Posted tagged ‘Cuba’

Ban Rarra in Action

March 15, 2014

One of the things that struck me while in Cuba was the passion for the arts that I saw in almost every setting. Dance, music, visual arts, every aspect you can imagine. The very first day, our SFWorkshops group was treated to an amazing “rehearsal” event by a dance group called Ban Rarra, in a beautiful but decaying theater within walking distance of our hotel.

Cuba, dance, Ban Rarra

Ban Rarra practices and performs in a large, crumbling theater space in downtown Havana.

The dancers are apparently all professionally trained graduates of the Escuela Nacional de Arte. Their energy and talent were unmistakable. We watched an hour-long “rehearsal” that was almost non-stop, and were allowed to photograph from any and all perspectives – on the main floor as well as from two levels of balconies (which required careful navigation). Because the light was very low and tripods not an option, I chose to shoot almost exclusively using camera motion and shutter priority set on 1/20th of a second (the ISO settings were insanely high). Hope you enjoy this look at an incredibly talented troupe, and if you’re every fortunate enough to visit Havana, try to get to one of their performances.

Garden Spots in Havana

February 28, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from a week in Cuba with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. I went to see Cuba before (as one of our group members put it)  “there’s a Starbucks on every corner.” It was an incredible trip, and I’m already planning to return next year if I can.

I didn’t go to photograph gardens, and the photos I took for the most part fell into other themes – architecture, people, cultural events, and the city itself. More of those images later. But to my surprise, there were plants and parks everywhere. Plants on balconies in pots. Lushly planted pocket/plaza parks. Bougainvillea growing up the sides of buildings. And in some cases, ferns sprouting out of cracks in the facades of some of the older, crumbling  but still magnificent edifices that serve as businesses or in-town tenement apartments. While I work on my other images (too many!), here are a few photos of green spaces in Havana.

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