Cuba’s artists are rising to the occasion during the coronavirus lockdown, taking to rooftops and balconies to create music or dance.
A pair of twins in the Acosta Dance Company are stuck at home after the troupe’s world tour was suddenly canceled in Britain. Now, Alejandro and Leticia Silva rehearse ballet on the terrace of their seaside apartment, to the sound of the ocean and occasional barking by their two rambunctious dogs.
The siblings, who rarely dance together, have found an unexpected bonus under quarantine.
“Now it has been easier for me to collaborate with my sister when it comes to doing choreography,” Alejandro said. It has also brought them closer together as a family – “to know what we are thinking when it comes to dancing, when it comes to training… as we do it together, more united,” he added.
From her rooftop, fellow Acosta artist Arelys Hernandez has also been inspired to choreograph.
“I think that the dissatisfaction of being locked up in all this will motivate creating,” she said. “And surely the choreographers are going to take advantage of those feelings that we have accumulated during all this time of confinement.”
Cuba reported its first cases of the coronavirus in March and has suspended school, transport and group activities.
The live audiences for Michel Herrera, 36, a saxophonist known all over Cuba, are smaller now that he performs on his rooftop for elderly neighbors, with Old Havana as the backdrop. But he sees this as an opportunity to grow as an artist.
“I think that somehow the times changed, or this time made us all change,” he said.
“I am used to working with different musicians, with big bands, making arrangements and productions where many people get together, and currently I am taking advantage of my time from home, working alone.”