Fuerza y Compás: A Magic Evening With Cuba's World-Famous Dance Ensemble
There is no cure for the frigid winter blues. But a serious helping of Cuba's finest music and its rich, exhilarating dance rhythms goes a long way to warm the coldest night and inspire the Canadian soul. And that is exactly what the spectacular Fuerza y Compás recital accomplished on the evening of March 6 before a standing-room only, sold-out crowd at Dr. J.M. Ennis Auditorium in Welland Centennial Secondary School.
Performed by the world-renowned Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba ensemble under the masterful artistic direction and coreography of its creator Lizt Alfonso, Fuerza y Compás turned the event into a marvellously enchanting evening.
The audience realized they were in for a rather unique treat as soon as the live music of flamenco guitars, percussion instruments and piano, superbly played by consummate Cuban musicians, raised the curtain with composer Ernesto Lecuona's Malagüeña.
The haunting melody ushered in the all-women cast. Fourteen of the most elegant, stunningly beautiful dancers anywhere in the world took the stage to the sounds of castanets and the pounding of heels in a precise, intoxicating display of gypsy passion.
Centuries before fusion became a music novelty in the modern age, Cuba had fashioned as its own the inspired musical marriage between the Cuban "son" and the traditional African and Spanish guitar sounds. At Welland's J.M. Ellis Auditorium the public witnessed the delightfully sensuous, visually stunning, sophisticated tour de force of Cuba´s rich musical and cultural history in all its splendour.
For the next two hours, the professional dancers brought the public to their feet as they offered rousing renditions of Cuban-style fusion, a combination of flamenco, ballet, afro-Cuban and Cuban rhythms.
In her opening introductory remarks Ms. Stella B. Crouch, artistic director of the Welland Port Colborne Concert Association, welcomed the Cuban performers and promised "a wonderful, unforgettable evening." Ms. Crouch was just as absolutely right as she was thrilled with the Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba ensemble. Entranced by every perfectly executed movement, the audience cheered, applauded and rewarded their efforts with well-deserved, prolonged standing ovation.
Somehow, the magic of the Cuban dancers managed to dissipate the winter cold. It transformed the evening into a warm and wonderful love affair between Cuba and Canada.