set for himself, he headed for a
cigar factory to learn the craft of cigar rolling. And
it was precisely then when he was asked to play
a mute monk in a soap opera directed by a friend
from his days of aficionado. The character already
had the solemnity of the Caballero, whose spirit
would seem to haunt Andrés forever.
Quixote—a French-Creole Quixote who was fed
and looked after by the inhabitants of the city.
And although he sometimes became the target of
mockery and humiliation, there were always more
people looking after him than trying to hurt him.
But the Caballero de París was no beggar. He would
write love letters for free for those who requested
his services and give flowers to the ladies who
would stop and talk with him. He always had a
lucid phrase or verse that would amaze those
aware of his condition. And he would not take
what was offered to him without giving something
in return—a paper fan, a torn page from some old
book of poems, a pencil or a feather adorned with
colored ribbons.
But fate took its time. Andrés joined Argos
Teatro, one of Havana’s most renowned theater
companies, directed by Carlos Celdrán, and a
while later went back to working with Vicente. But
when the company Giganterías was created under
the auspices of the Office of the City Historian to
fill the streets of Old Havana with color and music,
he felt drawn by the company’s multifaceted work.
The living statue thing came a bit later. There
was no tradition in Cuba of this form of street art
whatsoever, despite being so common in large
cities. However, after a Colombian company
introduced it in Havana back in the 1990s—although
Ever since he was admitted to the Psychiatric
Hospital in 1977 because of his deteriorated health
condition and after his death in 1895, Havana
thought he had been lost forever. The statue is
beautiful, but it’s just standing there, cold bronze.
Now, however, you can get to meet him in the form
of a living statue thanks to the amazing work of
Andrés Enrique Pérez Viciedo, a Habanero whose
story is just as romantic as the Caballero de París’s.
page 40
employment and passion, has allowed him to
transform, with little effort, into the legendary
character of the Caballero de París.
not for the street, but for the stage—this art form
was introduced as part of Giganterías’ repertory.
Today, living statues are part of the attractions Old
Havana has to offer. There are statues of pirates,
angels, old photographers in sepia, a piper, a mother
and her baby. Their costumes and makeup imitate
bronze, silver, clay. Most performers—professional
actors who have undergone extensive training—
take their characters very seriously and remain
with their eyes closed, breathing imperceptibly
until the sound of a coin magically wakes them
up. Here in Havana, Andrés was the first actor to
take the streets as a living statue. The figure of this
48-year-old man who has found a new lifestyle,
The Caballero de París (first José and now Andrés)
makes a woman from overseas smile, and thanks
her for the coin she has left in his bag by giving her
a paper fan made of old newspapers. The woman,
who is magically transformed by the charm of the
moment into a fair lady of colonial times, keeps the
fan close to her heart. Could this humble present
possibly become one of her dearest souvenirs from
her visit to Cuba? It makes you laugh and cry, all
at once, seeing that touch of delirium in the eyes
of the Caballero (now Andrés, first José) when,
besieged by a group of adolescents, he comes out
of his immobility and replies with a string of words
of dark meaning in pure Castilian. Curious people
applaud. Children follow him.
He is easy to find. Everyone knows him. Don’t ask
for José—obviously—or Andrés for that matter.
When visiting Old Havana, ask any passerby for
the Caballero de París. Offer him a coin. Take his
gift. You will have met one of the most charming
characters in this city. You will have met a living
photo by Alex Mene
page 41

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