HAVANA, Cuba.- The Garcia Lorca Hall of Havana’s Grand Theater opened its curtains at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, to inaugurate the 22nd edition of La Huella de España Festival (on the influence of Spain on Cuba), dedicated on this occasion to Catalonia.
Pedro Monzon, head of the Cuban Culture Ministry’s Department of International Relations, was in charge of opening the event, which will run until April 25.
During his speech, he recalled that this idea was born at the end of the 1980’s as a cultural project of Juan Jose Santos, General Consul of Spain in the island at the time, and Alicia Alonso, director of Cuba’s National Ballet Company and also of the Grand Theater at that moment.
He explained that this type of Festival is an excellent opportunity to show the influence of Spanish roots in Cuba, as well as the customs and traditions of the island with regard to the Iberian peninsula.
Ramon Molina, Cultural and Cooperation Counselor of the Spanish Embassy in Havana, stressed the close bonds of friendship existing between the two peoples, and underlined that this event benefits dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.
He announced that the next edition of La Huella de España, in 2011, will be dedicated to the Spanish region of Castilla de Leon, and that it was an honor to organize this event in such coordinated way.
Singer Andres Correa, from the Ecos Company, and flamenco dancers from that same troupe, Ana Rosa Meneses, Swanny Leda and Yohara Garcia, accompanied on the piano by Amelia Ruiz, were part of the artistic program.
The interpretation of Luis Alfonso’s Wedding, with the choreography of Eduardo Veitia and music by Jeronimo Jimenez, received standing ovations during the closing of the performance of Cuba’s Spanish Ballet Company.
The premiere in Cuba of the piece Party Line, by Catalonian playwright Marc Rosich, interpreted by the Cuban-Spanish group Aché Primavera, made up by students from Havana’s Institute of Higher Arts, under the direction of Spanish creator and cultural promoter Marika Perez, stand out among the attractions of this 22nd edition of the event.
Another novelty of La Huella de España is the performance of the piece Preciosa y el Aire, by Alicia Alonso, in which the prima ballerina from the Spanish Ballet Company, Irene Rodriguez, will dance for the first time with the National Ballet Company, playing the leading role.