Monday, April 28, 2014

TGIF in Havana and the Rest of the Weekend

Finally I'm back in the blogging saddle again!  Won't bore you with the excuses of a bunion surgery and 
going to an art fair in New York on a knee scooter (yes, I'm pretty fearless).  But let's close our eyes and go back to Cuba, with the temperatures in the 50s here on Easter Sunday, I sure could appreciate the warmth of Havana!  Our first photo session was with some Rumba dancers at their studio, which was actually a series of rooms at the front of the building which looked like it also housed some artists studios.  Because of the configuration of the rooms, it wasn't the most ideal situation within which to shoot photos. 

 I was fascinated by these clay sculptures....they reminded me of little worlds behind the concrete walls...

See what I mean?  If you weren't aware of scale,  it would seem that little rooms had been hollowed out of the wall... and then it was portrait time with some of the more interesting dudes.

Then it was back to the hotel through the streets of Old Havana doing some street photography.

The bar where Hemingway purportedly hung out and drank mojitos... or at least that's what they tell the tourists who pack this place.  Every time I was there it was packed to the gills with a waiting since I don't like to wait in lines, I never made it in the joint.

Our next shoot for the afternoon didn't pan out for some reason - it's complicated, it's Cuba.  So we were told about a display of water ballet in the pool of the hotel next door.  Although it seemed kinda cheesy,  I decided to give it a go.

 That night was the birthday of one of my photography mates - Florence Rodale, so I joined them in a visit to Paladar La Esperanza.  We had the best dinner of the entire trip there.  It was an old house that contained familial relics from the 1920s onward.  Beautiful place and highly recommended.

This photo of Paladar La Esperanza is courtesy of TripAdvisor because even though I know I took photos, I can't find them.

After dinner it was on to the Irene Rodriguez Flamenco show at this marvelous old theatre.  Irene is a force of nature and of the stage.  Amazing technique and presence combined with choreography that was a "take" on classical flamenco.  The place was packed and the company got a deserved standing ovation.

Sunday we had part of the day off and then when to a rehearsal in the most interesting place.  It was like the courtyard (but inside) of a 4 story building where the stories had what looked to have been balconies looking down.  The dance company (sorry I've forgotten the name) we were to photography was rehearsing for a show they would do later that evening.  Here's a short video.

But what I failed to include earlier on Saturday morning was our visit to a small, young Flamenco company's rehearsal in a small orange room.  The dancers were ferocious as you can probably tell from the following photos

This one reminds me of  modern dance choreography.  Next post up, our last two days there.