Cuba has a world-class ballet company of native dancers. Here we have world-class companies of foreign dancers. They have a theatrical and charismatic excitement coupled with a nobility of style unmatched by the products Britain’s suburban dance teachers.
Performing here for the first time since 1984 this mixed programme showcases extracts from the classics. Hayna Gutiérrez as Giselle opened with a sublime display of the subtlety of the romantic era. In Sleeping Beauty, Sadaise Arencibia as Aurora partnered by Miguelangel Blanco showed the clarity of their training.
The Nutcracker waltz of the flowers and pas de deux performed by Romel Frometa, partnering Anette Delgado as the sweet Sugarplum Fairy, demonstrated pure classical lines as well as showing that this is not a company with only a couple of principal dancers. The joyful mazurka from Coppelia showed off the corps.
In Don Quixote the ballerina role of Kitri was outstandingly danced by Viengsay Valdés with thrilling balances. As Basil, Joel Carreño lifted her above his head with one arm, leapt and turned with all the thrilling circus tricks expected of his role against a background of bullfighters in red cloaks.
The classical favourite Swan Lake duet was danced with graceful aplomb and the show closed with Creole Party from Gottschalk Symphony with the company leaving the audience on a high. Appearing on stage in the curtain calls was the 84-year-old founder Alicia Alonso, who won a standing ovation for her magnificent contribution to the world of dance.