National Folkloric Ensemble: a jewel that shines and celebrates
By Alina Veranes, photos: Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba
Founded at the beginning of 1962, the National Folkloric Ensemble soon began to become, more than a dance group, a symbol of Cuban identity and culture and, above all, a mirror of something that was always quite hidden: the spiritual torrent powerful man from Africa, such an essential component of our nationality.
Although the brilliant Don Fernando Ortiz and other scholars such as Lidia Cabrera and Argelier León, had established a chair on the subject, the conditions to create an institution such as the Folklorico only managed to come together after January 1959.
Sixty years after its appearance on the stages, in celebration in style in 2022, the Folkloric continues to have the same genuine efforts of the beginning: to contribute to the rescue and rehabilitation of Cuban dance and musical roots, with a diligent process of investigation , study and decantation that will lead to promoting only the highest artistic values.
That lineage is not vain pride, but respect for the popular tributaries that form it, without whom the group could not have been born. The raw material was in the corners of the human and deep Cuba that surrounded it.
This did not license it to ignore the most modern theatrical demands and the newest techniques of the turn, with total respect for folklore.
Attached to its dazzling style of Folkloric Theatrical Art, of great scenic and aesthetic effectiveness, it has not only been impressive on national stages, but also in the numerous countries of Europe, Africa, America and the world where he has taken his popular and elaborate art, what a jewel.
It works almost like a living organism in itself, not only in charge of making brilliant musical dance shows, but also taking the results of research, mixing tradition with the flow of incessant, updated life.
The vast majority of its dancers are city men and women with other trades and professions, but who drank from the sap of Cuban folklore within their families.
The initial shows, at the time of its formation, paid tribute to the cultural roots, Yoruba, Conga, Abakuá and Rumba. Healthy habit that remains.