The top dancing event of our country already approaches… The 23rd International Ballet Festival of Havana is already around the corner and there is tension in the air and efforts all around the venue of Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC).
The company directed by prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso presented in its last performance before the official opening of the celebration a varied program that included the different dancing styles they have in their repertoire: classicism, neo-romanticism and contemporary dancing.
A creation by Alonso opened the presentations. En las sombras de un vals is one of those ballets that charm because of the subtlety in combining the elegance of simplicity with the visual and aesthetic gentleness of the wardrobe, lights and plasticity of the dramaturgy in general. The feminine roles were assumed by first ballerina Sadaise Arencibia, ethereal and gracious in each turn and extension, and first soloists Grettel Morejón, juvenile and colorful in her movements and projection, and the dancing virtues of Dayesi Torriente.
Among the male dancers stood out Arian Molina, forceful and with great physical strength; Camilo Ramos, sensitive in his movements and imposing in his interpretations, and young Víctor Estévez, with virtuous technical and force and interpretation.
Particularly special were the interpretations of two neo-classic-contemporary creations that offered a different perspective of the work of BNC.
Didenoi, with choreography by Maruxa Salas with a sensible and beautiful score by Portuguese Dulce Pontes, showed the dancers’ technical and histrionic virtues. Young Arianni Martín seemed to be comfortable and subtle on the stage, showing off her lightness and “naïveté”, while the already experienced Verónica Corveas played the more savage, rough and uninhibited character.
On the other hand, Viengsay Valdés excelled in the solo “Non, je ne regrette rien”, signed by Ben van Cauwenbergh, with music by Charles Dumont interpreted by the legendary Edith Piaf. In this choreography Viengsay succeeded in employing her dramatic talents to give an interesting, graceful interpretation to the eye, beyond the technical aspect, appearing comfortable and playful all the time.
Regarding contemporary dance, the works of choreographer Eduardo Blanco could not fail to be included in the season. Acentos, widely known divertimento by the young choreographer, showed the potentialities of the masculine ballet corps and the acrobatic movements that may be performed.
Undoubtedly, the best and most brilliant of the gala evenings was the return to the García Lorca hall of a classic among the great ballets: Don Quixote, this time its third act, when the beautiful Kiteria and Basil finally get married. Kiteria was plyed by prima ballerinas Yanela Piñera, Anette Delgado and Viengsay Valdés, while Basilio was interpreted by José Losada, discreet and with fluctuating traces of virtuosity; Dani Hernández, with excellent physical presence and extraordinary force in the jumps and pirouettes, and Osiel Gounod, who showed his exquisite and refined technique, despite his youth and lack of experience.
Yanela’s Kiteria was young and naïve in the interpretation, but not technically, where she showed her physical qualities for ballet. Anette, in turn, succeeded in balancing both aspects, appearing comfortable in her gestures, in each turn and equilibrium.
But if we are speaking of brilliance, Viengsay Valdés was more than excellent… she danced a perfect flirtatious, sensual Kiteria, evidencing the total understanding she has of this character (one could easily forget that it was a dancer on the stage and not a beautiful young Spanish girl of times gone by).
Technically formidable in the turns, mastering points and extensions, with those infinite balances she has come to master throughout her career, and the fouettés, whose count was easily lost because of the swiftness and preciseness with which she made them…