October 27, 2017
Vamos Cuba review
Energetic, sensual and containing socio-political commentary – the night you see ‘Vamos Cuba!’s dance crew it will transport you to Havana’s action-packed airport.
‘Vamos Cuba!’ is choreographer and director’s Nilda Guerra follow up show to her popular Havana Rakatan. Guerra’s dance performance premiered in 2016 and was produced by Sadlers’ Wells theatre in East London.
The story takes place at Havana’s airport, where the two main characters, the airport’s porter (Yoanis Pelaez) and chief of customs (Katia Pèrez), encounter a wide range of passengers who are eagerly awaiting their flight to Miami, which is delayed.
Stuck at the airport, each person’s story, for better or for worse, becomes intertwined with the other passengers’. A pilot and airhostess’ tumultuous relationship, the new love story emerging between the porter and doctor, a priest, a prostitute, an actress, her assistant and a married couple are all part of the action and chaos unfolding.
Throughout the performance the dancers show with nothing more than a rumba or mambo song and some dance moves the development of these relationships. Dramatic bolero shows conflict, the group’s enjoyment can be seen through cha-cha-cha and salsa to the famous ‘La vida es un Carnaval’ portrays a celebration of Cuban culture.
The airport’s serious chief of customs takes over the narrative’s spotlight in Act II, when her daydream shows her wish to also board a plane and explore the world. She imagines becoming the Rumbera (queen of carnival) and gracing the streets with her cha-cha-cha, guaracha, mambo and conga moves. Goddess Yemayá also appears in her dream and the chief of customs becomes nostalgic at the thought of Cuba’s past. Black and white photographs of former revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara appear to the foreground of a ballade.
Set designer Adam Wiltshire truly paid attention to the smallest detail while transforming the stage into an airport hall, the fluorescent lighting, smoking area and gate numbers all leave no place for doubt as to where the story develops.
The live band never missed a beat and singers Geidy Chapman and Maikel Ante were phenomenal.
This is an energetic and entertaining performance which will move its audience to the nearest salsa bar and should therefore not be missed.