HAVANA CUBANACÁN: Contemporary Opera, Dance, Art + Dining Tour

April 25, 2018

Havana-CubanacanA journey to Havana, Cuba is being coordinated by the Palos Verdes Art Center and the creators of the opera, CUBANACÁN: A REVOLUTION OF FORMS. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Cuban music, art, dance, and culture in a fully-organized trip with upscale accommodations and fine Cuban dining.

At the centerpiece of ythe trip is a special concert presentation with excerpts from CUBANACÁN, the first new Cuban opera in over fifty years. Special concerts and talks arranged just for you, combined with a tour of ISA – the National Art Schools of Cuba – means an experience that will be richer and deeper than tourists could have on their own. The itinerary is as follows:

Wednesday, September 12

Afternoon arrival to Havana. Check-in at local accommodations.

5:30 pm Socio-economic discussion with urban planner Miguel Coyula, whose presentation will touch on housing, infrastructure, investment, and restoration programs in the city. It’s bound to leave you with a better understanding of why Havana looks the way it does today and possibilities moving forward.

7 pm Welcome dinner at Río Mar, located in the luxurious Miramar neighborhood, it has a whole terrace overlooking the where the Almendares river flows into the sea.

Thursday, September 13

9:30 am Visit to the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) to meet with students and professors from various departments. English speaking students will lead a tour of the facility, followed by an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session. You will be blown away by the talent at this school, from dance and theatre to painting and music.

11 am Walking tour of Old Havana’s Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. Wander through the Plaza de Armas, a scenic tree-lined plaza formerly at the center of influence in Cuba. It is surrounded by many of the most historic structures in Havana as well as important monuments. See the Plaza de San Francisco, a cobbled plaza surrounded by buildings dating from the 18th century, dominated by the baroque Iglesia and Convento de San Francisco dating from 1719. Visit the Plaza Vieja, surrounded by sumptuous houses of the Havana aristocracy from the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit Plaza de la Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana.

1:30 pm Lunch at Doña Eutimia paladar. Famous for its ropa vieja and frozen mojitos, this cozy paladar made Newsweek Magazine’s top 100 restaurants in the world in 2012. The restaurant’s location in the beautiful cathedral square is unbeatable.

4 pm Visit to Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, a women-led dance company and school for local youth, specializing in various types of dance. We will watch a private performance by the adolescent dance group and sit with the dancers afterward to discuss how they came to join the school and the impact it has had on them. The talent and work ethic at this school is impressive.

7:30 pm Dinner at Tierra, Havana’s newest international dining spot. Located inside a container in the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the restaurant mirrors the eclectic crowd, serving dishes from around the world.
Following dinner, enjoy live music, art, and dancing at La Fábrica de Arte Cubano. Rock star X Alfonso has turned this into the meeting spot for a young, eclectic crowd of Cubans and foreigners.

Friday, September 14

9:30 am Enjoy a performance by Habana Compás Dance, which encompasses the rich rhythm and flow of the island, performing traditional and modern dances born from their Spanish, Cuban and Afro-Cuban heritage.

11 am Visit to National Museum of Fine Arts of Cuba. We will be accompanied by Nelson Herrera, an art historian, who will provide an overview of Cuban art and artists over the last four centuries.

1 pm Lunch at Paladar San Cristobal. Located in the heart of Central Havana, this paladar has a reputation for excellence in both atmosphere and local cuisine. Enjoy great food while the local takes you back to the 1940s and 50s.

3 pm Enjoy a discussion and private performance by Bandancha, a jazz band led by Yissy Garcia, an amazingly talented young percussionist. Banda Ancha calls its style “high-speed Cuban jazz,” a mixture of different rhythms like funk, reggae, and samba, with Afro-Cuban influences.

6 pm Join us for a very special concert presentation with excerpts from the opera Cubanacan, the first Cuban opera in almost 50 years. This will take place at a splendid Havana venue, and be followed by a Q and A with composer Roberto Valera, the producer Charles Koppelman, and the performers.

Free evening

Saturday, September 15

Morning and lunch free

3 pm Behind the scenes art tour: Visit different homes and neighborhoods to tour the studios and galleries of established and up-and-coming Cuban artists.

7:30 pm Private musical performance by renowned singer and songwriter Frank Delgado at Café Madrigal. Café Madrigal, owned and run by film director Rafael Rosales, is housed in a beautiful colonial mansion with the walls lined with captivating artwork. Enjoy tasty tapas and cocktails while discussing the nueva trova movement in Cuba.

9 pm Farewell Dinner at Paladar Atelier. Owned by Niuris Higueras, a leading female entrepreneur and restauranteur in Cuba, this restaurant offers innovations on traditional Cuban cooking, in the former home of a pre-Revolution Senator. We will be joined by performers of the previous night’s presentation.

Sunday, September 16

TBD Check-out and depart for the airport (pending flight information).

For additional information and registration, visit the website at http://www.havanacubanacan.com