Last week, the National Ballet of Cuba performed four shows of their majestic Don Quixote for Vancouver audiences at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For all of us at Curve, it meant the end of eight months of hard work and preparation assisting producer Brent Belsher in bringing the company of 70+ dancers to the West Coast.
Curve’s team designed the posters, organized the media buys and marketing materials and handled all of the public relations. For us, seeing the Cuban dancers perform on opening night to receive three spontaneous standing ovations was the sweet cherry on top of a very delicious cake!
The day before the opening show, the dancers were busy meeting with select media for pre-show interviews. One of the dancers, Claudia Sanchez Alvare, who speaks French, went to the CBC for a radio interview, while Brent Belsher, accompanied by two other dancers, promoted the show on Global BC.
While it’s safe to say that many Canadians have never seen or heard of the National Ballet of Cuba, after the first performance on Thursday night, the ballet was the hot topic around the water cooler the following day. Reviews quickly poured in on Friday morning – here’s a sample of what people were saying:
“The dancing left me breathless at times, and I was literally almost brought to tears with Kitri’s magnificent solos and duets with Basilio in the third act. I was nearly on the edge of my seat at one point, leaning forward in anticipation and to more clearly see the astonishing talent.
By the end there were standing ovations DURING the performance (which I have never seen before at any ballet). The strength, fluidity, softness and gracefulness of the National Ballet of Cuba was truly amazing.”
- Miss 604
“The opening night performance was electrifying. Prima ballerina Viengsay Valdés, a native of Havana, is celebrated as one of the top dancers in the world. Her ranking is #6, yet on this evening, the audience’s reaction was unanimous: she is the first lady of dance.
Valdes also has a dynamic ability to dance en pointe for extended periods which is sensational to watch and this clearly dazzled the audience.”
- Review Vancouver
Needless to say, it was a huge success for a little company with a lot of heart, and Curve is proud to have been a part of it all. We hope they come back again someday!