Malpaso Dance Company


February 20, 2017 to February 25, 2017

“You get the feeling that they could dance just about any genre with jaw-dropping style. Which makes their unique expression of Cuban culture in all its profound and complex glory all the more special.” —NOW Magazine Toronto

Thanks to thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the prodigiously talented Malpaso Dance Company of Havana has started to appear more frequently on American stages. Central to Malpaso’s rising profile is their relationship with the New York-based Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which has won two GRAMMY awards under bandleader Arturo O’Farrill. The ten-piece Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (ALJE), featuring members of the Orchestra, “embraces music from across the Americas, playing all of its diverse material with the same precision and fire it brings to a mambo workout” (The New York Times).

Malpaso and the ALJE come to Duke with the U.S. premiere of Dreaming of Lions, in which ten musicians and ten dancers present an evening-length evocation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic 1952 novella The Old Man and the Sea. Choreographer Osnel Delgado draws on ballet and Cuban dance in depicting the tale of a fisherman’s quest to catch an elusive marlin, using a different movement vocabulary to delineate each character in the story. The work wrestles with themes of honor, determination, and loss through one man’s crusade for victory in the unrelenting sea.

Students enrolled in Dance Program courses may be able to use the followings events as Engagement Activities required by their courses:



  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 4:40-6:10PM
  • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 4:40-6:10PM AND THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 4:40-6:10PM (participants must attend both classes)
  • Open to students and the dance community
  • Sign up (required) and full information is HERE

Other Events


  • 12-1:30PM, Lunch Conversation with Malpaso Dance Co. A moderated conversation with Malpaso Dance Co. founders Osnel Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana, and Fernando Sáez and dancers, discussing the dance company's work and the arts in Cuba. Lunch will be provided. Sponsor: JHFC Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Location: Rubenstein Hall 153


  • 12-1:15PM, Forum for Scholars & Publics, 011 Old Chem, Duke West Campus - Public conversation at Duke Forum for Scholars and Publics moderated by Duke Performances Associate Director Eric Oberstein, with Malpaso founders Osnel Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana, and Fernando Sáez, and pianist, composer, and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill, about their collaboration and the evolving relationship between Cuba and the United States following the restoration of diplomatic relations.


  • 11:30-1PM, Baldwin Auditorium, Duke East Campus - Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble percussion workshop with Duke Afro Cuban ensemble & community members