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Cuba's Lizt Alfonso Ballet dance troupe returns from Canada
The Lizt Alfonso Ballet Troupe and their dance musical titled "Vida" (life) were highly acclaimed in a recent series of performances at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theater during the Luminato Festival of Arts and Creativity 2007.

The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, the Canadian Broadcasting Company and other Canadian media critiqued the group's performances with descriptions such as "spectacular", "outstanding", and "a radiant expression of the true Cuban spirit in songs from the soul with exuberant dances."

The Toronto Star online reported: Vida is the story of one woman's life, told from her vantage point near the end of her life to her granddaughter Alma. It is a parallel to Lizt Alfonso's own life and alludes to Cuba's 20th-century history. It's "an ode to life," said Canadian co-director Kelly Robinson.

Held over for several weeks, the troupe repeatedly drew packed houses at the Royal Alexandra Theater. It would have stayed even longer on the marquee if it wasn't for a commitment to perform in New Zealand from July 20-30 with its show "Fuerza and Compas."

Back home in Havana, Lizt Alfonso highlighted the "fantastic" collaboration in "Vida" from Cuban music diva Omara Portuondo and Ele Valdes of the group Sintesis.

Omara Portuondo was the natural choice to play Vida, who tells the story of her life to her granddaughter Alma. "The invitation to join this project came as a great pleasure to me. I have a lot of admiration for Lizt's work," Portuondo told the Toronto Star.

Lizt explained to the press how the troupe's participation in the Luminato Festival originated. Torontonian Peter Sever had seen the company perform on a videotape in 2005, "and admired our excellence." He then offered to represent the company. From there, work began on the dance-musical with co-director Kelly Robinson.

Source: Radio Habana Cuba

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