Dos Patrias: la poesia de Cuba

Opening on Columbus Day weekend, Dos Patrias: la poesía de Cuba is the latest in Teatro Paraguas’ ongoing Poetry Performance series, which explores the richness and diversity of Hispanic/ Latino poetry.

Dos Patrias: la poesía de Cuba begins with a tribute to José Marti (1853-1895), a writer, poet, and visionary and revolutionary who led his country’s struggle for independence from Spain throughout his short life. One of his most famous poems, Dos Patrias, begins with the line:

Dos patrias tengo yo: Cuba y la noche/ o son unos los dos?

(Two countries I have: Cuba and the night/ or are they the same?)

José Marti died in the Battle of Dos Rios against Spanish troops on May 19, 1895.

Nancy Morejon

The performance includes poetry by other famous Cuban poets, including Emilio Ballagas, Nicolas Guillén, Eliseo Diego, Luis Nogueras, and Nancy Morejón, a well-known and prolific contemporary black Cuban poet. The selection of poetry reflects both pro- and anti-regime positions, yet with an emphasis on poetic passion and excellence.

The actors, including Jonathan Harrell, Xochitl Ehrl, Edgar Nuñez, Dan Bohnhorst, Lena Stavely,Pamela Sher, and Argos MacCallum, perform the poems in Spanish with simple staging, musical accompaniment, and song. English translations are projected, along with other relevant images. Historical context is provided through brief narration.

The production also features guajira flamenco dancers Charo Shaffer-Perez and Shebana Coelho, with choreography by Mina Fajardo, dancing to the recordings of Cuba Linda Te Venero, sung by Pepe Marchena, and Hermosísima Cubana, sung by Pepe de Lucía.

Dos Patrias: la poesía de Cuba opens at Teatro Paraguas Studio on Friday October 11 and runs through Sunday, October 20. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. The show travels to the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque with performances Friday October 25 and Saturday October 26 at 7:30 pm and Sunday October 27 at 2:00 pm.

Admission at Teatro Paraguas is $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students. Sundays are pay-what-you wish. Admission at National Hispanic Cultural Center is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.

Reservations for all performances may be made by calling 505-424-1601.

Dos Patrias: la poesía de Cuba is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, as well as New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe Arts Commission, and the Santa Fe Community Foundation.