The infectious spirit of Havana is crossing borders with the world tour of “Vamos Cuba!” a dance and music spectacular which opened Thursday night at Casino du Liban.
Performed by a team of about 15 dancers and a live Latin band that’s led by Rodney Barreto, the show choreographed by West End favorite “Havana Rakatan’s” Nilda Guerra, features a medley of traditional and modern styles including salsa, mambo, rumba, cha-cha-cha and reggaeton.
Set in the midst of everyday chaos at Havana airport, a group of Cubans are waiting to board a plane heading to Miami, full of hopes for a better life and success.
The group bursts onto the stage for a group salsa performance, complete with bright suitcases.
A janitor looks on once the crowd disperses; wishing he could join in with their exciting travels as he dances a skilled solo with a mop as his partner.
Elements of pachanga an early style of salsa popular in Cuba during the ’50s with quick footwork flavor his movements.
The janitor is interrupted by his stern supervisor, who glares menacingly until he moves aside.
The two provide much humor with their contrasting personalities throughout the show.
The passengers appear once more, dancing across to line up for the plane. A musician carrying a guitar, a pregnant couple, the pilot having a lover’s tiff with the air hostess, and more, all prance into position.
When the flight is delayed, chaos breaks out.
While waiting, the musician picks up his guitar for an acoustic number.
Other passengers slowly join in and it’s not long before everyone is smiling and dancing a vibrant salsa rueda a salsa performed by many couples in a ring, swapping partners and creating patterns according to the calls of a ring leader.
Romance starts to bloom amidst the boredom.
A flirty blond attracts the attention of three suitors, and the trio take turns to be her partner mid-dance.
The wife of one suitor sees, and challenges the blond to a dance-off in a boxing ring, resulting in some excellent choreography and flips.
The janitor and a girl in pink form a shy connection, leading to an intense rumba.
Things get wild with the announcement of free drinks as compensation for the delay.
The passengers stumble back to the waiting room drunk, turning the room into a social-dance style party.
A cheeky cha-cha later, and everyone is passed out from exhaustion including the stern supervisor, whose dreams take some odd turns.
A traditional tribal dance presents the African roots of Cuba’s heritage, followed by a reggaeton remix of Celia Cruz’s popular salsa “La Vida Es Un Carnaval,” where much to the female audience’s delight the male dancers stripped off their shirts.
The dream sequence serves as an opportunity to display all the dance styles and cultures of Cuba, as well as a sorrowful solo by the supervisor, which pays tribute to everyone who died during the Cuban Revolution.
A lover’s fight between the hostess and the captain soon attracts the attention of the passengers and everyone takes sides based on gender, leading to a feisty dance-off between the men and women.
Everyone pulls out their best tricks to win the round but before things get serious the delayed flight is finally ready to take off, with one last dance of excitement.
The show is a splendid concoction of dance and music, with the live band just as present as the talented dancers.
The Cuban spirit is displayed in full regalia, shown in their natural rhythm and colorful frilled and feathered costumes, putting together a dance extravaganza that had some viewers dancing by the stage.
“Vamos Cuba!” is on show until Dec. 1, 8:30 p.m. ticketingboxoffice.com
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © 2019, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.