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Cuban Dance Weekend Comes to Syracuse
Award-winning author, researcher and dancer Bárbara Balbuena Gutiérrez will visit into Syracuse next month as The College of Arts and Sciences’ Art and Music Histories Department plays host to the renowned academic for a four-day program Feb. 6-9. Along with a variety of dance workshops designed for participants of all levels, Balbuena will host a lecture, “Dance in the Cuban System of Artistic Education,” and participate in a roundtable discussion on salsa dancing together with Sydney Hutchinson, assistant professor of music history and cultures art and music histories; Roberto Pérez, Syracuse’s Cuban dance instructor; and salsa musician Edgar Pagán.
Balbuena, originally from Camagüey, Cuba, is dean of the dance department at Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte and the author of several award-winning books on Cuban social and ritual dance, including “El Casino y la Salsa in Cuba.” A veteran performer and educator of Cuban modern, social and traditional dances, Balbuena began her career in 1978 and travels around Cuba and Europe teaching dance workshops. This will be her first visit to Syracuse.
Due to overwhelming interest, space is limited and, according to Hutchinson, this will be an experience not to miss. “This is such a unique opportunity for the Syracuse community to interact with a researcher and performer actually based in Cuba,” says Hutchinson. “We are thrilled to have her here and look forward to a weekend full of dancing, discussion and new ideas.”
SU students with valid ID who preregister are eligible for one free workshop. For nonstudents, each workshop is $15 if you preregister, $18 if you pay at the door. The schedule for the dance workshops, all of which will be held at Wacheva Cultural Arts, is as follows:
Saturday, Feb. 8
1-2:45 p.m.: The Roots of Salsa: Cuban Social Dance (all levels welcome)
3-4:45 p.m.: Afro-Cuban Movement (all levels welcome)
Sunday, Feb. 9
1-3 p.m.: Rueda de Casino (experienced dancers)
3-5 p.m.: Private lessons available by request
To preregister for the workshops, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Wacheva to reserve your space. The Cuban Dance Weekend will offer several free events as well, including:
Thursday, Feb. 6
5 p.m.: Lecture by Balbuena (Shemin Auditorium)
Friday, Feb. 7
5:30 p.m.: Roundtable discussion on Cuban salsa and the book launch for “Salsa World: A Global Dance in Local Contexts” (La Casita Cultural Center)
Additional sponsors from the college include the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics; La Casita Cultural Center; and the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Programs. SU’s Centro de Estudios Hispánicos is also sponsoring the program.