Monday, 11 May 2009

Royal Ballet makes first historic visit to Cuba this summer

Today the Royal Ballet have announced details of their summer tour - and their first visit to Cuba. What a thrill for the Habaneros to watch Frederick Ashton’s Voices of Spring and Thaïs pas de deux, among others. Manon will be another highlight, with Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo reprising their roles, but I'm surprised to find the Le Corsaire pas de deux also on the bill. I can't think of a ballet company better equipped to perform Le Corsaire than the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, so it will be interesting to see what they make of the Royal Ballet version.

Press Release
11 May 2009

The Royal Ballet makes historic first visit to Cuba as part of
Summer Tour 2009 to Washington, Granada and Havana

23 June to 18 July

The Royal Ballet is delighted to announce that it will make its first ever tour to Cuba during its summer tour to Washington, Granada and Havana.

The Company will take two programmes and perform in two different, iconic theatres. From 14 to 16 July, The Royal Ballet performs a Mixed Programme featuring Chroma, Divertissements and A Month in the Country at the Gran Teatro de la Havana, Sala Garcia Lorca, followed by two performances of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon on 17 and 18 July in the larger Karl Marx Teatro to an audience of more than 4,500.

It is expected that the first Mixed Programme will be broadcast live to a big screen in the centre of Havana.

Cuban Royal Ballet Principal Guest Artist, Carlos Acosta, leads the Company in the first performance of Manon partnering Tamara Rojo.

Monica Mason, Director of The Royal Ballet said: I am thrilled that our plan to visit Cuba has materialised. I have the most enormous respect for the great Alicia Alonso and everything that she has achieved for the National Ballet of Cuba, the company that she founded, and for its dancers who are known and admired world wide. I am also delighted that Carlos Acosta will be appearing with us and indebted to him for the part he has played in making this tour possible. Over the years touring has played a very important part in the history of The Royal Ballet and this, our very first visit to Cuba, will be a challenging and exciting one for us. I so appreciate the invitation that has been extended to the Company and I hope very much that the Cuban audiences will enjoy our performances in the repertory we have chosen to present to them.

Carlos Acosta, Guest Principal Artist, said: I’m very excited to be going home to Cuba with my extended family, The Royal Ballet. This is the first time that the Company has ever been to Cuba and I’m proud to have been able to play a part in making this happen. I’m very excited to be dancing Manon. None of the MacMillan ballets have ever been performed in Cuba before, so this is going to be a really extraordinary visit. I can’t wait to see the reaction – both the Cubans to The Royal Ballet and the Company to the Cubans!

Immediately prior to the performances in Cuba, The Royal Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center in Washington with two programmes, followed by two performances of Swan Lake outdoors at the stunning Alhambra Gardens in Granada as part of the Granada International Festival. These performances sold out within hours of tickets becoming available.

The Royal Ballet Summer Tour 2009

Kennedy Center, Washington, US
23 and 24 June
Mixed Programme: Wayne McGregor’s Chroma/Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country/Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à grande vitesse

25, 26, 27 and 28 June

Alhambra Gardens, Granada, Spain
7 and 9 July
Swan Lake

Gran Teatro de la Havana, Sala Garcia Lorca
14, 15 and 16 July
Mixed Programme: Wayne McGregor’s Chroma/Divertissements: Frederick Ashton’s Voices of Spring and Thaïs pas de deux/Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet pas de deux and Winter Dreams pas de deux and Le Corsaire pas de deux/Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country

Karl Marx Teatro, Havana
17 and 18 July
Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon


I'm looking for people who will be in Havana, Granada and Washington, and attending these performances, to send bulletins for publication on my blog. They don't need to be reviews, just a flavour of what's happening would be great. If you are interested, or know someone who would be, please do get in touch.


  1. thanks for the info; I'll be buying tickets if I can still

  2. Please, where can I buy tickets to the Havana events?

  3. Hi Anon, The Royal Ballet will perform on July 14-16 at the Karl Marx theater, which can seat up to 5,000. On the 17th and 18th, at the Garcia Lorca. The plan is to set up a giant screen near the Lorca for the Cuban public.

  4. Anon, some more information from you courtesy of A Cuban in London :

    "turn up on the night, there will always be tickets for foreigners. If not, there're usually touts outside the theatre (I know, I know, but you know)."
    And please, do let us know if you made it...


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