A stage divided by the Berlin Wall on one side—seeming so much like Cuba today—a group of people who fight to buy, love and subsist. Through the language of contemporary dance, we Habaneros could review the history of the two Germanys united “like Siamese twins but separated.” The company Sasha Waltz & Guests performed last Friday in the Garcia Lorca room of the Gran Teatro and deployed a daring choreography around the concrete structure that separated, for nearly forty years, a single nation.
The dancers’ use of phrases from our everyday life contributed to the intense communication established with the audience. Nevertheless, I think that the frayed and tense atmosphere was more than enough to make us identify with what was happening on stage. The stubbornness of people continuing the course of their lives despite the iron curtain separating them was familiar to me. The tendency to forget the threatening shadow and to take refuge in intimacy, dedicating oneself almost entirely to survival. Twenty years after the fall of that arbitrary frontier, Cubans keep on desiring the elimination of the impalpable boundaries that surround us.
If at least our wall were like that one: of stone, concrete and barbed wire, we could take a hammer or pick to demolish it. If we could touch it and say, “Here it starts, here it ends,” I am sure we would have already torn it down. In our case, however, this barrier that separates us from so many things is intangible and reinforced by the sea. If, for one moment, this wall of controls and prohibitions that surrounds us would materialize, it would be a pleasure to paint an enormous graffiti on it. We could bring a ladder to look over to the other side—as the dancers did on Friday night—or dig a tunnel in its hard concrete. If none of that worked, we could take an abundant and challenging pee against the cold structure.