"Celia, a gift from the soul" Presented By El Ingenio Teatro

Since I was born you spoke for me. My uncles and grandparents
were happy with your laughter.
This is how the text of an actress begins that evokes -like faults or
fragments of life- the image and voice of Celia Cruz, the mythical
Cuban singer exiled in New York.
Why Celia, why an actress imprisoned in the memories of a myth, an
illusion, a voice so far away in space and time? They are the
questions under a fable that is fragmented - into images, songs,
testimonies - to tell a story of enchantment and nostalgia. Celia is a
staging that pays homage to the mythical guarachera and a magical
ritual that strengthens the musical and artistic legacy that Celia
leaves for several generations

"Celia, a gift from the soul," will be an international
collaboration between El Ingenio Teatro from Miami and Axé
Worldfest from Canada. This intercultural exchange will be
a documentary theatre project about the unique Cuban
African artist Celia Cruz.
The performance will use pre-existing documentary
material as a source to tell an original story based on actual
events and people without altering the events in the
presentation. The project includes investigative theatre,
theatre of fact, theatre of witness, autobiographical
theatre, and drama. Dialogue has the actual words of reallife people, as recorded in historical documents. "Celia, a
gift from the soul" will be a world premiere of a bilingual
play incorporating actors, musicians, live music, theatrical
installation, and multimedia images.
About the set, we choose to film the reconstructed events
in the real locations in which the historical events occurred.
(Havana, Miami, and New York). In the performance, we use
literary, radio, television, film, and narrative techniques to
flesh out the bare facts of an event in history to tell a story
about the legendary and extraordinary singer Celia Cruz.
The project will be presented in both countries, the U.S and
Canada. At El Ingenio Teatro, we have foreseen that
depending on the circumstances involving the COVID-19
situation, audiences should enjoy the play in an open space
as an alternative to the indoor, conventional theatre


Miami, Feb 25 (EFE) - The story of an actress whose only refuge in Havana is listening to the music of the "Guarachera de Cuba", Celia Cruz, serves as the plot of the play "Celia", which opens the Casandra Festival, an international event "dedicated to women", with its premiere in Miami (Florida) on 5 March. Celia" is a play that emerges in a pandemic. As we were stuck, one night I dreamt of Celia. I confess, I wasn't even a fan of hers, although I did know her music," Lilliam Vega, director of the theatre group El Ingenio, which organises the festival, told Efe today.Vega initially planned to "do something that had to do with the joy and spontaneity" of the queen of salsa, but as she wrote the text "what is now this show was forged", adds the director, who lives in Miami and has a degree in Performing Arts from the Instituto Superior de Artes (ISA) in Havana.

It tells the story of a woman called Celia who dreams of Celia and her music, which is still banned in Cuba. A parallel is established between her life and that of Celia Cruz, which she narrates as she sings live," explains Vega. The central interpretation of this theatrical production, which on 5 March opens the sixth edition of the Casandra festival at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, is by Cuban actress and singer Ivanesa Cabrea.Cabrera is joined on stage by actors Jorge Luis González and África Pérez Balmaseda. "Almost all the music we use is original for the play and was composed by Héctor Agüero Lauten," says the director.


According to the programme, the festival will present shows and panels with representatives from Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Peru, Portugal, Mexico and the United States until 13 March. Some of these events will be in person and others via Zoom. Cuban actor and theatre researcher Orestes Pérez Estanquero will present from Spain, where he lives, a work by the Ecuadorian company ContravientoTeatro, while from Cuba "La muñecarota", a version of the famous play "María Antonia", by Cuban playwright Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, will be presented online.From Peru, via Zoom, the work of the company Yuyaskany will be discussed, while Florida International University (FIU) will host the round table "Cultural Roots: memory, presence and dramaturgy of the actor", led by researchers from the United States, Portugal and Mexico.