The class began at 10am and we quickly followed some dancers walking up stairs to find their studio and office. When we arrived it seemed that we were expected and we were given a warm Cuban welcome and given seats to observe the class. Soon after a group of African drummers arrived and seated themselves next to us as they were to accompany the class.
The class began with a warm up sequence which linked together forward bends and simple stretches to open and loosen the body and progressed on to more advanced stretches then footwork, balances, centre work and jumping. The whole class was structured by long sequences, which the company seemed familiar with but were guided by their teacher. The studio was very humid despite the numerous fans and open windows. Plaster seemed to be falling from the ceiling and at one point a dancer used a prop from the later rehearsal to push a loose big piece back into place.
The dancers positioned themselves with the most experienced dancers at the front of the class and indeed at the front of the class were three dancers I instantly recognised from their memorable performances in El Cristal at Teatro Mella last week.
Next, we stayed and watched a rehearsal for a new piece using music from Carmen featuring eight male dancers. There is an emphasis on creating new work with this company and they work with choreographers from around the world. After having watched a technical class this rehearsal was great to see as the piece had a strong comic element and showed off the playfulness of the performers.
In June the company go to Columbia to perform and in May they travel to London to perform with Carlos Acosta at the Royal Opera House. The show with Carlos will be rehearsed separately from the main dancers and then the different elements will be put together when in London. This will be something definitely not to me missed!!!!
Photos by Monster Cat Pics