Choreographers Ewa Wycichowska and Andrzej Adamczak are currently in Havana, working towards the premiere of the Compañía Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s Canto del amor triunfante, set to music by Italian composer Paolo Coletta, who also penned the libretto inspired by Ivan Turgenev’s late short story The Song of Triumphant Love. The premiere will mark the centenary of the birth of Ramir Guerra, dancer, choreographer, educator, dance researcher, essayist and critic, dubbed the founding father of modern dance in Cuba, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Compañía Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in 1959.
Since its international debut in 1961 during the fifth season of the Festival of Nations in Paris, the company has been considered one of the foremost contemporary dance theaters in the world. Its choreographic collaborations have included the likes of Mats Ek, Rafael Bonachela and Joaquín Sabaté, among many others.
Two Polish artists to have left their mark on the Compañía Danza Contemporánea de Cuba were Conrad Drzewiecki and Witold Borkowski, who worked with the company in the 1970s. In the course of its sixty-year-plus activity, the Compañía Danza Contemporánea has staged a total of three hundred and ten premieres, earning glowing reviews and receiving multiple awards for its presentations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Critics have emphasized the company’s individual style which integrates other arts into the language of contemporary dance, in harmony with the ensemble’s Afro-Caribbean roots.
Under the current leadership of Miguel Iglesias, the ensemble favors a conscious stylistic and aesthetic eclecticism, as also evidenced by Canto del amor triunfante, in which dance, theater and music are intertwined with orchestral and vocal parts. Responsible for the musical side of the performance are French conductor Nathalie Marin—founder of the Habana XXI orchestra, which specializes in 20th– and 21st-century music and bridges contemporary music with other artistic disciplines—and the orchestra’s Cuban music director César Eduardo Ramos.
Preparations for the premiere of Canto del amor triunfante have attracted considerable attention from Havana’s artistic community and the media, with journalists attending rehearsals and a television report on the piece. In addition to her choreographic work, Ewa Wycichowska will also conduct a master class at the Compañía Danza Contemporánea de Cuba.
The visit of the Polish choreographers is held under the organizational and promotional auspices of the Polish Embassy in Havana. The premiere has been scheduled for September 24 at the Teatro Nacional de Cuba.
Canto del amor triunfante
Compañía Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, director: Miguel Iglesias (Cuba), Ensemble Habana XXI (Cuba)
Music and libretto: Paolo Coletta (Italy)
Choreography: Ewa Wycichowska and Andrzej Adamczak (Poland)
Artistic director & conductor: Nathalie Marin (France)
Music director: César Eduardo Ramos (Cuba)
Venue: Teatro Nacional de Cuba (Paseo y 39, Plaza de la Revolución, Hawana)
Presentations: Friday, September 23 & Saturday, September 24: 8:30 pm; Sunday, September 25, 5 pm
Compiled by Jagoda Ignaczak