Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: Danza del Caribe: Itara, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter.
For many, Cuban dance means salsa and rumba on the streets of Havana. But, unsurprisingly, there’s much more to the country’s dance scene than that.
Hailing from Santiago de Cuba, company Danza del Caribe is steeped in a very different culture. More in tune with the nation’s African roots, and influenced by its neighbours on Haiti and Jamaica, their work is poured from a true Afro-Caribbean melting pot.
Featuring nine dancers and a six-piece band, Itara (which translates as “burning desire” in the West African language of Yoruba) is a triple-bill of works filled with passion. Earthy moves born out of sowing and reaping sit alongside spiritual celebration and tradition.
Whether they’re creating human totems with their bodies, leaping in the air or creating dynamic formations, the dancers invest heart and soul in their delivery.
The one drawback is the staging. Although there are three distinct choreographies, Sulkary, Luz and Los Elementos, the set-up gives the whole show a similar look. Costumes change, but the dim lighting and dry ice remains the same – keeping Itara at one level and, sadly, restricting our view of the talented musicians. As a journey to the lesser-known Cuba, however, it’s worth the trip.
Assembly Roxy (venue 139), Until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 10 August 2015
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