Arts + Culture

‘Dance in Cuba: Photographs by Gil Garcetti’ Opens at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History April 22


In 2001, photographer Gil Garcetti traveled to Cubafor the first of what would be several visits to the country. Captivated by howessential dance is to daily life in Cuba, Garcetti photographed dancersin various contexts, from professional ballerinas to street performers. "Dancein Cuba: Photographs by Gil Garcetti" — on display at the UCLAFowler Museum of Cultural History from April 22 through June 4 — is the firstmuseum exhibition of his images from the country and features a selection ofapproximately 40 striking photographs, most from his new book, "Dance in Cuba."

Garcetti captures the essence of dance in Cuba. His rich black-and-whitephotographs reveal that dance is uniquely embedded in the culture and spirit ofCuba,where Afro-Cuban dance, classical ballet, contemporary dance, flamenco andstreet performance co-exist to include everyone. Garcetti had unprecedentedaccess to professional dance studios by collaborating with Alicia Alonso(director), Miguel Cabrera (official historian) and prima ballerina ViengsayValdes of the famed Ballet Nacional de Cuba, as well as with Miguel Ferrer,director of Danza Contempornea de Cuba, and others. He has used his cameramasterfully to freeze dramatic moments and chronicle this enigmatic countrywith its flourishing dance traditions.

Known for his long career as a prosecutor and as Los Angeles districtattorney, Garcetti has spent more than 40 years as an urban photographer. Hisphotography books, "Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall" and "Frozen Music,"have received critical praise in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, TheOregonian, The Washington Post and other publications. In 2003, his photographswere the subject of an exhibition at the NationalBuilding Museumin Washington, D.C., and American Photo Magazine namedGarcetti one of the nation's master photographers.

"Dance in Cuba: Photographsby Gil Garcetti" willbe on view in the Fowler Museum's GoldenbergGalleria. Sponsorship provided by Porsche of Downtown LA.

The Fowler is openWednesdays through Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m.; and on Thursdays, from noonuntil 8 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The Fowler Museum,part of UCLA's School of the Arts and Architecture, is located in the northpart of the UCLA campus. Admission is free. Parking is available for $8 in Lot 4. For more information, the public may call (310)825-4361 or visit



6 p.m., Thursday,April 27

Fowler Out Loud: UCLA's Afro-Cuban Ensemble

Groove to the music and dance of this fantastic Afro-Cubanensemble under the direction of renowned master drummer Francisco Aguabella.

2 p.m., Sunday, May 7

Tour "Dance in Cuba" with Gil Garcetti

Enjoya unique opportunity to stroll through the exhibition with photographer GilGarcetti as he offers insights into his images that explore Cuba's diverse dance culture.Reception and book signing to follow.

7 p.m., Thursday, May11

FowlerOutSpoken: "Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of the Legendary CubanNightclub"

Havana's Tropicana clubwas the epicenter of Cuban nightlife in the 1940s and 1950s — the destinationof choice for international celebrities, performers and the jet set. RosaLowinger, journalist and co-author of the recent book "Tropicana Nights,"recounts the evolution of the celebrated venue and explores the various danceand music forms that developed out of the club, against the backdrop of apre-Castro Cuba.A book signing follows the lecture.

1–4 p.m., Saturday,May 13

A "World of Art Family Workshop": CapturingBodies in Motion

On this afternoon designed for adults and families withchildren ages 10 and up, Gil Garcetti will lead a workshop on techniques forcapturing bodies in motion. Bring your own cameras and practice snapping shotsof UCLA students demonstrating various dances of Cuba in the studio. Free formembers; $15 for non-members. Reservations required: (310) 825-7325.



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