Cuba Celebrates 100 Years of Perez Prado's Birth

Matanzas, Cuba, Dec 1 (Prensa Latina) The International Colloquium for the 100 years of the birth of Damaso Perez Prado, the King of Mambo, will take place in Matanzas, Cuba, and will include conferences, the opening of an exhibition and the screening of documentaries, said organizers.

The event, scheduled from December 8th to 10th, will include the performance of the Atenas Brass Ensemble wind quintet and the exhibition of living statues with artists of the group Renacer.

The opening day includes the premiere of the play 'Yo soy el Rey del Mambo', based on the book with the same name by playwright Ulises Rodriguez Febles, by Mexican group Conjuro Teatro, directed by Dana Stella Aguilar.

An important event within the colloquium will be ceremony to unveil the plates in Damaso Perez Prado's house in this city, 100 kilometers east of Havana.

Other significant activities will be the lecture by Ivan Restrepo, researcher and Perez Prado's friend, and the materials on the presence of Prado in Mexico.

The wide program includes a panel on the book by Colombian researcher and filmmaker Sergio Santana Archbold: 'Perez Prado ¡Qué rico el mambo!', and movies with music or performance of Perez Prado.

The closing ceremony of the Colloquium is scheduled for a night performance on the eve of December 11th, Perez Prado's birthday (1917-1989), with mambo dance, theater, dance and poetry performances, at the park La Libertad.

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Carilda, in her 95

Last Thursday, the poetess celebrated her birthday in her house on Tirry Avenue, in Matanzas, with the affection and admiration of her city and her country…

Carilda Oliver Labra is known, even by those who haven’t read her poetry, for a memorable verse, which has become heritage of our national wit: “Me desordeno, amor, me desordeno” (I go crazy, love, I go crazy). Notwithstanding it has been taken out of context a thousand times, it can still provide keys of an interesting lyrical voice: We’re before a poetess who hasn’t turned her back on popular expression, who does not fear to enter into fields that others may consider rough, arduous and even vulgar… when talking about life and love…

Carilda Oliver Labra has never asked for permission to write, nor has she sought the approval of academics or moralists. She’s shown her poetic sensitivity that has a lot to do with her sensitivity as a woman, without paying attention to rules or prejudices. Nobody can question the frankness of that creation.

That, perhaps at this time, does not seem much merit. But, when Carilda excelled in the 1940s, not all women (or men) dared to talk frankly about love experiences, often marked by a determined eroticism.

Of course, Cuba had a long tradition of poetry written by women, which Carilda drank from. But she always bet on a freedom that not very few deem nerve, but that distinguished her in Cuban lyrical panorama over the years and with the refinement her expression.

A recurrent topic in Carilda’s work has been the ups and downs, certainties, uncertainties and flings of love. Great topic, topic many times assumed. However, Carilda has insisted in approaching it without avant-garde pretensions, quite attached to the conversation. In fact, there’s certain melodramatic touch in many of her poems, which may have disturbed some, but that ultimately shapes the atmosphere of those works.

And we should also talk about her ludic, playful spirit, which reserves the reader points of unexpected turns, but definitively organic.

We must read Carilda Oliver Labra. Lovers who do not know her books should look for them, because they will be able to discover themselves in some other verse there. Nobody should fear a difficult reading, an inaccessible darkness, because these poems are lavished by their simplicity. The most experienced reader, of course, will find here and there compelling images, beautiful and very original metaphors.

Carilda Oliver Labra celebrated 95 years in her hometown, Matanzas, city of poets. She, in fact, is a living symbol of that city, has been chronicler and protagonist of many its artistic and literary milestones in the last century. And that’s another edge of her lyrical itinerary: memory games, which are inhabited by facts, things and people, as well as friends, neighbors, lovers, family…

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Chuck Norris Turns 76; Celebrate Birthday With 20 Hilarious Facts

Chuck Norris is one bad ass man. Born today, Carlos Ray Norris, the legend is 76 but as everyone knows no number can define him.

He is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist, and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do.

Here are 20 great facts that people need to know about Norris:

1) There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.

2) Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life.

3) Fear of spiders is aracnaphobia, fear of tight spaces is chlaustraphobia, fear of Chuck Norris is called Logic

4) Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its decendants are known today as Giraffes.

5) Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack. His heart isn’t nearly foolish enough to attack him.

6) Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

7) Females have XX chromosomes and common males have XY. Chuck Norris has YY, because he is twice the man than the common man.

8) Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.

9) There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live.

10) Chuck Norris once got bit by a rattle snake…….. After three days of pain and agony ………………the rattle snake died

11) Chuck Norris died 20 years ago, Death just hasn’t built up the courage to tell him yet.

12) Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.

13) Chuck Norris can get a royal flush in roulette.

14) When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Chuck Norris

15) Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

16) Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.

17) Chuck Norris can kill 2 stones with 1 bird.

18) Chuck Norris once won a Scrabble tournament despite getting only Z’s and Q’s in his rack.

19) Chuck Norris played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

20) Chuck Norris’ hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

In the 1960s, Norris opened more than 30 karate studios. He taught several celebrities, including Priscilla Presley and actor Steve McQueen. McQueen encouraged his teacher to try acting. In addition to being an instructor, Norris also was a fierce competitor. He participated in numerous martial arts tournaments, and he won many of the events he competed in.

Norris has starred in such action films as Return of the Dragon and Missing in Action. He also starred on the hit TV series Walker, Texas Ranger.

Norris’ box-office appeal, however, was beginning to fade by the early 1990s. No longer making hit movies, he made the switch to the small screen with Walker, Texas Ranger. Norris played Cordell Walker, an honorable crime fighter, for eight years. The show had a strong following, and was still faring well in the ratings when it went off the air in 2001. Since then, Norris has taken on few acting roles. He has also served as a product spokesperson, appearing in infomercials for exercise equipments.

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Legendary Cuban Ballerina Alicia Alonso Turns 96

Havana, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina) The most renowned Cuban artist worldwide, Alicia Alonso, turns 96 today with the strong will to give her country a lastign legacy through the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC).

Alonso devoted her life to dance, first to form herself as a respectable ballerina, then to the creation of her own personal style, and then to perpetuate the ballet deeply within the Cuban culture.

Together with brothers Fernando and Alberto Alonso she founded the first professional ballet company in Cuba, 60 years ago, when that art was scarcely understood in Latin societies.

Despite the social, political and health situations that she suffered, the decision and courage of this woman made her persist in raising her status as a dancer.

Alonso supported the social revolution that began in Cuba in 1959, and raised above prejudices and ideologies to take her art to the people, factories, fields, forests,and any street.

Famous for her unique technique, some people still speak of the Alonso fifth, referring to a specific position of the feet, while the old lovers of ballet especially cherish the times they saw her transform into Giselle and Carmen, among other classic ballet characters.

Being 96 years old, the artist is still active as a teacher, choreographer, director of the BNC and of the Havana's International Ballet Festival, in which the most renowned dancers of the planet participate.

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Freddie Mercury: Asteroid named after late Queen star to mark 70th birthday

An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to mark what would have been the singer's 70th birthday.

The Queen frontman has had his name attached to Asteroid 17473, which was discovered in 1991 - the year he died.

Queen guitarist Brian May told a gathering of 1,250 fans at Montreux Casino in Switzerland that the asteroid would now be known as Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.

May said the honour marked "Freddie's outstanding influence in the world".

Issuing the certificate of designation, Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute said the asteroid was a celebration for a "charismatic singer".

"Freddie Mercury sang, 'I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky' - and now that is even more true than ever before," he said.

"But even if you can't see Freddie Mercury leaping through the sky, you can be sure he's there - 'floating around in ecstasy', as he might sing - for millennia to come."

May, who still performs with his Queen colleague drummer Roger Taylor and singer Adam Lambert, is now Dr Brian May after studying for a PhD in Astrophysics at London's Imperial College.

He told the Montreux gathering that the Freddie Mercury asteroid was situated in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and that it measured about two miles across.

"It's a dark object - rather like a cinder in space. Viewed from the Earth it is more than 10,000 times fainter than you can see by eye, so you need a fair-sized telescope to see it and that's why it wasn't discovered until 1991," said May.

The asteroid naming follows a weekend of commemorations of the singer in London, also hosted by May.

The guitarist unveiled an English Heritage blue plaque at his bandmate's childhood home in Feltham, west London.

He said: "And so - for its first appearance in public - Asteroid Freddiemercury - happy birthday Freddie!"

 

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Ecuador Carries Out Activities for Fidel Castro’s 90th Birthday

Government institutions, groups of solidarity with Cuba and supporters of Fidel Castro''s legacy, are today arranging the final details of a program of activities planned this week to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Cuban historical leader, in Ecuador.

The celebrations will begin tomorrow with the discussion 'Fidel in Ecuador,' broadcast live on the National Assembly radio. Cuban journalist and former diplomat, Pedro Martinez Pirez, will be among the panelists taking part.

A photographic exhibition with images of Fidel Castro, courtesy of the Guayasamin Foundation, will be opened on Thursday, August 4th, at parliament's Jose Mejias Lequerica hall.

A talk on 'Fidel and his Legacy in Latin America' will be held the same day. Representatives of the ruling PAIS Alliance Movement and historians, Jorge Nuñez (member of the National Academies of History of Ecuador) and Tatiana Hidrovo (director of Ciudad Alfaro), are also involved.

This week's celebrations in tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution will also include a political-cultural gala at the Chapel of Man, on Friday, August 5. Officials of the Cuban embassy in Quito, the Guayasamin Foundation, the Jose Marti Institute and the Benjamin Carrion Cultural House, are among the guests.

Representatives of the Ecuadorian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, the PAIS Alliance Movement, the Ecuadorian Socialist Party and the Communist Party of Ecuador, the Eloy Alfaro Association of doctors trained in Cuba, the House of Peoples, diplomatic staff in Quito, and government and culture figures, will also participate

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Diego El Cigala and Omara Portuondo Prepare the "85" Tour in Havana

Havana, Jun 14 (Prensa Latina) The flamenco singer Diego El Cigala is today preparing, in Havana, the details of his tour with legendary Cuban singer Omara Portuondo, to celebrate her 85th birthday.

"How great and beautiful she is. We're rehearsing in Havana, the "85" tour is closer every day ..." the Spaniard wrote on his official Facebook page, sharing several photographs where he can be seen smiling, accompanied by Omara.

Recently, the Cuban singer revealed to Prensa Latina that she is very excited about their upcoming project.

To celebrate her 85th birthday, the artists will chose a repertoire of Cuban musical classics and iconic themes from their own repertoires.

Omara and El Cigala performed together for the first time in 2015 on stage at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the tour of the Buena Vista Social Club in the United States.

According to the agency, Montuno, Omara plans to perform in Europe, the United States and Latin America on this tour.

The Diva of Buena Vista Social Club turned 85 on October 29th, 2015, whilst immersed in the Adiós Tour, the farewell tour of the group.

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