Expo-Québec opens to Cuba

Expo-Québec opens to Cuba

Past Events

By: Mercy Ramos Photos by Cubaplus

The Expo-Québec fair, held in August 2009 in Quebec City, beheld the beauties of Cuba's beaches and marvelous landscapes presented by special ists from hotel chains and tourist groups. The century-old commercial, agricultural and industrial fair has, for eleven years, invited a foreign country as guest of honor. This year, for 12 days, from August 19 to 30, this major fair in eastern Canada invited Cuba in that role. Cuba attended with a large representat ion of tourist companies, hotel groups, travel agencies, tour operators, the famous Tropicana cabaret and special ized publications. Among the latter were Cubanacan, Gran Caribe, Gaviota, Cubatur, Havanatur, Sol Mel ia, Iberostar and the marina marl in Alboran Bluesail, as well as Cubaplus. The more than 350 thousand people visiting the Cuban pavil ion enjoyed the daily appearances of the Tropicana cabaret with a cl imax performance for the 70th anniversary of the cabaret before a large crowd at the Belle Gueule arena.

Expo-Québec opens to CubaMany people enjoyed the fairground attract ions and games of skill, while others bought souvenirs, visited the many exhibitions presented, took part in contests l ike sand sculpture, or watched the judging of cattle and horses. Concerts were also presented in the evening. One of the most appeal ing events was the eleventh International Sand Sculpture Contest - with a movie theme- in which some twenty sculptors from around the world participated. Two Cuban sculptors attended this contest for the first time from the ACAA (Cuban Association of Artists and Craftsmen). Yuri Romero Peñalver and Vitaly García Sigoenko presented the sculpture "Through the Storm" dealing with different characters of Cuban Cinema,. They also created a muchapplauded sculpture with the face of Che Guevara. Cubaplus magazine, together with the Sol Melia hotel chain, Cubana de Aviacion and Varaplaya, organized a raffle among its subscribers for a trip to Cuba. Mr. Martel Claude was the winner of a week's trip for two at Paradisus Rio de Oro Hotel in Holguín.

More than 200 dancers usually perform at Tropicana's stages, dressed up in extravagant costumes to dance the purest and most genuine Cuban music.

Expo-Québec opens to CubaWell-known singers such as Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker, Xavier Cugat, los Chavales de España, Carmen Miranda, Pedro Vargas, Libertad Lamarque, Tania Libertad, Alejandra Guzmán, Cheo Feliciano, Celia Cruz, Olga Guillot, Rita Montaner, Bola de Nieve, among others have performed at this cabaret.

Tropicana was awarded the National Monument distinction in 2002, from the National Council of Cuba's Monuments. HOW DID TROPICANA EMERGE? It is said that when the world was undergoing the 1930's economic depression, an Italian businessman named Víctor Correa, with a great experience in the show business, had the idea of turning Villa Mina farm, then located in the sub-urban district of Marianao, into an artistic and music recreation center. The cabaret was like an exotic tropical version of the Parisian Folies Bergere, inserted in the heavenly tropical environment of a Havana farm. In the late 1940's, the nightclub was acquired by Martin Fox, then known as one of the greatest Czars of gambling. Fox decided to remodel and enlarge the cabaret, without changing the under-the-trees stage. On December 31, 1949, a sculpture named "Ballerina" was placed at the main entrance of the already famous cabaret. The piece of art was made by a prestigious Cuban sculptor, Rita Longa. The Ballerina sculpture has been Tropicana's hostess for 56 years, as if she were trying to express that the spirit of dance has no bounds. La Fuente de las Ninfas (The Fountain of the Nymphs), made by the artist Aldo Gamba, is also part of the sculptural group that contributes to Tropicana. With the same name and similar shows, that type of cabaret has been recreated in Matanzas City, near the famous Varadero tourist resort, as well as in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba. There are also nightclubs in The Canary Islands and Santiago de Chile, where Cuban artists from Tropicana perform and increase the fame of one of the world's most famous cabarets.

Expo-Québec opens to CubaUn détail entourant les rénovations est particulièrement intéressant : le stade devait pouvoir être abaissé au niveau du sol au terme des spectacles, pour permettre aux spectateurs de participer à la danse au rythme de l'orchestre. Le 31 décembre 1949, une sculpture appelée " la Ballerine " a été installée à l'entrée principale du cabaret, déjà réputé. Elle est l'oeuvre de la prestigieuse sculptrice cubaine Rita Longa. L'architecte Max Borges Jr, alors responsable de la rénovation du Cabaret, voulait qu'un sculpteur décore l'étang à l'entrée du cabaret. Bien que cela semble paradoxal, Longa a préféré sculpter une gracieuse danseuse de ballet. Aussi cette ballerine est-elle l'hôtesse du Tropicana depuis 56 ans, comme si elle essayait d'exprimer que l'esprit de la danse n'avait aucune limite. La Fuente de las Ninfas (la Fontaine des Nymphes), réalisée par l'artiste Aldo Gamba, fait aussi partie du groupe sculptural qui participe aux beautés du Tropicana. Le Cabaret Tropicana est actuellement une des boîtes de nuit les plus réputées et les plus grandes de Cuba et du monde. Portant le même nom et offrant des spectacles semblables, ce type de cabaret a été recréé dans la Ville de Matanzas, située près de la notoire ville touristique de Varadero, ainsi qu'à l'est de Santiago de Cuba. La réputation du Tropicana dépasse les frontières cubaines : aux Îles Canaries et à Santiago, au Chili, les artistes cubains recréent l'un des cabarets les plus célèbres de la planète, tout en contribuant à son prestige. Tropicana, un endroit privilégié par les hommes d'affaires et par ceux qui apprécient les bons cigares, accueille le Festival international du Habano, dans le secteur Marianao de la Havane.