For those of you debating the price of attending the historic Tropicana Cabaret, get over your fear of flying!
Forget Las Vegas which it is often compared to, for what you get instead is a grand ballroom sized stage and three decks of dancers on three sides as you are surrounded by over 100 dancers in a lush setting who regularly leave the stage and strut their stuff in the aisles of The Tropicana Cabaret.
The spectacular showplace that became The Tropicana evolved out of a Depression-era bohemian nightclub called Edén Concert.
One day, two casino operators approached the Edén Concert owner about opening a combination casino and cabaret on property on the outskirts of Havana and the rest is history as the signature tropical gardens location provides a lush natural setting for an outdoor cabaret.
Tropicana Cabaret is considered a cultural jewel among Cubans, and is the country’s most confounding paradox. As an art form derived from the pre-Revolutionary days of sleaze and decadence epitomized in the GODFATHER movie where near naked dancers performed, it symbolizes everything that the revolution abhors but survived to thrive in revolutionary Cuba.
Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker, and many other celebrities were amongst the many stars who have appeared on Tropicana’s illustrious stage. The actual program “Tambores en Concierto” meaning Concert Drum was composed by the renowned choreographer and master Tomás Morales. It is a ballad featuring the most recognized and authentic Cuban rhythms, without ignoring the Hispanic and African heritage of Cuba, including rumba, mambo, danzonete and Latin jazz.
And the performance is just not about Cuban dance but about Caribbean history and culture as the dancers perform mini-operas featuring pirates invading and native Afro-Cuban villagers defending their women and way of life.
And as a change of pace, a pair of inter-racial acrobats mesmerized the audience of over 300 with a showcase of strength and style that no one expected.
The show as wrapped up by a Choral group that sang a formal Orchestral set of several songs in a white tux and formal wear that contrasted the exotic pasties clad dancers with huge chandelier headdresses that seem to defy gravity.
The Tropicana Cabaret is must see Cuban dance performance culture not to be seen anywhere outside of Havana!