Retazos: Pieces of the Havanan Urban Landscapes

Retazos: Pieces of the Havanan Urban Landscapes

Last modified: December 30, 2022

The company of contemporary dance Retazos was founded in 1987 by a Chilean dancer and professor, Isabel Bustos (National Prize of Dance, 2011), and it stands a genuine expression of the fusion of vary artistic manifestations. Today it is a sort of laboratory of ideas, of encounters between different artists; not only from the dance, but also from the music, photography and from the plastic arts.

Isabel Bustos, besides directing the company, making rehearsals, teaching classes, organizing workshops is the main choreographer of Retazos. She also organizes many meetings, like the International Festival of Dance in Urban Landscapes Habana Vieja: city in movement, for example. Her repertory is full of metaphors, lyricism, and rich visualization… And her anxiety for exploring in the movement has never depleted neither the energy to continue mounting and mounting pieces again.

In the most ancient metropolitan part of the capital she has her headquarters: Las Carolinas (a theater located at Amargura ·# 61 between San Ignacio and Mercaderes, Habana Vieja). But it is not only that, it is also the vital creative space of the group founded three decades ago. The surroundings of the Habana Vieja, its inhabitants, their everyday life and peculiarities are inherent to the routine of Retazos and to the dissimilar projects that the company carries out together with the Historian Office for –and with—the community.

The work of the group is characterized by the combination of emotion, feeling and sensations. Starting from the custom and the natural gestures, Bustos has created a lyrical and intimist language that tries to reflect the different cultural and artistic contradictions of her time. Since the most absolute technical vanguard, Retazos Company guides its choreography with a marked accent about the plastic, toward a singular stage projection of the Visual Arts. Its work through the streets and the promotion of the dance distinguishes it from the rest of the Cuban collectives. Its pieces represent a convincing chronicle of Latin American spirituality in a reflexive dance, unpredictable, legitimate and above all vital. Titles as Mujeres, En Sueños, Solamente una vez, or later on its performances of great format as Naturaleza muerta con gallina blanca, or Las lunas de Lorca, are choreographies that set Retazos in a high point of the dance in the Isle.

Toni Piñera
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Journalist for more than 30 years at the Granma newspaper, art and dance critic, professor at the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, curator of Cuban art exhibitions (former director of the La Acacia gallery, Havana), poet.

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