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Founded in 1962 to delve into and recover certain manifestations of traditional popular Cuban culture, the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba—National Folkloric Company of Cuba—outcome has been a repertoire of over 70 productions dedicated to Afro-Cuban dance and music, especially those that represent the Yoruba, Congo and Abakuá deities, rumba and comparsas, música campesina (typical Cuban country music) and popular dances, among others.
Afro-Cuban ethnologist and writer/poet Rogelio Martínez Furé, Mexican choreographer Rodolfo Reyes and a group of exceptionally talented dancers and singers with no previous formal education in their arts, including Lázaro Ross, Nieves Fresneda and Zenaida Armenteros, are all founding members of the company. Formed today by graduates from the National School of Arts and directed by Manolo Micler, the company preserves the legacy of its founders and has incorporated new acting and choreographic trends without losing its popular essence.
The company, which has travelled widely to the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia having performed over 2,000 times in the most famous stages in the world, has won a significant number of national and international awards.
Sponsored by the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba, FolkCuba, a two-week long International Folklore Laboratory, is held twice a year, in January and July, in which experts in Cuban folklore dances teach Cuban dance and music of African and Spanish origin, as well as the principal Cuban percussion instruments. The “secrets” of mambo, cha-cha-cha, rumba, mozambique, pilón, conga, and dance and drum beating related to African religious rites are revealed by outstanding figures of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba.
April 2015 This article formed part of the March 2015 issue of What’s On Havana The definitive monthly travel & culture guide to Havana Download our current issue of What’s On Havana, your definitive travel, culture and entertainment guide for all things happening in Havana, Cuba’s bustling and enigmatic capital city. We include features from around Cuba written by the best international travel writers covering Cuba. Our monthly online digital magazine is also available in Spanish and French.
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