- Created: Friday, 27 October 2017 11:42
- Written by Nicki Jameson
Vamos Cuba! Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT, London
Go and see Vamos Cuba! The dancing is enthralling, fluid, mind-blowing; the spectacle amazing, and the whole evening unmissable!
Choreographer Nilda Guerra has set the piece in Havana Airport, where a flight to Miami is delayed (we speculated that this is due to Trump reversing Obama’s relaxations on travel between the US and Cuba) and all sorts of dramas are played out between the delayed passengers and airport staff. We watch the soured relationship between the captain and a stewardess and the incipient love affair between the airport janitor and a stranded passenger, plus lots of other leit motif pieces (such as the vicar who is a pickpocket) – in fact everywhere you look there is a story and you could probably watch this performance every night and find something different you’d not noticed before.
An airport can only provide so much story though, so just before the interval the passengers and crew are offered ‘bebidas gratis’ by the airport, drink the bar dry and fall asleep; this paves the way for a dream sequence which segues through Cuban African Santaria religion and carnival up to a homage to the revolution, complete with slides of Castro, Che and their comrades.
When the dream is over, the flight eventually leaves and we end with more dancing, singing and music from the entire 25 person ensemble, and with the whole audience on its feet.
So go and see Vamos Cuba – but do NOT spend £5 on a programme – unless you want to read a two-page anti-communist, anti-Cuba rant by a journalist from the Daily Express, inserted who knows why, for ‘balance’ perhaps. (Although also possibly because despite his terrible politics, he did at least like the show, unlike The Guardian, which took a very snotty, morally superior stance to it!)
Spectacles like Vamos Cuba do not drop out of the sky. They are the products of a system which prizes education, and the arts and which – despite being under attack from everything from the US blockade to the turbulent Caribbean weather – prioritises the provision of funding, support and training for its dancers, artists and sportspeople.