The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami will perform eight dances this Saturday under the headline “The Best of the Classical Repertoire Gala,” which is an appropriate title. Eight works do constitute a gala, and they are indeed classical.
The opener, The Bayadere Suite, comes from an 1877 ballet by French choreographer Marius Petipa and was first performed by the Imperial Bolshoi in St. Petersburg, Russia. Another dance in the gala evening is also a work of Petipa: Harlequinade, based on the lighthearted commedia dell’arte theater popular in 17th-century Europe. And The Dying Swan, created for prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1905.
Clearly, Cuban-born director Pedro Pablo Peña strictly adheres to ballet’s traditional Russian roots. Castro’s Cuba was influenced by both classical and modern Russian cultural strains, and until the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two countries shared another tradition: that of exile. So Saturday evening’s performance will also highlight several recently exiled dancers in what can only be called another tragic tradition. Fortunately, they have joined the dance taking place at the Fillmore Miami Beach (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) at 8 p.m.
Sat., May 25, 8 p.m., 2013