Attending any show by Lizt Alfonso Dance Cubais a real experience, where dancers manage to transmit their abounding passion and joy, enchanting the audience and transforming the evening into a memorable delight.
This 2017 the company is celebrating 26 years of success, in honor of which the show Fuerza y compás returnedto the stage from December 3, in the García Lorca Hall of Havana’s Alicia Alonso Grand Theater.
Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is based in a beautiful building in the old Convento de Belén square where, over 10 years ago, in an interview with its director, we discussed what was already known as its “fusion style.”
At that time, Lizt noted that from the very beginning the company has drawn on all forms of Spanish folklore, but above all flamenco, given its power and strength, as well as exploring Cuban and Afro-Cuban styles, theater, contemporary dance, and classic ballet, which has resulted in the fusion style which characterizes the company today.
There is no doubt that this same rigor, which is also found in the company’s incorporation of theatrical elements and its attempt to tell a story with every gesture, infuses each choreography with the quality of a still life painting.
With 26 years of experience, Lizt Alfonso is a choreographer who has developed her own langue and style. Her company is unique; neither dedicated solely to flamenco, or Cuban rumba, ballet or contemporary dance, it combines all these elements to create a personal fusion.
The artist achieves precision and uniformity in her creations, from the dancers’ gaze and the position of their hands, to the force of their stomps, elements which enable her to engage in an intense dialogue with the audience.
THE RESTAGING OF THE SUCCESSFUL PIECE FUERZA Y COMPÁS
Fuerza y compás is a powerful, dynamic show, with beautiful choreography and live music performed on stage by the company’s own band (piano, guitar, bass, cello, Cuban and flamenco percussion and a singer).
The show premiered in Havana in 1999 under the title Siluetas before being taken to the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, New Zealand, Mexico, China, Turkey and Israel. However, it would be in New York in 2001 when the piece Fuerza y Compás de Novo was incorporated as part of the repertory, that the show took on its new name.
After a long absence, it is now returning to Cuban stages, with its two acts and nine pieces – eight of which were choreographed by the director general herself – ranging from classical and flamenco styles to guaguancó: Suite ibérica; Tango del tiempo, Alas para existir; De novo; Fuerza y compás, Hombre; Elogio; Pa Cuba me voy and De tierra y aire.
The music for the show meanwhile features unforgettable pieces from maestro Ernesto Lecuona, and original scores for the company by renowned flamenco guitarist Reynier Mariño; as well as Denis Peralta, Yuniel Rascón, Yordanis O´Relly and Juan Pablo Solás.
Another valuable element of Fuerza y compás – as in all the company’s shows – is the costume design, this time by National prizewinner for Design, Eduardo Arrocha; Ricardo Reymena, Eduardo Muñoz Bachs Set Designprizewinner; Erick Grass and Lizt Alfonso herself.
Unfortunately, in the function attended by this writer, we were unable to enjoy the lighting design, an essential part of any production, as the houselights remained on throughout, which according to information received afterward, was because the show was being recorded.
Fuerza y compás is a stunning show, and a good choice to celebrate another anniversary of Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba.