Lizt Alfonson Danza Cuba with Omara Portundo
Posted: 06 June 2007 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Total Posts:  21
Joined  2004-12-08

We went to see Vida the other night and it was brilliant, it was our first time seeing Omara perform. It took many years for us to be able to see her and now a dream is complete. So if you are close to Toronto or can get discount airfare it will be worth everybody seeing. The following is the review in the Toronto Star.


(3.5 out of 4)

Choreography by Lizt Alfonso

Until June 17 at The Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W.416-872-1212

Vida! has legs. The Cuban-Canadian production featuring the lithe and limber dancers of Lizt Alfonso’s Danza Cuba is a dance show that works as a musical.

Not only does Vida! feature one of the best chorus lines this side of Broadway, but it has a killer band and a singer who is a national treasure, Omara Portuondo.

A tricky conceit – a life told in memories from grandmother to granddaughter – is the storyline that connects the production numbers. Past and present coexist on stage, with the stunning Maysabel Pintado slinking in and out of the crowd, as Death. The story begins in the 1930s, with Vida remembering a birthday party when she was a little girl, and runs through Cuba’s tumultuous 20th-century history.

Alfonso’s choreography, responding to Cuba’s myriad musical styles, happily sustains this epic tale. As an opener, more than a dozen dancers in colourful flamenco dresses dance in a souped-up Spanish classical style as Portuondo sings Pork eso yo soy cubano.

Vida remembers how her aunt would berate her servant: and six girls come onstage dressed as Spanish ladies and their maids, clacking in flamenco shoes or flat sandals.

Afro-Cuban and traditional son music intermingle with the changing times and moods of Vida!

Ele Valdés, who alternates in the grandmother role, carries a sombre coming-of-age scene singing the African song “Ayabba.” The next Vida is Yudisley Martínez, who falls in love with a young man at a street dance. As the only male dancer in the show, Vadim Larramendi has a rooster’s role to fill, as he handles Martínez in a sultry pas de deux that is part ballet, part paso doble and part sex.

Grown up and left alone with a child, Vida becomes a teacher. In a scene depicting workers on a commune, Idmaray Benitez leads the jeans-clad chorus line.

They rise on to the tips of their high-heeled flamenco shoes, doing little ballet steps on point – an apt image for the spirit of Vida!

Vida the web site

Posted: 06 June 2007 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  992
Joined  2005-11-19

Thank you for the update. Keep us posted. We don’t see many stories like this.


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