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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cuban art arrives at the Kennedy Center

Por Kvothe

The website of El Nuevo Herald reported that the famous Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened on Wednesday in Washington a huge sample of Cuban art that includes plastic installations, sculptures, painting, music, theater and ballet, in an initiative "unprecedented" for its size according to the curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition "Arts of Cuba" will occupy almost the entire exhibition area of the huge cultural center in the US capital until almost May 20, and will be crowned with the presentation of the National Ballet of Cuba, in its first staging in the United States in 40 years. The renowned company will present two ballets already classics of their repertoire, Giselle and Don Quixote, between May 29 and June 3, dates chosen to celebrate the exact 40 years of their US tour in 1978.

"We started planning this sample three years ago. Many things have happened in that period. At the Kennedy Center we are used to difficult tasks, but we are proud of the show", curator Alicia Adams told AFP.

The expert from the Kennedy Center highlighted the intention of the exhibition in seeking to break prejudices about contemporary Cuban art. "Let people come and see, discover (Manuel) Mendive, listen to music and ballet, to discover why it is important to do this", she said.

Virtually all expressions of Cuban contemporary art are represented, and includes artists of Cuban origin who were born and live in the state of Florida, in the United States. At the Kennedy Center, the main entrance hall opens with several works by Mendive, 74 years old and the most renowned representative of the Cuban plastic arts with clearly African roots.

In the wing of the youngest authors stands out the enormous installation "Permanent History", by Roberto Diago, with its characteristic mixture of rustic materials, and works of the illustrator and sculptor Roberto Fabelo, noted as one of the most notorious exponents of the absurdist movement in the Cuban plastic arts.

José Parlá, born in Miami, brings two paintings to the exhibition, while the sculptor Esterio Segura occupies one of the courtyards of the exhibition center with the installation "Hybrid of a Chrysler".

Among the musical shows, the program has on the agenda the participation of established names such as the singer Omara Portuondo or the band Los Van Van, but also young people from the new breed of virtuoso jazz pianists, such as Aldo López and Jorge Luis Pacheco, who will star in a "piano marathon".

The program also includes the young Haydée Milanes, who should be on stage with the special participation of his father, the famous composer Pablo Milanés. The segment dedicated to cinema includes classics of Cuban cinema such as "Memories of Underdevelopment", "Portrait of Teresa" or "Strawberry and chocolate".