Havana and the Ballet Festival
The remarkable rise of ballet in post-revolution Cuba owes much to the dedication of its prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso.
Forced to lie motionless for a year after an operation, Alicia taught herself the role of Giselle and became a principal dancer in New York, despite being partially sighted.
Founding her own company and academy in her native Havana, Alicia helped Castro set up a state ballet – the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, whose students rocketed to international fame.
This tour is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go backstage at the Grand Theatre, home of the Cuban National Ballet. Watch world-class classical ballet, and pick up points on technique at the Cuban National Ballet School.
Wander round UNESCO World Heritage Sites bathed in balmy temperatures that only hint at Cubans’ fiery souls. Sway to a heady mix of rhumba, jazz and salsa. Drink your fill of the lush, tobacco-farming Viñales Valley and view fine art, exhibitions and workshops. Meet the craftspeople who repair violins, to help meet Cuba’s shortage of musical instruments.
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We fly to Havana and transfer to our hotel, where we attend a lecture on the Ballet festival and Cuban music.
We begin with a walk around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana. After lunch, we get to go backstage at the Grand Theatre and meet one of the artistes. This evening, we see a ballet at the Grand Theatre.
We celebrate art and craft with a visit to the Muraleando, a community project centre. We browse an exhibition of Cuban artists at the Fabrica de Arte Cubana. El Gran Palenque is the venue for the Afro-Cuban show Sabado de la Rumba, and also home to the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba.
This morning is dedicated to visiting the Museum of Fine Arts which houses collections from all over the world. We enjoy free time in Havana in the afternoon, before attending a ballet at the Grand Theatre.
We leave Havana to spend the day at Viñales Valley, where we soak up the outstanding scenery in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We take a tour of a state-run musical instrument workshop where repairs to violins help meet Cuba’s shortage of musical instruments. Students of ballet will be thrilled with our exclusive visit to the Cuban National Ballet School for an insight into technique. We are treated to more ballet at the Grand Theatre tonight.
We have time to explore Havana today before our evening flight home back to London.
We arrive back in London.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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