Gran Teatro de la Habana

This renowned and monumental building that over the years has been demolished and rebuilt still seems to be undergoing a continuous restoration.

Today it holds the seat of the national ballet of Cuba.


The Gran Teatro de la Habana manages to put on a new performance every week; which is an astonishing accomplishment in itself.

Gran Teatro de la Habana

As a tourist you’ll have to pay the “Tourist-price” of 20 CUC, although the ticket indicates that the price rises too fast for the printing to catch up :-)

For this price you will get the best seat of the house - segregated along with the other tourists and effectively distanced from mingling with any Cubans.

However, it’ll be hard not to notice the Cuban spectators. They really do “light up” the performance.

In Cuba, the ballet dancers are icons like the movie and rock stars, so when one of these popular figures enters the scene, he or she is accompanied by loud cheering, hurrahs and applause.

You’re not allowed to take pictures during the show, so when the camera flashes, and they do, you’re likely to see a stern looking attendant walking down the aisle, searching in vain for the culprit.

The performance I attended was a contemporary piece on different themes, to the music of Bach, Mendelssohn and others. It was performed with such elegance, passion and expertise that left no doubt as to the reason why the Cuban ballet is world famous.

The program:

The Challenge

  • Choreography: Hilda Riveros
  • Music: Vangelis
  • Costumes: Cristina Sosa, José Medina and Frank Álvarez

Meeting Point

  • Choreography: Jorge Amarante
  • Music: Antonio de Cabezón
  • Anonymous: Antonio Martín and Diego Ortiz
  • Lights: Ruddy Artiles


  • Choreography: Alicia Alonso
  • Music: Johann Christian Bach
  • Stage Setting: Zaida del Río
  • Costumes: Salvador Fernández

Scottish Symphony [adage]

  • Choreography: George Balanchín
  • Music: Felix Mendelssohn
  • Stage Setting: Ricardo Reymena
  • Costumes: Félix Ávila
  • Lights: Ruddy Artiles


  • Choreography: Jorge García
  • Música: Jules Massenet
  • Vestuario: Salvador Fernández