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55 years of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional

A genuine expression of the cultural diversity to which Cuba is heir, the prestigious musical-dance group is celebrating its 55th anniversary this May

5 de mayo de 2017 - Taken from Granma

A genuine expression of the cultural diversity to which Cuba is heir, the prestigious musical-dance group is celebrating its 55th anniversary this May.

Activities will take place over two weeks May 4-14 at the Mella Theater, where the group first premiered and which often hosts their performances.

Members of the Folklórico Nacional, who have taken Cuba’s best dance and musical traditions around the world, are dedicating their 55th anniversary to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro.

The emblematic company, led by Maestro Manolo Micler, who was recently awarded the 2017 National Dance Prize, will offer a concert program featuring premieres and re-stagings of previous works. It will also include performances by special guests: Colombia’s Conjunto Folclórico Nacional “Ekobios.”

Presented will be pieces such as “Ave María la Rumba”, by Maestro Pancho González with music by Guido López Gavilán, and texts by José Zacarías Talet; “Yansa”, a choreography inspired by Yorubá dances and dedicated to Oyá (deity of war, and mistress of wind and lightning); as well as “Danzón Barroco”, by maestro Santiago Alfonso.

The program also includes the premiere of “En mi patio”, by Manolo Micler and Leiván García.

The event is set to traverse various genres of Cuban music and dance, from the traditional to most contemporary manifestations. There will be songs and dances which evoke lucumí rituals, son, pregones, boleros, rumbas, casino, and conga.

Founded on May 7, 1962, by the exceptional Rogelio Martínez Furé, an expert on Afrocuban folklore, and Mexican choreographer Rodolfo Reyes Cortés, the renowned company has developed a unique performance style. Its repertory reflects Cuba’s diverse cultural roots; from its European and African heritage, to influences brought from other Caribbean islands.

The Conjunto Folklórico Nacional has graced stages in over 45 countries across Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia; while audiences around the world have enjoyed the profoundly national art of this company which continues to uphold the legacy of its founders.

The Folklórico Nacional’s repertory includes songs and dances representing the very best of the country’s folklore traditions, including rumba, guajiras comparsas, habaneras, danzones, sones, pregones, among other genres, not to mention Afro-Cuban expressions in the form of dances like that of Yemayá, Changó, or Babalú Ayé.

Secrets of Cuba’s African and Hispanic traditions, as well as the magical sound of Cuban percussion instruments can be appreciated in every one of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional’s shows, which 55 years after its creation, continues to reinvent itself in its historic role as an ambassador of Cuban culture.