La Colmenita emerged from a dream and hobby of Carlos "Tin" Cremata when he was still a student at the Cuban Art Institute directing aquatic and judo performances with young people. The nucleus of La Colmenita was formed from some of these youngsters and children of 3, 4 and 5 years from the popular television series "Cuando yo sea Grande" that he also directed.
"If I had been a carpenter, I would have built a wooden beehive", says Cremata. "Theatre is just a pretext. It is a gift of my mentor, actress and director Berta Martínez (2000 National Theatre Award), who saw it as a group of bees who create their own home."
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Cuba Cultural Travel: Performing Arts Cuba Tour (August 4 to 11, 2013)
Performing Arts Cuba Travel for Performing Arts & Theatre Professionals!
Travel to Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and more! $1,859
This Cuba cultural tour for actors, dancers, choreographers, theater directors, performing arts and theatre teachers, set designers, stage managers,
arts & entertainment workers and for all performing arts and theatre professionals represents a rare opportunity to explore Cuban performing arts and theatre world, get to know Cuban theatre groups and performing arts companies and meet Cuban performing arts professionals.
Theatrical performances were organized in Cuba as early as the 17th century during the Corpus Christi and patron saint's day festivities then held in every Cuban town. The 19th century was a brilliant period in romantic theatre, while popular or vernacular theatre was very well received by audiences. During the Republican period, small theatre companies that followed contemporary drama styles were abundant, although they survived by donations as they lacked official support.
During the 60s, new theatre companies, playwrights and directors emerged, focusing on both traditional dramas (greatly accepted by theatre goers) and productions that assimilated the newest trends in international theatre. Today, Cuban theatre retains this variety, and several companies and directors have achieved significant popularity with daring and unconventional works.
While the emphasis of this Cuba tour will be on Cuba's performing arts and theatre, this is also a cultural journey. As you explore America’s largest
and best preserved Spanish historical cores such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad Historical Centres, you will enjoy cross cultural/
people-to-people experiences that will remain with you for the rest of your life. You will be fascinated by the Cuban people,
the Cuban culture, and the social/political/economic structure of Cuba.
Therefore, this performing arts tour is also a brilliant way of seeing the real Cuba; such a passionate and patriotic people have transformed this country into a very environmentally friendly place; partly because of the trade embargo, meaning that nearly everything the Cuban population uses is made and produced in Cuba and as a result is sustainable.
Please, check the day-by-day itinerary below. Welcome Aboard!
Performing Arts and Theatre Cuba Tour Highlights:
Explore Havana Historical Centre, a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Guided tour of Cienfuegos city, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad.
Travel to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sugar Mill Valley.
Visit to Cuba's La Colmenita Children Theater Company.
Visit to Buendia Theatre Group, directed by actress Flora Lauten.
Tour the headquarters of Conjunto Folklorico Nacional.
Tour of the Cuba's National Art Schools.
Visit the Lizt Alfonso Ballet School founded in 1991.
Visit group theatre, Teatro Escambray, in the Escambray Mountains.
Tour the 19th Century Tomas Terry Theatre.
Attend traditional ceremony, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’Clock.
Visit to Hamel alleyway, a picturesque street in Centro Habana.
Enjoy Afrocuban religious presentation by Regla Folkloric Group.
Notice to US Performing Arts & Theatre Professionals
This Performing Arts Cuba Tour is licensable for US actors, dancers, choreographers, theater directors, dance & theatre teachers, set designers, stage managers,
arts and entertainment workers and all performing arts and theatre professionals.
This Performing Arts Cuba tour can be customized to meet educational criteria of North America colleges and universities offering performing arts programs.
No one can say what the future will hold for US-Cuba relations, so it's important to take advantage of the current opportunity.
A meticulously chosen repertoire, workshops, lectures and seminars, top-notch performances, and the unique acting methods of the Buendia Theatre Company have captured the interest of audiences and critics alike both in Cuba and internationally. Its most successful productions include Innocent Eréndira, which toured the world for five years, Another Tempest, The Bacchae and Charenton.
Professional dancers from Conjunto Foklorico Nacional performing the dance of Palo, Yuka and Makuta in Havana, Cuba.
La Colmenita, or "The Little Beehive," began as a Havana community theater project during one of Cuba's most economically desperate times. Cuba's internationally acclaimed children's theater, a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, brought its high-energy and entertaining mix of rock and roll and fairy tales to Washington, New York and San Francisco.
The Lizt Alfonso ballet is composed only of women and a music band. It has been acclaimed in Cuba and abroad in the USA, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Venezuela Colombia and France.
Community-based popular theatre movement began in Cuba about ten years after the triumph of the revolution. Teatro Escambray emerged as internationally recognized models of popular theatre and as valuable sources for research into Cuban cultural tradition and revolutionary transformation.
Tour of Palacio de Valle. This architectural jewel
originated as a home for trader, Celestino Caceres, who later gave it as a wedding present to the Valle family who added to it
a stunning Carrara marble staircase, cupped arches, bulbous domes and delicate
During this cultural tour, we will travel to Trinidad's Historical Centre, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 with a wealth of architectural buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Sugar Mill Valley is one of the most photographed landscapes in Cuba, as well as a must-photograph in every Cuba cultural tour. The monumental value of the 65 sites that form the valley increases the interest to visit this place, where important vestiges of the island's sugar colonization still survive.
Day 1. Sunday 4 August. Hello Cuba
Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Cuba's capital city.
Your Cuban performing arts and theatre journey has just begun!
Meet your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide and bus driver.
Group check-in. Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Day 2. Monday 5 August. Havana
Breakfast is complimentary everyday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Morning: visit to theatre group, Buendia. Directed by actress, teacher and artistic director Flora Lauten, the company was founded in 1986 with graduates from the Instituto Superior de Arte, with two basic approaches to its work: the production of plays that combine song, dance and acting; and the research into Latin American and Caribbean cultural traditions, the actor's means of expression and new stage languages.
Followed by guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Havana.
Visit to the Cathedral Square, named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Cathedral of Havana built by the Jesuit order.
Visit to Square of Arms, ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers and surrounded by impressive buildings such as:
Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the former official residence of the governors (Captains General) of Havana, Cuba. It is home to the Museum of the City of Havana.
Palacio del Segundo Cabo. The seat of the second authority of the island. Today it houses important publishing houses.
Continue walking tour onto San Francisco Square, named after the Convent of San Francisco, this square was conceived in 1628, with the objective of supplying water to the ships trading with the metropolis.
Visit to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Notice it doesn't have a church or government building around. Here we will visit important institutions for visual arts.
Lunch at El Templete restaurant (included).
Afternoon: ferry boat ride across Havana harbour to the town of Regla. This Afrocuban community has a long, rich and still active tradition of African-inspired religions integral part of today's Cuba's Religions.
We'll visit Regla's church dedicated to the black "Virgen de Regla" Yemayá, the African goddess of the sea in the Yoruba religion and the patron saint of sailors.
Tour of Regla's municipal museum to learn the origins of this unique community and its Afrocuban cultures.
Enjoy private Afrocuban religious dance presentation by Regla Folkloric Group.
Free time in the famous handicraft market of Old Havana, located inside the Almacenes de Depósito San José, an old warehouse on the harbour side where you can purchase all sorts of crafts and souvenirs by local artisans.
Evening: enjoy Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo, Havana’s most famous Jazz club. The club features great performances by island bands and soloists! (optional, not included)
Day 3. Tuesday 6 August. Explore Cuba's capital, Havana City
Morning: visit to the headquarters of Cuba’s La Colmenita Children Theater Company, directed by Carlos Alberto Cremata. Exchange with directors, teachers and children.
Followed by guided coach tour of the most important sites of Modern Havana such as the Capitol building, the Grand Theatre, Central Park, Prado promenade, Sevilla Hotel, Revolution Square, Malecón seawall, Monument to the Battleship Maine, Hotel Nacional, University of Havana, Cristóbal Colón Cemetery, and the Miramar, Central Havana and Vedado neighbourhoods.
Visit to Callejon de Hammel. An alley in which facades of all buildings display mural painting inspired on Afro- Cuban religions by painter Salvador Gonzales. Also meet with artist and visit his studio.
Lunch hosted by Jose Fuster, one of the most important Cuban ceramists and painters today.
Afternoon: visit to the headquarters of Conjunto Folklorico Nacional. The most outstanding performers of the National Folklore Group will show the secrets of Cuba folk dances, a mix of African and Spanis roots, and the magical sounds produced by the Cuban percussion instruments.
Morning: visit to the Lizt Alfonso Ballet School founded in 1991. Lizt Alfonso’s choreographies are dance and music of a kind no one else creates: a seamless fusion of Spanish classical dance, ballet, flamenco and Afro-Cuban dance.
Tour the school and meet with students and teachers.
Lunch at El Aljibe restaurant.
Morning: guided tour of Cuba's National Art Schools (ISA). ISA professors are all active visual artists, art curators or art critics. The faculty of visual arts provides a combination of theory and practice designed for students serious about pursuing artistic achievement through concentrated study.
Study at the Institute is comparable to conservatory work in the United States. This is a great opportunity to exchange with the new generation of Cuban visual artists. Meet with students and professors.
Day 5. Thursday 8 August. Havana- Cienfuegos- Trinidad
Morning departure to Trinidad, in Central Cuba.
En route, we will visit Cienfuegos City, a city of neoclassical buildings with a European flair.
Visit to Palacio de Valle upon arrival. This architectural jewel originated as a home for trader, Celestino Caceres, who later
gave it as a wedding present to the Valle family who added to it (in a Mughal Style with carved floral motifs) a stunning Carrara
marble staircase, cupped arches, bulbous domes and delicate arabesques.
Lunch at Palacio del Valle restaurant.
Afternoon: guided walking tour of Cienfuegos' Historical Center.
We will visit neoclassical buildings around Paseo del Prado and the main Square Jose Marti such as:
The Tomas Terry Theatre, completed in 1895 and named after a sugar baron from Venezuela who arrived in Cuba with no money and
made his fortune by buying sick slaves for a low price, to later nurse them back to health and reselling them. This money was
invested in a sugar estate that brought him the wealth to build several outstanding buildings in Cienfuegos, including this
theatre, with materials specially brought over from Europe.
The Casa de la Cultura, home of another wealthy sugar baron, stunning mansion in neoclassical style.
The Cathedral built with the donation of wealthy families like the Lebrancs, the Albis, the Terrys. Inside you find the
reproductions of the 12 Apostles in stained glass imported from Paris. Also the original machinery of the clock tower was built
in France. Still in place and working.
We'll also visit the elegant art gallery Galería de Arte Maroya and review its impressively displayed collection of paintings,
sculptures and antiques.
Now we journey on to the historic city of Trinidad and check in at all-inclusive Trinidad del Mar.
You'll have time for dinner and a swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Day 6. Friday 9 August. Trinidad
Morning: guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad’s Historical Center, a perfect relic of
the early days of
the Spanish colony with beautifully preserved streets and buildings with hardly a trace of the 20th century anywhere.
Visit to the Architecture Museum (Casa de los Sanchez Iznaga), housing the most representative samples of the city's architectural
development in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Visit to Museo Lucha contra Bandidos, former home of the San Francisco de Asis convent.
Visit to Museo Romantico, overlooking the Trinidad main square. It has an excellent exhibition of romantic style porcelain, glass,
paintings and decorative furniture which belonged to the Conde de Brunet and other Trinidad notorious families.
We will stop at a mirador (lookout) over the Sugar Mill Valley, where the sugar barons used to have their countryside mansions and
mills. This site is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trinidad is well known for its pottery makers. We meet with a family that has been passing the tradition for generations:
Lunch back at the hotel.
Free time to wander the streets of historical centre or enjoy the beach.
Evening is free to enjoy the beach, hotel amenities, and the lively streets of Trinidad. How about live Cuban popular music on
steps of Casa de la Música – a great opportunity to dance with Cubans and your tour companions.
Day 7. Saturday 10 August. Trinidad
Morning: visit to group theatre, Teatro Escambray, based in La Macagua, in the heart of the Escambray Mountains. 'Theatre Group Escambray was founded in 1968 by actors Sergio Corrieri and Gilda Hernández. In its early years, its repertoire drew from the dynamics between the actors and the peasant community of the Escambray Mountains.
Early morning departure to Havana City International Airport for departure.
*1 Early Bird discount is not combinable with any other promotion, referral discount or other discount.
Authentic Cuba Travel
Cuba Cultural Tours
Authentic Cuba Travel's cultural tours are hosted by Cuba’s key Culture ministries, organizing committees and Cuban culture personalities. Travel with the peace of mind of knowing you are in the best hands!
Cuba cultural tour participants are provided with “All Access” pass to attend all venues of Cuban cultural international events.
Guided tour of the Experimental Printing Workshop, a cultural cooperative of young Cuban artists.
Tour the Wifredo Lam Center, a cultural institution devoted to the study and promotion of contemporary visual arts in developing countries.
Private visits to the studios of Cuban contemporary artists such as Jose Fuster, Alicia Leal, Juan Moreira, Rene Pena and others prominent artists are part of Authentic Cuba Travel’s cultural tours.
Travel to UNESCO World Heritage cities such as Old Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos Historical Center, Colonial Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, and other Cuban cities.
Guided tour of the Museum of Fine Arts' Cuban Collection, one of the most important cultural institutions in Cuba, where we see the evolution of Cuba's visual arts over the last 300 years.
Exchange with Cuban and international musicians, exhibitors, publishers and culture personalities.
Visit to Callejon de Hamel. An alleyway street where an effort of cultural rescue led by fine artist Salvador González has been underway since 1990.
Participate in the most traditional and popular cultural ceremonies in Cuba such as The Fire of the Cannon of 9 O’Clock.
Warm Greetings! I’m Luis D'Aguiar, and I warmly invite you to join our cultural journeys to Cuba, the least commercialized, largest, and most exciting island in the Caribbean. Cuban culture is a very diverse cultural blend of African, European and North American design reflecting the diverse demographic of the island. I studied at the University of Havana, and guided hundreds of cultural groups from the most prestigious North American museums of arts before moving to Canada. Today Cuban contemporary art remains one of the few export items for collectors. Come and join us! Need help, send me a message.