Theatre in Cuba is often seen as the poor relation of Cuban arts and culture. There has been no equivalent of Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van or Carlos Acosta taking the world by storm. Overly dramatic, impenetrable to understand (without impeccable Spanish) and a mixed bag of facilities, leave many to bypass or simply never find what is on offer. Understandable as this sentiment may be, there is a lot to miss—from the flamboyant to the introspective, avant-garde to the classical, performing arts in Cuba offers not just some brilliant acting and direction, but an insight into both contemporary and historical Cuba with a style and an edge which is puro Cubano.
From October 4-14, Camagüey’s 2014 Theatre Festival showcases the best of Cuban theatre in the city’s theater houses. To mark the occasion, this issue has features on Carlos Diaz, brilliant director of El Público, as well as a review of his latest and most provocative work—Antigonón—and a review of Piñera’s Aire frío in contemporary Cuba
For those thinking of making the trip to Camagüey, we have two features on this central province from esteemed travel writers Jill Worrell and Lydia Bell. Our Havana section also features stories on Havana’s Barrio Chino and in keeping with the theatrical theme, El Caballero de Paris.
October also sees the continuation of the Leo Brouwer Festival. Now at the mid-way point, this 6th Edition has been nothing short of spectacular and for the renowned Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday, it represents a fitting tribute to his ability to organize, inspire and manage one of Cuba’s premier music festivals.
Do check out our expanded Havana Guide, which is growing to accommodate the new bars, restaurants and casas particulares that continue to spring forth adding vitality and energy to Havana’s entertainment and hospitality scene.
October 2014 Highlights (Havana, unless stated)
- Sep 26-Oct 12, Leo Brouwer Festival
- Oct 1-31, Brazil Month of Culture
- Oct 4-14, Camagüey Theatre Festival
- Oct 9-19, British Week: Tremendo swing
- Oct 17-20, Fiesta de la Cubanía (Bayamo)
- Oct 20, Cuban National Culture Day (birth of Cuba’s National Anthem)
- Oct 24-30, Fiesta de la Cultura Iberoamericana (Holguín)
- Oct 28-Nov 7, International Ballet Festival
Thanks to all of our contributors, sponsors, partners and readers. Do please keep providing us with your feedback, comments and suggestions. All enquiries should be directed to Sophia Beckman at CubaAbsolutely@gmail.com. All the best. Viva Cuba!