Ballet Creole’s family-friendly Heart of Cuba an exuberant celebration of Afro-Caribbean dance

Guelph, ON February 4, 2013 – Meld dance traditions from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe, add infectious rhythms and you have Ballet Creole. The esteemed Canadian dance troupe, founded more than 20 years ago, brings its show Heart of Cuba to River Run Centre’ Main Stage on Sunday, February 17, at 2:00 p.m. This performance, appropriate for all ages, is presented as part of the Guelph Mercury Family Series.

Heart of Cuba is a tribute to the tiny island nation’s diverse heritage. Traditional Cuban dance takes influences from Africa, Spain and the Caribbean. In Cuba, African slave dances were mixed with the flamenco choreography of Spanish colonials. The result is movement that is simultaneously acrobatic, graceful, and exuberant. The energy of the dancers, spirited playing of the drummers, and the vibrant costumes will transport audiences to Cuba: a welcome ‘mental vacation’ during the dark days of February, and an excellent way to celebrate African dance heritage during Black History Month.

“I keep delving deeper into the music and every year discover something new that allows me to refine or develop the choreography,” says Patrick Parson, founder of Ballet Creole. Parson, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, established Ballet Creole in Toronto in 1990. He has been recognized for his pioneering work in the world of dance in Canada, and shares his love of the art form with students at Ballet Creole and at York University.

Parson is a practitioner of the Dunham Technique, based on the dance and choreography of African American performer Katherine Dunham (1909 – 2006). Dunham’s anthropological studies in Africa and the Caribbean yielded a dance technique that draws from classical ballet, as well as traditional African and Caribbean movement, forging a cultural link between Africa and North America. She toured the globe, and Parsons has made it a personal mission to carry forward her approach to dance.

Tickets start at $16 for children or $19 for Adults. $5.00 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students with valid ID. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. Tickets are available at the River Run Box Office, or online at

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Ella Pauls, Manager
Cultural Development 
T 519-837-5662 x 2589