Rotorua, March 9th, 2019. This weekend took place the Aotearoa Cuban Festival, at the well-known tourist city of Rotorua. Considered by many the largest community event of Cuban dance and music in New Zealand, it rendered tribute to the Cuban rhythms and their roots, showing the passion and vitality of Cuban culture.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Cuban Ambassador, Mario Alzugaray Rodríguez, the Mayor of the city, Her Worship Mrs. Steve Chadwick, representatives of the Maori community and other local authorities, as well as the artistic director of the project, Greydis Montero Liranza, dancer, choreographer and a key player in the incursion of the Festival with the mix of Maori and Cuban rhythms.
As every year, many artists, mostly Cubans who emigrated to New Zealand and Australia, taught at various workshops for the local public of all ages, lovers of dance, music and Afro-Cuban rhythms, including rumba, conga, cha-cha-cha, salsa and mambo.
An award was given to Murray Caves for the dedication and contribution to the development of salsa and Latin dancing in the community. Murray has supported the social events and classes of different rhythms in various parts of New Zealand and Australia.
With an extensive community exchange program in the field of music and dance, which began on February 23rd, the festival included diverse performances, demonstrations and salsa classes for both children and adults. Residents of Rotorua and Tauranga had the opportunity to meet and share a real sample of Cuban culture.
The Aotearoa Cuban Festival is organized by the homonymous Trust, a non-profit organization whose mission is to spread Cuban music and realize the incorporation of the community to build and promote physical, mental and cultural activities in a social environment.
In this edition, the Festival was sponsored by Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, One Foundation, New Zealand Communities Trust (NZCT), Southern Trust and Creative Communities Rotorua Scheme, which allowed them to hold free cultural events with the community.