Report by: Cubadebate/PrensaLatina
Manuel Mendive, whose work is among the great attractions of the Artes de Cuba festival at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC this May, engaged in a direct dialogue with the public during a performance that combined painting, dance and music.
Top Cuban multimedia artist Mendive has won the admiration of visitors to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with his installation ‘Nature, Spirit and Man’.
The work is a reflection of the intimate relationship between human beings and their environment, and is in the central State Hall.
But one night Mendive took the central idea of those pieces and moved it into the Eisenhower theater, where he created a new painting with that same intention to look at the essences.
It is about the beginning of life and how this land was created, Mendive told Prensa Latina, about taking nature, spirit and man as a starting point both for his sculptures and for the performance.
“Here we are all as brothers and we must always be united, with love, respect and peace,” added the artist during the ‘Artes de Cuba festival: from the island to the world’, May 8 to June 3.
Many of those interested in his work walked on to the stage of the Eisenhower Theater to see the artist complete a new painting focused on that symbiosis between nature and spirituality, in which the birds and trees merging the human and the animal were present.
Also on stage, were the musicians Yosvany Terry, a Cuban saxophonist and composer living in New York; the percussionist Mauricio Herrera, also based in that city; and the classical pianist Adonis González, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Melodies composed by Gonzalez evoked natural environments, in tune with the artist’s ideas.
Then four dancers came on stage with their bodies painted by the artist, ‘because I always emphasize the beauty of the body,’ Mendive explained.
In their hands they brought canvases full also of the symbols so brilliantly handled by the painter, all on an intense green background; and they were responsible for distributing tree leaves decorated by Mendive and marked with his signature.
The performance, the artist said, is another way of making a speech; it enters slowly, but it is stronger, more direct.
Watch video of Manuel Mendive talking about his work commissioned for the Artes de Cuba festival