Our “Man in Havana”, Boris, delivers again with tickets in the Stalls of the 5-tiered Gran Teatro de la Habana for the Opening Night of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba’s performance of ‘The Nutcracker. 90 year-old legend, Alica Alonso, Director General of the Ballet and choreographer of tonight’s performance is in attendance in the centre Balcony seat. Edmundo says, “she is admired but hated by ‘Cubans in Exile’. She exchanged sponsorship of her art for her freedoms and that of her country and is accommodated by the regime. Cubans in Miami believe that her premature blindness is a punishment from God”.
Javier Tores is the Premier Danceur and Anette Delgado is the Prima Ballerina for tonight’s performance. The dancing and costumes are wonderful but the audience greets every intricate movement with applause and I get to feel that we are at a Variety Show. There wasn’t much music to drown out thought. The orchestra is a bit under-powered and doesn’t match the quality of the dancers. The Childrens Ballet of Hamilton Canada provide 40 ‘extras’.