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North Atlantic Dance Grand Prix Vladimir Malakhov Returns to Holguín

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malakovEHolguín smells like ballet. Tickets are available and in the Comandante Eddy Suñol Theatre Main Hall, every morning this week, the Prince of Dance gives a master class to Cuban dancers. The 4th Vladimir Malakhov North Atlantic Dance Contest has begun.
The northeastern Cuban province of Holguín has been transformed into the Capital of Dance every September for the last five years. I still remember Malakhov's gift for Cuba, never before did I see a public as knowledgeable and balletomaniac as the holguinero.
As Vladimir walked between “Pliés” y “relevés” I met Paul Seaquist, the main architect of a cultural event that has already become part of Holguín's identity. With his exquisite simplicity he accessed the dialogue and about the novelties of this edition he comments.
"We are in the fifth version of the Vladimir Malakhov Grand Prix in Holguín. It is really the fourth Grand Prix and the fifth time we are in this city. Remember that the first time we were here was when the Malakhov Gift for Cuba, and then came the next four Grand Prix," Paul said.
"There are quite a few novelties this year because from now on, this is going to be the last annual event. From now on, we're going to do it every two years, so the next one will be in 2020. We took that decision for two fundamental reasons: the first because I think that kids need more time to prepare for the Grand Prix and not because of lack of capacity or quality but because creative processes is never good to rush them. I think that if you have a predetermined time the processes accelerate, with the amount of work that the dancers have, with the amount of effort they have to make to be in the contest can be a little heavy.
On the other hand, we would say that a little more emotional, I think it's always good that people miss you and I think that coming here every year takes away the magic of missing Vladimir Malakhov as I want them to miss him. So if we come every two years I think he's going to miss a little bit more.

"The Grand Prix this year is going to be the most awarded since we started. We've set up different awards that we didn't have in previous years.
This year we are going to give a Grand Prix Vladimir Malakhov as the grand prize for company, for choreography and for dancers, then there is a Prix Malakhov which is like the second prize and then the second and third place. Therefore, per category there are four prizes. After that as always, we have the Audience Award. So this year we have 13 lauros.
On the rigour and talent of the proposals of this edition Seaquist bounded:
"Look, we've had two days of pre-selection and I still see that the artistic level of the dancers in Cuba, especially this unknown talent of the oriental dancer, is incredible. We are seeing a lot of different, new, very interesting proposals.
Now, seeing this of dividing the Grand Prix in two, I think it's favorable because although I'm seeing great quality as always if you appreciate a little exhaustion, I can perceive it. And you know how it shows? You can see that little by little, some choreographies start to look more and more like the previous ones. Then Joel, from Guantánamo, set the bar very high and suddenly many choreographies start to resemble what he has done. I think that giving air, giving space to favor the creative process, is much healthier.
From the night of this September 25 begin the presentations of the works in competition.
"Tonight the Grand Prix begins. On the first night we had the company Retazos, which brought us a beautiful work. Tonight the contest really begins. The works we selected on Sunday I think are 8 or 9 and before starting will open a piece of 3 or 4 minutes.
About the international participation in this edition of the North Atlantic Dance contest, the art entrepreneur pointed out:
"This year is the one with the most international dancers. We have a company from Spain, a company from the United States, this is very important and beautiful because it is not one dancer or two, but 9 American dancers who came here. Imagine the whole logistical process to bring these people in, it was a tremendous thing.
We have dancers from Paraguay, from Ecuador, an Argentine dancer and again we have the Japanese dancer from the Berlin Opera who will dance again this year. We're growing, people are getting more and more interested in what we're doing here.
"Last year I got sick and missed the Grand Prix and I understand that the Grand Prix missed me a little bit too, but you know how nice? It worked the same way! And I understand that quite well. It's beautiful to know that you created a project that is self-sufficient and already walks alone. /Radio Angulo

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