BWW Previews: After 15 Years, Ballet Nacional de Cuba Returns To The Straz Center For The Performing Arts
When esteemed Ballet Nacional de Cuba performs Giselle at The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, it will be a wonderful reunion for Ivonne Lemus, Ballet Mistress for Next Generation Ballet. In her youth in Cuba, Ivonne was selected to train with the acclaimed company founded by legendary prima ballerina Alicia Alonso.
Set to Adolphe Adam's haunting score, the ballet company will present Alonso's renowned staging of Giselle for one night only. Fifteen years ago, the flawless Ballet Nacional de Cuba graced the stage at the Straz Center. On May 23rd, for a single performance, under the artistic direction of Alicia, Tampa Bay will be able to enjoy the magic of one of the greatest classical dance companies in the world.
As will the students in Next Generation Ballet.
Alicia is considered one of the greatest ballet dancers in history, having trained in Havana and later studied at the esteemed School of American Ballet in New York City. Her development of the character Giselle made her a star. She retired at 75 and continues to direct Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
A Master class combining acting and dance technique of Giselle will be held with the 50 lucky NGB students. Seven girls and five boys will have the opportunity to perform on stage with the preeminent ballet company.
"When I see all the people who taught me here, it's going to be very emotional," said Ivonne.
The Straz Center is only one of four engagements in the United States in 2018, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the historic Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.
Ivonne hopes what the audience takes away from the performance is Cuba is much more than Salsa, Conga and cigars; one of the best ballet companies in the world calls the island home.
"I want the audience to admire the culture of Cuba and to know that Cuba has the best ballet company in the world," said Ivonne. "I want the audience to take a part of Cuba with them. We do everything with passion and you will see that demonstrated on stage. Everything that Cubans do is with passion and love and that's how I want people to remember the company."
Regularly priced tickets for Ballet Nacional de Cuba's performance of Giselle are $29.75-$79.75. Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org.