Cuban Choreographer Lizt Alfonso: I Have Dedicated Myself To Dance ‘With Soul, Heart and Life’

Lizt Alfonso directs a rehearsal in Havana / EFE

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 25 March 2024 — With a tour of Europe included, the director of the Cuban dance company Lizt Alfonso faces 2024 full of energy and projects, despite the difficult situation in which her country is immersed, or precisely because of it. In an interview with EFE, the dancer and choreographer explains how “exciting” she finds it to return to Barcelona and Madrid, talks about dance as her “life mission” and explains why she sees it necessary to continue making art in the midst of the crisis.

“(Now) is when it makes the most sense. Man does not live on bread alone. Bread is fundamental, but so is the spirit. The spirit must be fed and, if you do not feed it, it has no way of resisting the vicissitudes of life in general and this (the current crisis in Cuba) is one and it is very big,” she reasons.

She recalls that she founded the company in the middle of the Special Period (the crisis that followed the collapse of the Europe’s Soviet bloc), when “there was absolutely nothing” in Cuba, neither food nor electricity. Looking back over the past few decades, she says her country has become accustomed to “permanent resilience.” “I don’t think we’ve ever had really good times,” she notes.

Faced with difficulties, Alfonso is clear: “Total dedication 24 hours a day. With a lot of passion, with a lot of love. Because if not, you can’t achieve it. It is impossible. (Dance) is my life mission, I have dedicated myself to that with soul, heart and life.”

As a highlight for this year, this spring the Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba company is brining to Spain the work Cuba vibra, a selection “for all spectators” of the “milestones” of its 32 years of experience, embedded in a plot that covers the history of the island from the 50s to the present.

There will be between 25 and 27 people on stage at all times, counting the musicians playing live.

The piece combines “cha cha cha, mambo, conga, afro and contemporary dance,” as always with “the backbone of the dance,” in a “unique” fusion style resulting from “the influences of Cuba.”

“We are 30 people including musicians, dancers and, of course, the technical team,” says Alfonso, who points out that there will be between 25 and 27 people on stage at all times, counting the musicians who play live.

The tour kicks off on May 6 at the Teatro Apolo in Barcelona – where the company made its international debut – and, after three weeks of performances, it will move to the EDP Gran Vía in Madrid for another three weeks starting on May 28.

Then, from November to January 2025, the second part of the tour is scheduled to take place, which will take the company to other cities in Spain, and also to Germany, Italy and Portugal.

In parallel, the company has performances planned in Martinique, Panama, Peru and Colombia, as well as its usual two seasons at the Teatro Martí in Havana.


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