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Cuban Ballet Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

     The product of years of research and a lifetime of commitment to Cuban arts and culture, Roca's book explores the history of Cuban ballet.
--San Francisco Chronicle.

   The book is an almost action/adventure - like none other. --San Francisco Sentinel

    Roca understands the depths and complexities of their noble commitment to Dance and rejoices in their personal, artistic, and cultural triumphs. His text is lyrical and linear; the arguments are rich and provoking. --San Francisco Sentinel

Dance is all about balance... there is a certain beauty in the fact that Cuban Ballet opens with forewords by Alonso, a supporter of Castro, and by Baryshnikov, the most famous anti-communist defector in the world.
--Hispanic-Poder Magazine

The book is a labor of love. --Hispanic-Poder Magazine

From the Author

     This book is a work of love, and it is a work of memory. We live in a world where exile is the natural state of too many people, but the fact of its being common takes away little of the pain. This is a book by an exile, about those who left and also those who have stayed. It is a very personal journey for me. There is beauty in the arduous, unwilling, often unacknowledged transformation of temporary exile into permanent immigration. There certainly is artistic fervor in these lives. This may offer little solace, an unsatisfactory substitute for the land we lost. But what a surprise it can be to find these labors are now part of the culture of new lands we might call our own.  Again let us remember Jose Martí's dictum, that "Hacer es la mejor manera de decir,"  "Doing is the best way of saying."  Just as Alicia Alonso once refused to recognize her blindness as a brutal limitation for her art, dancers in the Cuban diaspora refuse to recognize the loss of their homeland.  They are Cuban artists and they are free.  What they do with what has been done to them is a touching, gripping tale. Theirs is a bittersweet victory, or perhaps just a sign of the inexorable momentum of history. Theirs is above all a true tale of the greatness of the human soul, of the indomitable spirit of dance. This is their story.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7127 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs-Smith (September 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XT5SXO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,121 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

In his foreword to Octavio Roca's new Cuban Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov writes: "What makes the Cuban dancers stand out, I think, is their ethics. They have a respect for ballet from an early age. It's been said before that no one is born a dancer; you have to want it more than anything. These Cubans want it and feel privileged to be a part of it. They give themselves completely. I know that Octavio Roca's love of Cuba is as profound as his knowledge of ballet, and I know this book is from his heart."

Alicia Alonso, the indomitable founder of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and one of icons of dance history, says in her foreword to Octavio's book: "Cubans are a dancing people. Dance matters to us, and it matters deeply. Octavio Roca, whom I have known for decades and who has known us his whole life, has seen our dancers at home and abroad as well as on tour and with other companies. As a guest of the International Ballet Festival in Havana, Octavio Roca was able to observe the Cuban dance movement in its own environment and to witness the Cuban School of Ballet in all its richness. For me, his critical writing on dance carries a unique sensitivity to an art for he clearly loves."

Octavio Roca has been music and dance critic for The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and the Miami New Times. He wrote Scotto, More Than A Diva, and his works for the stage include commissioned translations of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, Mascagni's Our Friend Fritz, Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, and Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, as well as the original libretto for Lucia Hwong's oratorio The Unwelcome Rhythm of Your Pulse. He studied at Emory University and Georgetown University, has taught philosophy at the University of Miami and Barry University, has lectured on the arts at the Smithsonian Institution and at the Catalan Theater Institute of the University of Barcelona, and is now chair of the Arts and Philosophy Department at Miami Dade College. He lives in Miami Beach, where he used to be a lifeguard a while back.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alma Flor Ada on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a book to be treasured forever. The lavish presentation and the unique collection of photos compliment the text on this book product of passion, scholarship and excellent writing.
Roca history of Cuban ballet, rich in detail, comes alive with his admirable prose. Only someone with Roca's intimate knowledge of ballet could describe dance, which is movement, through text, without loosing any of its charm, rather making it come alive as we read it.
Any book about Cuba becomes suspect of having a political agenda. Yet, Rosa is capable of situating the history of Cuabn ballet within the broader scope of the World impact it has today. He has been able to discover and describe those elusive combination of history, culture, environment and tradition that have resulted in a classical form with an unmistakable Cuban "accent."
As a Cuban and a ballet lover I could not have wished for a better book. I have enjoyed every sentence, every page, every photo, and know I will continue to do so. Alma Flor Ada [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on September 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I was a child my father was the orchestra conductor for the Miami Ballet under Edward Villela. So I think I have some cred in reviewing this great endeavor, even though I am no dance expert. I have seen a lot of Cuban Ballet on the wonderful Classic Arts Showcase, and it is terrific. What a great idea for a book! There is so much profundity in this aspect of Cuban culture, clearly. And, as I remember Octavio, on a Music Critics junket to San Antonio --- pointing all the cute male couples riding in boats on their famous River Walk-- he is just the person for this special world. Plus of course all the aesthetic erudition. Felicitaciones!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MARAY M. STOWELL on January 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cuban Ballet
This meticulously researched book with its compilation of beautiful photographs incorporates the best of the history of ballet and the pleasure of reading excellent literature. My only disappointment is that the print is not dark enough which makes it a bit difficult to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elf on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great pictures. Dull read. Even the descriptions of pictures were paragraphs. Very thick read. Probably because English was a second language.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome book bring back so much memories of my time in the national ballet school of Havana ! The pictures of the city and places were we study or walk are so beautiful , and is so nice to see my old friends and peers In are old school , company or stage!!!
5 stars !!!!
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