International Contemporary Dance Festival

Matria Etnocentra /Tangos Cubanos

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba is the birthplace of contemporary dance in Cuba, and where the most prominent figures in Cuban dance have emerged.

Founded in 1959, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba has performed more than 280 premieres, and performed in Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt in Paris; the Canadian Art Center, Ottawa; Palacio de Bellas Artes and Auditorio Nacional, Mexico; Arena di Verona; Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Malibran, Venice; Theatro Municipal de São Paulo; Teatro General San Martín, Buenos Aires; Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels; Sadler´s Wells and the Coliseum in London; The Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane; the Joyce Theater in New York; Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome; Teatro Real, Madrid; Mercat de Les Flors, Barcelona; Maison de la Danse, Lyon; Lucent Danstheater, The Hague; Théâtre Palace, Biel, and the Stadttheater Bern.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s repertoire includes an eclectic range of work that reflects its universality and its interpretative skills, fusing styles from Cuba’s mixed heritage, especially African and Spanish.


30 minutes
Twenty four dancers
Choreography: George Céspedes
Choreography Assistant: Yoerlis Brunet
Music: Nacional Electrónica / “Vete de mí ,“ Hermanos Expósito, interpreted by Ignacio Villa (Bola de nieve).

Costume Designer: George Céspedes
Lighting Designer: Ariel Capote Granado

The last part of a trilogy about Cuban identity, Matria Etnocentra explores the country’s military past and is inspired by Cuban music.

George Céspedes was awarded the Critique Villanueva Award 2015 given by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba for the best choreographer that year. He was also nomionated for an Olivier Award in London.


35 minutes. Sixteen dancers Choreography: Julio César Iglesias
Choreography Assistant: Tomás Guilarte / Chris de Feyter
Music: Max Ritcher / Jack White / Tropic of Cancer / J-Lawton /Desierto de los leones
Costume Designer: Julio César Iglesias
Lighting Designer: Fernando Alonso
Video link: Julio César Iglesias – Cristal

Using a wide collage of different elements, Iglesias’ choreography explores the state of contemporary Cuban city youth, ranging through free, wildly sprawling expressivity to abstract control of the body through to dance theatre.


29 min.
Choreography, music and text: Billy Cowie
Choreography Assistant: Luvyen Mederos, Tomás Guilarte y Jorge Abril
Visual Design: Silke Mansholt
Costume Designer: Holly Murray
Voice: Clara García Fraile
Violin: Tadasuke Iijima
Lighting Designer: Fernando Alonso and Billy Cowie Video link: Billy Cowie - Tangos Cubanos

Tangos Cubanos poetically explores, through slow, melancholic tangos, the ways we seduce each other. In front of huge, black-and-white projections of Picasso’s work and children's doodles, Cowie arranges his dancers with grace and precision in long, perfectly synchronous rows, the dancers’ languidness focussing us on their simplest movements.


photo Johan Persson