The intoxicating rhythms of Cuban dance and music burst from the stage in Havana Rakatan. From the sultry rumba to the slick footwork of the Cha-cha-cha, 14 dancers are accompanied by a stunning live band as they perform a captivating and colourful display of Cuba’s many vibrant dance forms.
Choreographer Nilda Guerra and her company present the passion and exuberance of a country famous for its rich music and dance heritage.
From the sexy, spontaneous rumba to the slick footwork of the Cha-cha-cha, Havana Rakatan is a show that's guaranteed to get heads nodding and feet tapping.
Set to live Cuban music courtesy of Cuba's well-known Son band Turquino, Havana Rakatan, consisting of a cast of 23 performers, is a captivating journey through the dance and music of a truly unique country. Jazz, Mambo, Bolero, Son, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba and Salsa all come alive in a dazzling dance display of Cuban passion.
Havana Rakatan tells the story of over 500 years of dancing in the Caribbean island renowned for its party spirit.
The impressive array of dance styles include ancient African rituals in which the dancers appear as African Gods and Goddesses, giving way to modern forms such as the Mambo that caused scandal in the 1940’s, and the Cha-cha-cha that defines the glamour and elegance of the Cuban woman in the 1950’s.
This all culminates in the salsa, which as we know is a spectacularly contagious mixture of all these forms.
Havana Rakatan is a captivating journey through the dance and music of a truly unique country!
DAILY EXPRESS ★★★★
A rapid-fire history lesson on the origins of Cuban dance and how the various styles evolved it is fuelled by a superb band playing onstage above the dancers. The girls are all gorgeous, the boys are all buff. The simple but stunning backdrops whisk us from The Malecón, the long promenade on Havana’s edge where Cubans of every generation hang out, talk, flirt and practise their dance steps, to the red ochre earth of the sugarcane fields and from a colourful Havana slum to a modern day cabaret.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH ★★★★★
Rakatan could provide some entertaining solace. Two years since its last, triumphant appearance in London, the show returns to the capital in all its kaleidoscopic glory, further burnished since its last UK outing by acclaimed theatre director Stephen Rayne. Havana Rakatan tells the story of more than five centuries of Cuban dancing and its unique fusion of Spanish culture and African spiritual beliefs. The show embraces flamenco, yoruba and Afro-Haitian rhythms, as well as jazz, mambo and bolero, all performed by the versatile HR dancers with live, effervescent music throughout by Cuban band Turquino. In short, bank holiday weekend spectaculars seldom come livelier, sexier or more flamboyant. What are you waiting for?
EVENING NEWS - THE EDINBURGH PAPER ★★★★★
Beware Zombies! Well, one to be precise. But when a production can provide sinuous sensuality, the bustle of a busy city and a cheeky reference to the internet's favourite meme all in one dance sequence, then you know you're onto a winner. Absorbing, engrossing and downright saucy, Havana Rakatan is the history of the evolution of Cuban dance and music. Blending the erotic charms of Spanish Flamenco with the drum-heavy music and energetic physicality of African slaves, the story wends its way from the country's rural plantations to the melting pot that is Havana.
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