Dance Cuba: Dreams of Flight | Chicago Reader

Dance Cuba: Dreams of Flight

Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A., Wild Man Blues) and Cynthia Newport follow the Washington Ballet as it travels to Havana in October 2000 to perform in the International Ballet Festival. For the company's artistic director, Septime Webre, the trip is significant personally as well as politically: his Cuban mother and American father fled the island before he was born, when Castro took power in 1959. The filmmakers trail him around his parents' old neighborhood and interview Cuban ballet stars Alicia Alonso and Carlos Acosta, but this 105-minute documentary stubbornly refuses to ignite. Instead of drama it offers an array of talking heads explaining how dramatic this all is, and the dance sequences, while elegant, play out against the oppressive blackness of an undecorated stage. In English and subtitled Spanish. 105 min.

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