After two weeks of sold-out theater, this weekend ends the rerun of Friends by the Lizt Alfonso Ballet at Havana’s Karl Marx. Lizt Alfonso , director and choreographer of the popular Cuban company is near perfection once again with a show taken from the total professionalism, no concessions whatsoever, a tour de force of commitment and pure art.
Do you think equation preparation plus work equals perfectionism? What do you feel when you are branded as a perfectionist?
I think that trying to be a perfectionist is merely seeking to be authentic. The daily work is what leads you to be a little closer to achieving that perfection that will never be achieved. You’re always looking for that dream, that the closer you are the farther the goal is. The daily work gives the power to make all the material you have in your hands , in this case dance , music , set design , costumes , even the staff working to support us in this pursuit of perfection . I think the term perfectionist is very good that at a particular time can work against you, but through the years there are stages you overcome; it is a relentless pursuit of perfection and I am flattered to be so.
Is Friends the result of this quest for perfection?
Friends like all shows of the company since its founding in 1991, is no exception to the rule, is one in which we are seeking perfection. In a premiere we make a series of experiments that give at the end a result. They are cuts like in a lab and you say, up to this point I have achieved this and that is what will give the public, a point closer at the time to the desired perfection. Then you keep working on it but in view of new results, higher technical proposals, artistic, new directions, goals and targets to meet. We’ve always done well with Force and Compass, Lives, Elements, Wings and now with Friends.
Do these experiments justify the new characters in Friends?
The character of the speaker or presenter was already in off and we wanted to go live at the start but could not be done. This time is much better because the actor is interacting with each of the singers as he tell the stories of their lives. Everything happens in the television and music stars that have this anchorman as exists in all countries of the world as a kind of reality show. The public expects anxious to unveil what really happened with the Friends trio. We are pleased to have integrated Osvaldo Doimeadiós in the character of this TV show coordinator and who is also the co-direction of the show and the acting work with presenters and singers. Originally it was a mix of dance and music show and not a musical I was told in all the solid foundation in the work of choreography and dance company interpretation and now matches the drama but the story remains the same what we have achieved with this release is to make us more accessible to wider audience.
How do you take on the everyday activities of this company?
To achieve doing a show like this and make this company work every day of your life you need a team that works in favor of art. Here we are synchronized to the point that they say we run like clockwork. We’re talking about that rooms must be clean for the rehearsal or details as basic as the dancers drinking plenty of water, but unfortunately in our country these things are lost and people tend to not work as a team to achieve a goal. We all know that everyone has to do at the right time, from the morning cleaning the halls until nine from night to say goodbye to the last child that comes into the vocational workshops. There are lots of people familiar with the fulfillment of these activities despite the difficulties around us. It is essential to create a chain of actions and harmony to get the public theater and the people who come to the seat of ballet does not want to go, and even bring their children to the Children’s ballet. For these reasons there is a demand and a whip behind because human beings tend to relax. If you start to accommodate you better give up. It is better to keep up the idea to achieve higher goals and want to achieve that perfection of which we spoke at first.
After touring the Kingdom of Bahrain with Friends reviews read said: “It is a show from the heart of Cuba, hot, passionate and emotional,” how would you describe it in the latest presentations?
friends for me is the need to bring out the history of Cuban music and dance in the most exquisite , elegant way and with the highest sense , which sometimes becomes a cliché for the eyes abroad. In the tour of the Kingdom of Bahrain people snatched the show to the point that was packed within and outside the theater had the same number of people in the hope of reaching space in the only two functions that we did. It is to take out where you come in that you describe to Cuba as coffee, cigars, sugar cane and rum, to which place I respond that we are much more than that. We are a cultural wealth that has given much to the world and the world thanks us. It should be clear that we are more than what is “sold” as Cuba.
Tell me the first thing that goes through your head when you hear:
Education: The basis of life.
Perfectionism: The dream that is not reached.
Dance: Life in itself
Fusion: The interesting part that gives life to create.
Leo Brower: Ay! The teacher who has given us so many great moments.
Praise of Dance: The opportunity to put another Cuban name among the greats.
Parents: Delivery so that you can become something in life.
Havana: My house!
Tito: a very special love
The company: My life!