10 of the best places to enjoy the dances and music of Cuba

As Havana prepares for its autumn ballet festival, we select select places to watch and dance timba, salsa, rumba and more

With marble muses and winged angels on the baroque facade, the grande dame of Havana’s colonial-era theatres dominates this part of the old town. Inside, Anna Pavlova and Sarah Bernhardt once trod the boards, and it was lavishly restored between 2013 and 2015. The 1,000+ seat auditorium – beneath a half-tonne chandelier – hosts dance and theatre events, and witnessed President Obama’s epic speech to Cubans in 2016. Don’t miss classical ballet choreographed by Cuba National Ballet‘s 97-year-old prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso, or performances by Carlos Acosta’s new Acosta Danza. Japan’s avant garde Karas dance company wowed audiences in spring 2018. Check billboards, too, for acclaimed Cuba troupe appearances by Danza Contemporánea.
Tickets around £23. Buy in person at the box office (Tue-Sun 9am-5pm, box office reopens at 6pm for last-minute tickets on day of performance). Guided tours of the theatre (daily) £3.80. Havana’s biennial ballet festival runs 28 October-6 November, Paseo de Martí, +53 7861 3077, no website

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