We had the pleasure of being in the audience at Havana After Dark at the Pleasance @ EICC – a lively, energetic Cuban dance fiesta. The performance run here in Edinburgh is the world premiere of this breathtaking new Cuban dance musical which will definitely get your toes tapping as you watch.
The show opens with a burst of energy, and will take you through Cuban history from way back until the present day. On stage is a spectacular five piece band which includes award-winning pianist Rolando Luna, along with two lead singers, of which Luna Manzanares also narrates between sets. The whole performance takes you on a journey in a very entertaining, visual, and political way.
The title Havana After Dark may make you think about late night dancing in salsa bars, but it also reflects how Havana has changed since President Trump. In this political climate, there are no cruise ships visiting so tourism has taken a hit, businesses are closing, the oil ships can’t get through, and this is causing blackouts as no oil equals no light. But in true Cuban upbeat fashion, Luna Manzanares puts a positive spin on it by romanticising the dark evenings.
The dancers are fabulous and are from Carlos Acosta’s company, Ballet Nacional de Cuba and Ballet Revolucion – the mix of Latin, salsa, rumba and ballet works incredibly well, especially with the added jazz and street influences. We particularly loved the ballet duets with Daniel Rittoles and Barbara Patterson – together they were simply stunning.
If the urge to dance is overwhelming as an audience member, then worry not as you will be given the opportunity to join the cast on stage for the finale. No pressure to join in if that’s not your thing, but there’s plenty of room on the stage for those who want to. It’s the perfect way to close the show.
Havana After Dark was created by five-time Fringe First-winning director Toby Gough to celebrate the 500-year anniversary of Havana.
On till 25 August – 21:00 – 22:00
Pleasance @ EICC
150 Morrison Street
#gifted – our tickets to this show were gifted in the form of press tickets