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20th International Ballet Festival of Havana
Presided by the prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso, the 20th International Ballet Festival of Havana opened curtains on Saturday with a gala to honor the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birth.

The National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) will stage the opening performance plus the premiere of Alonso s Mozart Divertimento, especially devoted to pay tribute to the magnificent Austrian composer.

As usual, the 2006 festival has three main venues: the Gran Teatro de La Habana, which will hold the opening gala, and the National and Mella theaters, but it will travel to other cities in our country: Matanzas Sauto and Cardenas theaters, the Cienfuegos Tomás Terry theater and Guira de Melena s Mirta Pla Hall.

The Cuban audience will enjoy world dancers such as Argentines Julio Bocca and Maximiliano Guerra, Russian Natalia Osipova, plus Italian Carla Fracci, who is premiering Desnuda luz del amor (Naked Light of Love), especially created for her by Alonso.

Also attending the event ending November 6 appear the companies Farruquito y familia (Spain); Cisne Negro (Brazil); soloists of the Magdeburgo Ballet (Germany), Bolshoi Ballet (Russia), Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark) and London s Royal Ballet (UK).

Moreover, the BNC director will launch an exhibition of outstanding Cuban painters Roberto Fabelo, Alfredo Sosabravo and Zayda del Rio, among others.

There will also be an international ballet course for professionals and students, the screening of movies plus photo displays.

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