*PSA I am writing this blog on very limited time and no wifi or word processor access, so I’m sorry that this blog is essentially unedited! If anyone is looking for an editing position (I will pay you in Cuban Cigars) let me know😉*
I walked into the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso today and actually lost my breath.
Holy shoot. Like the holiest of shoots. The Alicia Alonso is the most brilliant theater I have ever seen, much less danced on. And I have to do a leading role for a part I just learned 2 weeks ago, then had to relearn in 2 days, on that stage this coming Friday (next to incredible Cuban dancers)! 🤭 If it weren’t for the fact that I hardly have any time to think, I would probably be in complete panic mode. Luckily, our schedule makes it so that we are always doing something (often multiple things at once) without any certainty of what is coming next, so it keeps us in the present moment. Ommmmmmmm🙏
My cast didn’t have the chance to do their costume tech run in the theater today, so after studio rehearsal at the ProDanza studios this morning I did a lot of learning through observing in the theater. Who knew how many moving parts could be in one show? And on top of that, the amount of variables that can affect all of those moving parts? I was nervous simply from watching. Several moments turned out to be extremely chaotic, yes, but one of the main draws I have to my day job is the constant excitement that comes with it. There is never a dull day as a dancer!
Slight subject change—It’s also surreal how authentically Cuban this experience has been. Between getting the majority of my corrections in Spanish, seeing the marquee signs for the majestic Alicia Alonso theater handwritten with marker (it’s harder to come by printer ink here), watching dressers haul around massive wooden costume trunks instead of plastic dress bags, and riding the perpetually-on-the-verge-of-breaking-down school bus to the beat of Cuban music around Havana (with the ProDanza dancers showing off their best dance party moves), I can’t help feeling like I have stepped onto a movie set. The lack of Americanization of Cuba is vastly more noticeable than any other country I have ever traveled to. It’s actually quite refreshing, but also hard to fully comprehend. Right now, I find it to be an invigorating energy for me.
…More thoughts to be continued mañana because, like the title suggests, I really have no time to think and need to get some sleep before another 3 runs of “Yarini” in the theater tomorrow!
P.S. Even though “ciao” is Italian, Cubans use it frequently and I happen to think it’s a cute way to say goodbye. So ciao ciao ciao!👋