Experience an exciting mix of passion and spice on stage when Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba performs in Cuba Vibra! (Eduardo Patino)

Vibrant show brings Cuban rhythms to Chilliwack

Cuba Vibra! blends ballet, flamenco, cha-cha, rumba, bolero and salsa for show in Chilliwack

Shake off the chill of winter when Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba blows into Chilliwack, promising a hot night in Havana with Cuba Vibra!

For its first Canadian tour since the 2010 Cultural Olympiad, Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba finally returns with an explosion of passion with a show that celebrates the diverse and rich mix of Cuba’s cultures through music and dance.

It takes place Tuesday, March 12 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Cuba Vibra! celebrates the development of Cuban music and dance from the late 1950s to the present with the aid of 18 dancers and an onstage big band. The show is a kaleidoscopic fusion of ballet, flamenco, cha-cha, rumba, bolero and salsa dance in a theatrical manner that emphasizes unity. Cuba’s stunning culture is showcased by the work of Cuban choreographer Lizt Alfonso, who’s been inspired and guided by the stew of influences in her culture over the 25 years of her company.

“It was so amazing that, from that moment until today, I keep it in my memory,” Alfonso says about when she took her first ballet class. “But then I say, ‘This is not us. This is not Cuba, this is not our body movement, this is not our language.’ It’s in our roots, but it’s not our way.”

“Our way” — the Cuban way — is more than that. It’s all the social dances wrapped around everyday life in Cuba, where almost everybody dances, Alfonso notes.

“Danzon, cha-cha-cha, mambo, in the street or in the park, with the people. Because it’s usual for us, it’s normal.”

Alfonso, the company’s director and choreographer, founded her troupe in 1991 as an all-woman outfit named Danzas Ibéricas. By the next year, she had changed the name to Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, and in 2000, the company became a resident ensemble at Havana’s Gran Teatro, where the Cuban National Ballet also performs. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba makes greater use of ballet, contemporary, and flamenco. It now also now includes male dancers.

Cuba Vibra! is authenticity, explosive energy, technical precision, elegance, and the very culture that permeates the fabric of everyday life in Cuba, and will leave you breathless.

Cuba Vibra! is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and $35 for youth, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

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