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World Dance Day
World Dance Day on Sunday was a fitting occasion for Granma to interview two young choreographers, Yolena Alonso and Lizt Alfonso. Their chief concerns, prospects as creators and artistic vision for their respective companies was the subject of the interview.

For the last eight years, Yolena has been leading Yoldance, a troupe with 25 dancers. Its latest production called Viva Cuba! was staged on the island and internationally to critical acclaim.

Lizt Alfonzos company is one of the countrys most prestigious dance ensembles and continues reporting successes like the recently awarded Annual Choreography Award granted by the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) for their 2006 production Alas. "My thing is to work non-stop," says Lizt. "To do my best and believe in what I do, and of course, always setting higher goals for myself. My work methodology is based on concentrating on each new project I face, whether it is a new show or a childrens vocational workshop, or a choreography contest, with all possible freedom and going down un-chartered roads. That makes me experiment continuously. Now, that experiment must yield results, it is like steps of an endless staircase. It all depends on oneself".

Yolena spoke about her desire to continue working with her family and launching a national tour, since her work is better known abroad than in Cuba. "I want o leave an imprint as a choreographer in my own country. As a professional I would like to forge some kind of a union among young choreographers to focus dance on wider sectors, so that the aesthetic of Cuban modern dance finds new horizons. It is time for a new revolution in this style.

It is my aspiration to see our culture rescue and raise high the historical values of our dance, those which are far from everyday life in Cuba. My concerns could be summed up in developing dance at all levels and spaces of society and art in general. I am very happy and proud of representing my country on foreign stages. What I currently do, and what I have done is to promote to the whole world the artistic values of my people."Both choreographers acquiesced to assess the current state of choreography in Cuba. Lizt argued that nowadays it is difficult to be a choreographer.

"Supposedly, when you reach that status you should have a very far reaching cultural background, to deeply know several dance and theater techniques and other disciplines. You are supposed to express something that others have not been able to tell or that you would like to say differently or with a different perspective. In Cuba, like in the rest of the world, choreography is not in its prime. The history of choreography on the island has brilliant and leading names like Ramiro Guerra, Victor Cuellar, Eduardo Rivero, Alberto Mendez and Marianela Boan. And there are the new choreographers with their thrust.

They, like their predecessors, will find their own paths and will take the forefront; no doubt about it.""Everything takes time," says Yolena, "I perceive some kind of an explosion in dance among us, a moment of change that is about to materialize, without losing our distinctive features. The forthcoming years might prove me right."
Source: By Cecilia Crespo, Granma

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