MAGICAL ISA

Single Channel Video
Original Score by: DR Adonis Gonzalez
Full Length: 5 min 13 sec
Year: 2015
Country of Production: USA

( English / Espanol )

Synopsis

MAGICAL ISA explores my experience at the Instituto Superior de Arte of Havana, Cuba (ISA). I roamed the landscapes surrounding the school and its relationship to the students. ISA is truly a magical place with expansive lawns, tropical vegetation, small rolling hills, and vast amounts of space.

The School of Ballet is one of the five departments of the ISA, and my personal favorite. This ballet school attracted my attention and became the main focus of my video due to the buildings architecture. The building resembles a dance: it is wild, slowly becoming entrapped with wild roots, dark, and then, through its doorways the light is released to the viewer once again. It is a passionate dance juxtaposing its light and dark sides, which are constantly at play with one another.

Fidel Castro himself mentions ISA as an example of the most beautiful art academy in the world. The school is yet to be fully finished, and the unfinished section grows wild with plants that twist and turn, aging into a state of nostalgia for those who saw its fresh built brick. The architecture surrounding the five schools was conceived with an inherently multidisciplinary approach. It was intended to be built as a new way of practicing all genres of the arts, music, and dance. Vittorio Garatti planned for the organic structure to connect to the other areas of the school. Its natural shape is beautifully complimented by the wild plants from the forgotten dance school. I believe MAGICAL ISA is a response to the contemporary social, economic and environmental conditions of Cuba.

The soundtrack is by Cuban Pianist/Composer Dr. Adonis Gonzalez. He graduated with honors from the Superior Institute of Art of Havana (ISA), where he lived for 9 years.

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