Havana Ballet Festival in Full Swing

HAVANA TIMES, October 27.— The 21st Havana International Ballet Festival opens Tuesday October 28 and runs through November 6. The event, considered one of the world’s most prestigious dance festivals, takes place every other year and brings together many of the top Cuban and foreign ballet dancers.

Cuban National Ballet

The 2008 event coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Cuban National Ballet, directed by Alicia Alonso, its main founder and first figure.

The non-competitive festival is designed to promote exchange between artists, critics, choreographers, business people and other professionals of the ballet world.

The presentations this year include classics in the repertory of the world’s most famous companies to more modern choreographies. Some of the classics are Carmen, Don Quijote, Grand pas de deux Classique, Las Silfides, Coppelia, Theme and Variations, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker (the last three with music by the famous Russian composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky).

Viengsay Valdes and Carlos Acosta
Viengsay Valdes and Carlos Acosta

The numerous side activities are another attraction of the ballet festival. These include book presentations, conferences, movie showings and photography and painting expositions. Among the latter is a photo show titled “Simplemente Alicia,” currently open at the El Louvre Gallery of the Hotel Inglaterra.

The festival has performances in several Cuban cities, but the most important venue is without a doubt the capital where three theaters will host the shows: the Grand Teatro de la Habana, located just down from the Capitolo building on Prado Ave. in Old Havana; the Teatro Mella in the Vedado District on Linea Ave. between A and B Streets; and the Teatro America, located on Galiano in Central Havana.

For the Complete Festival Program check out this link on the official website. http://www.festivalballethabana.com/index.php?module=general_program