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Cuba prepares to host the 24th edition of the International Ballet Festival

The 24th edition of Havana's International Ballet Festival will soon be kicking off in a couple of weeks' time, starting 28th October with numerous performances taking the stage until 7th November. Dedicated to English playwright, William Shakespeare, Cuba's capital will see the participation of ballet groups from 61different countries around the world, including the New York City Ballet and groups from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, South Africa, Italy, Hong Kong, France and more.

Cuba prepares to host the 24th edition of the International Ballet Festival

Next 28th October, the Karl Marx theatre in Havana will be officially opening the city’s 24th International Ballet Festival (24 Festival Internacional de Ballet en La Habana) which will take place over the space of two weeks, with the last performance scheduled for 7th November.

On this year’s edition the festival will be dedicated to the works of English playwright, William Shakespeare, which means that many ballet pieces inspired on his works will be performed over the course of the event’s duration.

Organisers of the event also announced that this edition of the festival would also be paying tribute to the recently deceased Fernando Alonso, co-founder of the Cuban National Ballet in 1948 (along with his famous wife, Alicia Alonso, Cuban prima ballerina assoluta), on the centenary of his birthday. His contribution to Cuba’s ballet scene will be celebrated with a series of magisterial conferences and other commemorative activities.

Heriberto Cabezas, coordinator of this year’s festival, recently explained during a press conference, how in previous editions the festival had counted with the participation of prime international ballet figures and foreign soloists, highlighting the presence of American dancers, such as New York’s Hispanic Ballet, Pontus Lidberg Dance, the Linga Company, the New York City Ballet and Cincinatti.

Audiences attending this year’s 24th edition will be able to enjoy the performances of ballet groups from the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Uruguay, Chile, Puerto Rico, Portugal, and Puerto Rico, among others.

The historian of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC), Miguel Cabrera, added that this year’s festival will become the oldest of its kind in the world, with the participation of 61 countries, the presence of 73 foreign ballet companies and 981 performances throughout all of its history.

He also explained that this year the festival would open at the Karl Marx theatre with the show Shakespeare and His Masks, inaugurated by Cuba’s prima ballerina assoluta, 92-year-old, Alicia Alonso, while the Mella theatre would host the international guest performers and two of the National Theatre’s auditoriums would be the stages for combined performances and Swan Lake.

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