JOAQUIN LA HABANA
- Barbara Rodrigez (vocal)
- Barbara Rodriguez (back-voc.)
- Bassirou Sarr (Stage Design & Seetting)
- Bernd M. Langschied (Regie Assistant, Art Director)
- Bernhard P. Beutler (composition, electronix)
- Damian Blanco (choral, dance, acteur)
- Dmitri Pavlov (key)
- JOAQUIN LA HABANA (Voc., Dance, Composer, Masks, Costums, Paintings)
- Justo Perez (conga, Cajon, backvoc.)
- Lisandra Cervantes (choral)
- Lorge Martinez (Perc., backvoc, costums, dance)
- Mark Bauch (dance, poesie)
- Michael Ritter (guit akkustic)
- Miguel (drums, Timbales)
- Pedro Abreu (Violine)
- Ricardo Moreno (percussion, back-voc.)
- Roberto Mesa (Kontra-Bass)
- Suzi Onyx (back-voc.)
- label:not signed
- type:Band, Solo, Composer/Songwriter
- gender:male, female
- instrumentation:instrumental, vocal
- artist submitted by:
AFRO-CUBAN SINGER, DANCER. COMPOSER, ENTERTAINER
with an enchanting mix of
TRADITIONAL & CONTEMPORARY ART
in small & big ensembles:
1. Rhapsodia Pa' Egun - Celebration of Life
2. Caravan of Gods, Fertility Gods
3. Cubanissimo, Tropical dance show & singing
4. Mezcla Tropical, latin-american rhythms and songs
5. Cabaret Tropical, entertainment/dance animation
6. Serenata Cubana, Salon music of Cuba
7. Canto Negro, Art songs and Cuban Folklore
JOAQUIN LA HABANA "Singing dancer, transformation artist of a class of his own, voice acrobat and Santeria-high priest with roots in the Yoruba tribe, West Africa. His artistic creations stand for the synthesis of traditional indigenous cultures and contemporary art.
In all his shows and theatre pieces, JOAQUIN transcends dualities and brings together concepts and ideas that were used to be seen as conflicting.
JOAQUIN LA HABANA' current project is the opera/dance-theatre "Rhapsodia Pa' Egun - Celebration of Life. Based on the series of poems "Black Memories" by Mark Bauch, this modern one-man opera combines classical European with African and Caribbean music. Urban beats meet a string quartet and ritual chants.
The theme of the opera is that death is but a transition into the world of the ancestors, thus it's not only a sad incident. Although we miss a beloved one, we can be happy that he now exists in another realm, and that he still can be with us in a spiritual way. Ancestors do still guide us and speak to us in our dreams. When we die, we go back to the universal energies of nature, connecting us once again to a higher dimension, and the dead can be the bridge between those dimensions and our physical world.
Death itself appears, initially as an innocent angel, full of compassion with the mortals. But death has many faces, compassion turns into sarcasm, and his appetite is insatiable. After all, without death, there would be no creation and no progress. The opera sees life as a journey and the journey continues.
JOAQUIN LA HABANA AND THE ART OF HARMONY
In his performances, JOAQUIN LA HABANA presents a wide and vivacious spectrum of dance, ballet, opera, operetta, musical, theatre, Cuban folklore and religious rituals. Joaquin sings from bass-baritone to mezzo-soprano, dances, changes gender roles effortlessly, and confronts the ritual music of indigenous cultures with classical music and with Latin, jazz, funk, or rock. Joaquin's has endless possibilities of variations. This way of performing makes his ever-changing shows unique.
Joaquin wakes associations, creates new ones but alters them, surprises and stirs us with new ideas. He jumps in time and space to bring forward the inner life of his theme, breaking and redefining conceptions.
Spirituality runs like a thread through Joaquin la Habana's stage work. Religion for him is not the authority of church or missionary zeal but rather an act of liberation and a means of interaction with the audience. Playful self-exploration leads to the relieving experience of unity and happiness by the exploration of the inner self. Our rational world gets transcended by the irrational, metaphysical experience of the being in the here and now.
His unique costuming plays an important part in the shows. The symbolism of painted African bushmen, the apparel of priests, the use of wooden masks, colour and movement form a metaphor of the world and move through its dimensions. Some costumes cover the whole body, abstracting him and making him into a neutral vehicle. Others represent the qualities of a cetain deity. Patriarchal and matriarchal traditions emerge as one.
The artist's qualifications were formed in years of education in contemporary dance, ballet, theatre, and singing. He merges that with the centuries-old shamanic philosophy of Cuban Santeria, which culture forms his spiritual basis.
He combines this genuine West African tradition with spiritual rituals and Cuban theatre, transcending the duality of the sexes with the God's androgynous characteristics. In the metamorphosis of the cosmic powers arise the components of modern performing arts.
Spirituality and rationality, archaic and postmodern, soul and matter, life and afterlife meet, unfold and unify in a sensual way.
In his workshops, Joaquin takes us on a"spiritual trip" to experience and explore a new way of self-creation. The workshops aim at giving the participants a wider range of expressing themselves, through dance and free movement. Creating and using their own masks and costumes serves the freedom of changing roles and of creative self-expression. The goal is to break old barriers, to experience new possibilities, and to enhance self-awareness.
A leading question could be, for example: "What is water and how do I sense it in my body?", "How does it depict itself for me as an individual and what does this feeling mean to me?". Whatever the answer is for the participant, it is then being targeted, embodied and demonstrated.
Joaquin puts a great emphasis on the free and experimental development of every participant: Every person should find out and enhance his personality, according to age, temperament, personal goals, and act those out. Whether the result is inner calm or a fiery, the choice is for every individual to take.
JOAQUIN LA HABANA REYES was born in Cuba (*30.08.1952) into a musical family. Joaquins aunt was the singer OLGA RIVERO and his cousin the percussionist PATATO VALDES. Both got famous internationally with their recordings and tours. The family also has renowned priests of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, which Joaquin was later initiated into as a priest of Santeria.
Joaquin started his artistic carrier very early. At the age of twelve, he got a scholarship for the public art school San Alejandro, Havana, studying painting, sculpting and ceramics. In 1966, Joaquin settled in USA where he graduated from high school. He then started at the music conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts/USA, studying music, dance and avant-garde theatre. He was guest choreographer for the experimental Cambridge Dance Theatre at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard University, USA with LINSAY CROUSE.
Joaqu&65533;&65533;n also sang in and staged productions for several chamber opera ensembles at renowned universities like Harvard-Radcliffe Universities, New England School of Art, North-Eastern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
At the same time, he studied modern dance, Afro-Hindu dance and Afro-Haiti dance in the Dance Circle of Boston and in the ELMER LEWIS Afro-American Dance Centre with famous teachers such as JAMES TRUITTI, GEOFFREY HOLDER, TALLEY BATTY, CHARLES MOORE and EUGENE COMPSON.
After moving to New York in autumn 1971, Joaquin specialised in multimedia performance, where several artistic genres come together. The teachers of this new dance theatre movement were the pioneers MERCE CUNNINGHAM and ALWIN NIKOLAI. He got his training in modern and jazz dance at studios of JOS&65533;&65533; LIMON, PHIL BLACK, LUIGI. At ALVIN AILEY's school he learned the technique of HORTON and CATHERINE DUNHAM. He also studied singing in New York at the famous teacher LYDIA DE RIVIERA. Additionally to these classical vocal trainings, by Lydia de Riviera he specialised in a wide repertoire of afro-Cuban art songs, salon music and Spanish zarzuelas (operettas).
In the years between 1971 and 1981 Joaquin La Habana has played in many bilingual (Spanish-English) productions. Among that he was in various "Off Broadway" theatres: La Mama ETC, WPA THR, Actor's Studio. Finally he made a jump to BROADWAY where he performed together with IRENE CARA in "Gotta go Disco".
Joaquin played in several films, among them "The Bronx" (with PAUL NEWMAN) and the musicals "Hair" and "The Wiz" (with MICHAEL JACKSON and DIANA ROSS). During this time he had also a role in the dance-ensemble "Le Clique Fantasie Follies" in the TOM JONES SHOW at Cesars Palace, Las Vegas.
1981, Joaquin moved to Berlin, Germany, and performed as soloist throughout the Carribean, Canada and Europe, where he sang art songs and Cuban folklore. These were to be heard on theatre stages, on radio, TV, and in movies. He worked several times with director ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM, for example in "Stadt der verlorenen Seelen", 1981.
1986, Joaquin organised the first "Festival kubanischer Kultur" (Festival of Cuban culture) at the Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, as an artistic director and performer. This festival was a start of an intense co-operation with ELENA GARCIA (soloist of the "Conjunto Folklorico"), whom he invited as a choreographer and solo-dancer. Later, they founded the group IROKO (contemporary Afro-Cuban dance theatre) in Miami, USA. With this production they went on tour to Argentina, Germany, Spain and the USA.
In mid-1980s he went back to Cuba to further study folklore and contemporary Cuban dance in the ENA (national art school), the "Conjunto Folclorico Nacional" and "Cuba Danza". Further on, he studied African culture and its new artistic expressions by the masters KOFFI KOKO (Republic of Benin) and GERMAINE ACOGNY (Senegal).
He played the role of Chantal in the stage musical "La Cage aux Folles" and toured throughout Germany and Austria. Joaquin worked together with MAYMONA SAMBU (Guinea Bissau), PARANA BOMFIM (Brazil), MURAH SOARES (Brazil) and ELISE PINTO (Brazil).
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