Kennedy Center, Cuba comes to U.S. Cultural Paradise

Washington, May 7 (Prensa Latina) Some 400 Cuban artists will perform a great festival in one of the most active cultural institutions of the United States, the John F. Kennedy Center for Stage Arts.

As of tomorrow, May 8 and until June 3, the important space that extends 17 acres looking into the Potomac River, in Washington D.C., will put each one of its facilities -including nine theaters- at the disposal of the greatest event celebrated in this country in honor of the Caribbean nation’s culture.

Thus confirmed to Prensa Latina the director of International Programming of the center, Gilda Almeida, who considered that attendants to the Festival, baptized as Cuban Arts: From the island to the world, will have the unique opportunity of better knowing the best of the greater of the Antilles in theater, music, movies, dance, visual arts and culinary.

The Eisenhower Theater, with capacity for 1100 persons, will be the space where the inauguration will take place with a show with the participation of the Buena Vista Social Club Diva, Omara Portuondo and the pianists Rolando Luna and Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, among other artists.

The program includes presentations of Cubans in other halls of the institution like the Family Theater, with 320 capacities; the Theater of the Terrace with 500 seats and the Millenium Scenario, located in the Grand Foyer of the place, among others.

A special riole will have the House of the Opera, with 2300 seats, where from May 29 to June 3 will perform thwe National Ballet of Cuba, that commemorates this year the 40th anniversary of its first tour to the United States, which started precisely in the Kennedy Center.

At that moment, the place was already one of the most important of the country, after opening its doors on 1971 as a monument dedicated to former president John F. Kennedy (1961-1963).

However, the idea of its conception emerged during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), who in 1958 signed a law establishing a national cultural center.

Built by architect Edward Durell Stone, this construction lasted five years (from 1966 to 1971). It receives annually an audience of over two million persons and offers two thousand performances of theater, music and dance, festivals, community events and multimedia programs, among other activities.

In the stages of the institution, venue of the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Opera of Washington, there were premieres of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller plays, ballets of Antony Tudor, Agnes DeMille and Jerome Robbins; as well as compositions of Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich, among other reknowned figures.

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