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As part of the celebrations for the 59th anniversary of the Guiñol Theater group Cienfuegos, to be held on October 18, its members are developing promotional initiatives and are taking the first steps in what will be the next premiere, according to its general director Daymani Blanco Serra.
The Southern Theater Company, the first one founded in the territory after the triumph of the Revolution, is currently offering to the different audiences the Digital Bulletin "Lo que trajo la Ola", a material to socialize the history of the fifty-year old group dedicated to children, while preparing the new staging of the play "Caperucita" (Little Red Riding Hood).
Blanco Serra told the radio that the Digital Bulletin, "Lo que trajo la Ola", with about 6 printings and a weekly output, will review part of the history of the Guiñol group. The content is available from the group's Facebook profile, as well as from the Provincial Council of Performing Arts and on the different platforms of the provincial directorate of culture.
The Guiñol Cienfuegos
The Guiñol Cienfuegos Theater Group was founded on October 18, 1962, in the Provincial Library located at that time in the current Government House in Martí Park.
Its official and definitive debut was on that stage and its main character was the cow "Queta", which from then on was the central axis of several shows. Then, they offered performances every weekend at the library itself and at the Terry Theater. They also performed at the Círculo Infantil "Jesús Villafuerte" which was the first and only one created up to that time in 1962.
Currently, the headquarters of the group since 1978 is located on 37th Street between 54th and 56th Avenue (between San Fernando and San Carlos), this being one of the main arteries of the city, in front of the Prado de Cienfuegos.
By: Raúl Francisco Cotarelo / Radio Ciudad del Mar
Taken from Perlavisión
English version Hector Hdez.
Once again, cultural institutions in Cienfuegos will sponsor the "Cantándole al Benny" Performance Contest, established by the Tomás Terry Theater and the Rafael Lay Music and Entertainment Marketing Company of this city, with a view to promoting and stimulating artistic talent in times of pandemic.
According to the information offered by Lic. Yankiel Ayala Yero, Communication and Dissemination specialist of the "Tomás Terry", the materials must be recorded with a cell phone of good resolution, in horizontal position or with a semi-professional camera, thus ensuring that the audiovisual has the minimum adequate quality.
In addition to the above, it is necessary to send a biographical summary that does not exceed one page, and personal data including telephone number, plus e-mail if available.
The works will be received until October 10, and from October 11 to 19, the jury will meet to give the results on October 20, in salute to the Day of Cuban Culture.
"Four finalists per category will be selected; four per group, regardless of format, and the same number for soloists, for a total of eight finalists," Ayala Yero said. These musical works will be announced through the official Facebook page of the Tomás Terry Theater, and from that date on, voting for the Popularity Award will begin until the end of the month.
The culmination of the contest will take place on February 2022, with the realization of a musical show at the "Terry" commemorating the 59th anniversary of the death of the star of Cienfuegos, where the winners will participate along with prestigious artists.
English version Hector Hdez.
The first thing that calls the attention in this "sentimental melodrama" is the title itself. Almost is an adverb of quantity that alludes to "a little less than", "approximately", "just a little"; which infers, once the link with the cultural concept that is the word male is established, that "someone" is not a complete being according to the patterns of masculinity and hetero dominance. In fact, the term male is used when one wants to make a sexual distinction with women.
The short film plays precisely with the misunderstandings of a supposed sexual identity, when the protagonist is forced by the leader of a gang of thugs to disguise herself as a chauffeur to enter the palace of a rich aristocratic family, which they intend to rob. This experience leads him to meet the young heir of the family and, in the process of teaching him how to drive the car, to fall in love with him. Of course, the affective relationship could not be called into question; the story had to save the "manhood" of the gallant and in the moments of the climax, when the situation has reached the limit of what is permissible, achieved the sufficient laughter of the audience in their "humorous glimpses", the balance is recovered. It is then that the trick is confessed and the young man apologizes to the girl for having disguised himself as a man.
Clearly, playing with "almost homosexual" love (there is a crossover between sexual identity and gender identity, albeit at a paradigmatic level) has its limits and Peón (prejudiced by his macho environment and being a hetero-Catholic man) is convinced that there can be no ambiguities. To conceive a story about otherness (which would have been a precursor in Las Américas; the short film was completed in 1922); taking into account that in Germany a film like Richard Oswald's Different from the Others (1919), with openly homosexual characters, had already been made, would have no other destiny than scandal; or worse, failure. Obviously, it was not the director's intention to conceive a story of this nature; the aim was to distract audiences and offer the actors a chance to show off.
Having played a boy was a daring move for the singer Blanquita Steevers at the time (although it was not unprecedented; almost a decade earlier, other performers, such as Mary Pickford, had done it), a gamble from which she emerged triumphant. The critics came to distinguish her as a "talented" actress and this type of role or character played by a woman as a "complex personality". Unfortunately, the short film did not survive in time and we cannot judge the histrionic or narratological details; however, hers must not have been a performance devoid (in the style of this kind of "illusory transvestism") of hyperbolized manly gestures and the relevant clothing, with beret and moustache included, as seen in some photographs.
Antonio Perdices, the most attractive leading man of the silent Cuban cinema /Photo: Author's Archive
Curiously, Antonio Perdices, the most attractive leading man of silent Cuban cinema, debuted in the film, an actor with a striking resemblance to the Latin lover Rodolfo Valentino, who in the film was made up and dressed as a French courtier, in the style of Monsieur Beaucaire (Luciano Castillo, 2011). Precisely, Valentino was a bisexual, mannered man (although the gestural mode of silent cinema veiled these hints), who usually appeared with a vampish face and delicate make-up.
On the other hand, it was the first time that the national cinema and the invisible community of Cuban gays had their own sex symbol, which was frequently noted by the chroniclers of the time when they praised the beauty of the artist. By the way, at this stage, male canons were scarce; besides Valentino, the Mexican Ramón Novarro deserves mention, who, when he died in 1926, became the most notorious Latino in the film industry.
Could we qualify Perdices as a gay icon in Cuban cinema? Almost certainly; but his scarce and stray film production, his early retirement, put an end to a promising career; to which must be added the shyness and invisibility of the gay public of the time. In fact, the theories of Magnus Hirschfeld and his contributions to the LGBT rights movement had not even been socialized in Cuba, or the echoes of the World League for Sexual Reform (1928), which sought the acceptance of homosexuality. The Cuban gay preferred to live in the closet, omitted by society. How to publicly manifest his attraction to Perdices? At the same time, the actor soon loses his physical line, which ends up marked by obesity; an unforgivable trait for the demands of the guild.
Casi Varón, frontally, is not a gay cinema, its will is not to show or defend a lifestyle or sexual orientation, but the first space (at least in the cinema) where Cuban homosexuals could locate a latent fantasy with which to identify themselves and stew their imaginary, probable history between almost two men.
English version Hector Hdez.