İş Sanat ends season with Cuban dance
ISTANBULHaving introduced Cuban culture to many people all around the world with Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, Lizt Alfonso is coming to Istanbul with his world-renowned dance company for İş Sanat’s curtain closer on May 27.
“Music is our most precious treasure, and the other is dance but Cuba is much more than all of these,” said the founder of Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, which has done much to promote Cuba to the world.
“It was a beautiful and exciting experience for each one of us. It was also an opportunity to show our dance company and our works to millions of people around the world,” said Alfonso about the company, which performed in the music video “Bailando” by Grammy-winning singer Enrique Iglesias.
As the creator, choreographer and director of all the shows, Alfonso’s achievements enabled the company to become the first Cuban dance group to take the stage in Broadway.
The company also began to perform Dance Musicals in 2007: They performed “Vida” with Mirvish Productions at the Toronto Royal Alexandra stage and “Amigas” with Schmid Tivoli Production in Hamburg.
We sat down with Alfonso to discuss his company’s performances ahead of his show on May 27.
What would you say about the Cuban culture that you present in your show?
We make dance shows with live music. Our dancers are prepared to perform in each choreography a mixture of ballet, modern dance and Cuban popular dances that are the essence of Cuban culture of today. It is a wide and diverse mixture of authentic folklore with the appropriation of the biggest universal styles.
How do you sustain your physical condition during the show?
We do strong physical training everyday: ballet, special physical training, flamenco, contemporary, popular Cuban dances, Afro-Cuban dances and more. In the morning, we train and prepare new shows. Before the performances, we just warm up the body with ballet class and some steps of flamenco. And then we go to the stage.
You are also interested in musical theater. Will you continue with these kinds of productions?
Yes, I love musical theater. We are leaving doors open to new proposals.
You are a dancer, choreographer and also a director at the same time. What is your secret to being successful in all of them?
No, I don’t dance anymore. I retired as a dancer a long time ago. It was very difficult to be a director, choreographer and dancer. The secret is hard work.
What’s your first piece of advice to young dancers?
Be focused on what you really want and enjoy it.
You worked with Enrique Iglesias on the music video of “Bailando.” Will we see you in another music video?
Yes, It was a beautiful experience for us. We always have new proposals for making new musical videos, which is great, but at this point, we select very well all the next steps, while continuing to be open to new challenges.
Do you know anything about Turkey?
We don’t have too much knowledge about Turkey. We just know its incredible landscapes, its colorful and enigmatic arts creations.
What kind of a show should we expect at Cuba Vibra on May 27?
We will take you through our dances and music from the 1950s up to the present time, with the Hispanic, African, American, Caribbean and Latin cultures. I hope Turkish people will enjoy it very much.