“People in Cuba have a special way of being friendly and hospitable.”

Victor Rodrigo
Victor Rodrigo

Helson Hernandez

HAVANA TIMES — Victor Rodrigo is a choreographer whose unique style has earned him a place among Barcelona’s performing artists. He came to Havana to stage the premiere of one of his shows.

HT: What other dace genre have you taken on in addition to jazz?

Víctor Rodrigo: I have always liked jazz and have been interested in contemporary, classical and claque dance traditions since discovering jazz dance.

HT: What did you find in jazz dance that made you become interested in the genre?

Victor Rodgrigo and the Cuban dancers on the night of the the premiere of "Tiempo a destiempo."
Victor Rodrigo and the Cuban dancers on the night of the the premiere of “Tiempo a destiempo.”

VR: The gestures, the rhythm and, most importantly, the magic and passion that permeates jazz dance movements.

HT: Your work in Cuba has been treated as something novel, an unexplored dance genre.

VR: Theater dance is the easiest way of reaching an audience for me. It is also a means of feeling the reason behind every movement, and that is what I am interested in conveying as an artist. It was easy in Cuba because the dancers are very well trained and are very eager to learn new things. My show was very well received. Novelty is what makes art progress, and that’s something that people in Cuba don’t find hard to understand.

HT: Is it hard for Cuban dancers to adjust to your methods?

A la izquierda, Laura Alonso, directora del Centro Prodanza de Cuba, y a la derecha, Hector Figueredo Abrahantes, coreografo y director de la misma institución. Detrás, trabajadores del centro prodanza.
A la izquierda, Laura Alonso, directora del Centro Prodanza de Cuba, y a la derecha, Hector Figueredo Abrahantes, coreografo y director de la misma institución. Detrás, trabajadores del centro prodanza.

VR: Yes, jazz dance styles aren’t easy to grasp. I didn’t have enough time, to be honest, but the discipline of Cuban dancers helped a lot and allowed us to stage the premiere of Tiempo a destiempo on time.

HT: Are there any noteworthy similarities between Havana and Barcelona?

VR: The two share a common passion, and that’s important for jazz.

HT: Where you able to settle directly into Cuban society?

VR: It was very easy for me, because I met people from the dance world with whom I shared experiences and became close friends. People in Cuba have a special way of being friendly and hospitable.

Victor at John Lennon park in Havana.
Victor at John Lennon park in Havana.

HT: What are you currently working on in Barcelona?

VR: I’m giving recycling and teaching courses to jazz teachers in Spain. I train professional dancers in Barcelona and head a pre-professional jazz dance company.

HT: What would you suggest for a future project in Cuba, based on your experiences here?

VR: More time to be able to train dancers in jazz dance styles – the technique has already been assimilated by them well. I would also very much like to stage another piece for Cuban dancers.


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