Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba Company ‘Decimated’ in Spain When at Least Eight Dancers Escape

The Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba company during one of its presentations in Italy. (Nervi Music Ballet Festival/Facebook/Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 28 July 2022 — The drama of the Island on the run seems not to stop. At least eight members of the Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba company left their delegation and stayed in Spain after finishing the presentations on their tour of Europe, called ¡Cuba Vibra!  

The digital newspaper Cuba Noticias360 reported that these who fled include several of the “main figures” of the prestigious Havana company, and identified them as Helen Rodríguez, Aldair García, Camila Leonard, Jessica Maria, Yillian Cuesta, Chabelis Herández, Lorena Flores and Luis Miranda.

Before leaving the company, the dancers met with their teacher “to symbolize a farewell and told her their plans, to which Lizt Alfonso replied wishing them luck and a good path for their lives,” reported another outlet, Cuballama Noticias, which had access to the testimony of a relative of one of the former members of the company.

Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba was on an international tour on the eve of the anniversary of its foundation. The tour began on July 5th at the Deutsches Theater in Munich, Germany, and continued on the 14th of the same month at the Nervi International Music and Ballet Festival in Genoa, Italy. The closing performances took place in Spain, with presentations on the 20th and 21st at the Conde Duque Center for Contemporary Culture, in Madrid.

The tour program included a review of Cuban music and dance from the 1950s to the present day, through a two-hour show performed by 19 dancers. The repertoire of their last presentation, together with a concert band, included rhythms such as the chachachá, the mambo, the conga and the bolero, according to the cultural company Madrid Destino.

The escape of the dancers from Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is one more example of the massive exodus of professionals, artists and athletes that crosses the Island. International tours or competitions abroad are often the only opportunity for escape that the country’s best educated young people find.

This week the escape of the Olympic medalist and world discus champion Yaimé Pérez was also confirmed , after the island’s sporting failure at the XVIII World Athletics Championships, held in Eugene, United States, where the Cuban delegation did not win any medals.

Cuban javelin thrower Yiselena Ballar also escaped from that same group of athletes, arriving in Miami, in the United States, before the competition.

Last Friday, Mario Planchet, Christian Temprano and Leonardo Acevedo, members of the Futsal Sub 20 team, also did not appear for the semifinal match between Cuba and Nicaragua, of the Uncaf FIFA Forward tournament held in Guatemala.

Meanwhile, last May, eight members of the Entrevoces chamber choir , belonging to the National Choir of Cuba, stayed in Spain, where they were touring Tenerife. Five took the opportunity to leave the group in the Canary Islands and three in Madrid.

Lizt Alfonso founded her company in 1991 and it is one of the most recognized dance schools in Cuba. She has had international performances such as the City Center in New York, the New Victory Theater on Broadway and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in China.

In 2016, former US First Lady Michelle Obama presented her with the International Spotlight Award from the US President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Now, after a tour that she has described as “successful,” she will return to the Island with at least half of her company.


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