Question: We will be in Havana from 27th Jan 2010 until 31st Jan. Will there be any ballet performances by the National Company or indeed any notable dance performances encompassing all dance genres.
Answer: To find out what’s happening in Cuba – dance, music, art, theatre, etc. – there is no one website that provides all the information. Still, some sites do exist that can be consulted, although the list below is by no means definitive.
To find out the schedule of performances by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, check out their Spanish-only website atwww.balletcuba.cult.cu On their homepage click on Presentaciones and their full program of performances for both 2009 and 2010 appears, including date, time, theatre, city and, in many cases, dances to be performed.
The Ministry of Culture has a general Spanish-only site at www.min.cult.cu that provides information about the ministry itself, as well as history, legislation and statistics relating to Cuba’s different cultural institutions. There is also a page listing cultural programs and another for events. This latter page – Eventos – includes the following categories:
- Multidisciplinarios (Multidisciplinary)
- Artes Plásticas (Plastic Arts)
- Patrimonio (Patrimony)
- Artes Escénicas (Performing Arts, including dance and theatre)
- Libros (Books)
- Fiestas Tradicionales Cubanas (Traditional Cuban Festivals)
- Principales Fiestas Populares (Main Popular Festivals)
Each event listed under the above categories includes a brief description, as well as information about whether it is national or international, annual or biannual (with dates provided in some cases), plus email address, website, etc.
Another site which provides some information is the Spanish- and English-language Portal Cubarte at www.cubarte-english.cult.cu Identifying itself as “The Portal of Cuban Culture”, if you click under Services at the top of its homepage, and then under Events, you will get a page listing every month for the current year and some of the activities – dance, theatre, art exhibitions, etc. – taking place that month. When you select an activity, you will be provided with the date, location, brief description, contact information and sometimes a website for getting further information.
Some theatres in Cuba have their own website. For instance, to find a schedule of performances for Teatro Mella, another popular site in Havana for a wide range of dance performances including ballet, as well as galas, theatre, humour, variety and music, see their website at www.teatromella.cubaescena.cult.cu Although the site provides an English option, not all information provided is in English. But once you choose the language, up comes a page called Cartelera (listings) which shows a list of activities – dance, gala, theatre, ballet, humour, variety, music – on one side of the page, and on the other side you can choose your month for both 2010 and 2011 plus indicate which day(s) of the week you’re interested in. For more information, the email address is [email protected]
The Gran Teatro de La Habana, which stages performances by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the Ballet Español de La Habana, the Teatro Lirico Nacional de Cuba, Ballet Lizt Alfonso and Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, as well as opera, unfortunately does not have a website. Their phone number is (53-7) 861-3077 / 5873.
Although the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, which accommodates large-scale dance and theatre productions, has a Spanish-only website at www.teatronacional.cult.cu it does not appear to provide a list of activities. However, their email address is [email protected]
An informative site of activities in Havana is Opus Habana, put out by the Historian’s Office for Havana and covering activities in the capital’s historic centre of Habana Vieja. This Spanish-
only Cartelera Interactiva (Interactive Listings) can be found at the following site:
Updated regularly, the list of events usually covers a one-week period, including a brief description of each event plus place, time, and starting and ending dates if the event takes place over a longer period of time. Events include cinema and video, lectures, exhibitions, children’s activities, literary activities, musical performances, theatre and dance performances, etc.
If you are interested in receiving (gratis) the digital weekly Opus Habana publication, also Spanish only, send an email to [email protected] This publication provides much of the same information contained in the Cartelera Interactive as well as addresses and telephone numbers for the different activities.