Dance Museum Museums, Havana . Cuba
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- Calle Linea No. 251 esq. a G, Vedado, Havana City. Cuba
- Destination: Havana
- Open: Daily
- Telephone: (537) 8312198
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Havana, hometown of one of the most outstanding personalities in the history of ballet, has the privilege of having a Dance Museum. Alonso, who founded the National Ballet of Cuba half a century ago, is precisely the live soul of this Museum that opened its doors in 1999, at a house of Havana's Vedado neighborhood.
The main exhibition comes from the Alicia's personal collection, thousands of pieces of the world dance, relics given by personalities and balletomanes, and many others related to her career. But beyond the personal history of the great ballerina, the history of dance has been protected here. The museum has eight permanent exhibition rooms, a specialized library, an information center and a video room.
The exhibition room dedicated to Alonso displays her costume for Giselle's first act, a ballet play that opened her vertiginous way to stardom, as well as her costume for Carmen (designed by Salvador Fernández), another of her mythical characters. Memorable photographs, such as those depicting Merce Cunningham's and Martha Graham's performances in Cuba, pumps, and decorations are also shown.
The most ancient piece in the Museum is a book by Raoul Auger Feuillet, The Art of Writing Dance, from 1700, with demonstrative signs and letters, a gift given to Alicia. Objects related to the famous Austrian dancer fanny Elssler, who visited Havana in 1841, have a special place. In one if her performances she danced La Cachucha, dressed like a Maja; and a replica of her costume, donated by the Vienna Opera, can be seen in this institution.
A cloak that belonged to Anna Pavlova can also be admired, as well as the costume used by Mirta Plá, first dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba, in the premiere of Tarde en la Siesta. The collection of the Dance Museum is extremely valuable, a true treasure thanks to which this apparently intangible art can be trapped.
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Dance Museum is located in Havana
Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.
The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.
The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.
Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.
Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.
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The Museo de la Danza is situated within the Vedado part of Havana and is touted as being the only museum in the region that is solely devoted to dance. Exhibits in this beautiful colonial-style building include Cuban ballerinas, Russia dancers, and performers from both Mexico and Spain. Ballet diva Alicia Alonso is represented by some of her personal effects.
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