Enlightening Entertainment
 
Blankenship Ballet Company: World-Class Cuban Ballet & Dance (In Spanish)      
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Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Spanish and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Halo graceful viewers. Today we will enjoy the world-class traditional and eclectic dances of the Blankenship Ballet Company, based in Los Angeles, USA. Apart from classical Cuban ballet, their diverse repertoire also includes salsa, Argentine tango, Afro-Cuban dance, flamenco, ballroom, and capobalé, which is a blend of the Brazilian martial art capoeira and Cuban ballet.

Private and group lessons are offered as well in multiple dance styles. Mr. Mark Blankenship, a former civil rights attorney, created the company with his wife, Mrs. Bertha Suarez Blankenship, an exceptional Cuban ballet artist and teacher at the company. Mr. Blankenship explains the company’s unique way of performing “in-the-round” in which the audience can feel closer to the dancers.

We create a show where the dancers get close to the audience and the audience gets close to the dancers and something magical happens where the audience and the dancers blend. And there is some kind of emotional synergy that occurs that makes things a lot different and a lot more interesting in the dance world.

The Blankenship Ballet Company maintains and innovates pure Cuban ballet arts to the delight of the public who may have never experienced Cuban ballet before. It is characterized by its zest and speed and the remarkable strength of both the male and female dancers. Mrs. Bertha Suarez Blankenship is a former member of the National Ballet of Cuba and stars in many of the performances.

Cuban ballet is one of the best in the world. The Cuban technique, the education that we received is exceptional and I appreciate it a lot, the education we were given. And I brought it here to the United States, and I´m going to make it continue, thanks to all of my teachers in Cuba.

When I first started to get into the ballet, I saw two Cubans dance together and they did the Don Quixote that you saw tonight. It was so magnificent to me, the way that they connected. Then I realized that the Cuban ballet was a form of dancers seeking freedom. And the ballet then became their vehicle for freedom. It’s almost like a big family dancing. Some of these people have danced with us over a decade and it’s just wonderful.

I started at a very, very young age in Cuba, and I developed my technique there, and everything was built up there. I am happy because the style we are dancing here, which is classic, I´ve been dancing it there all my life and it is the same.

Ballet in Cuba is very important because there we all have our culture, our roots and we hold art in our hearts. There is a good school in Cuba, a lot of technique.

It´s a part of us, of our lives, since we´re born we have the music inside.

I thank Cuba for making me a great dancer.

Recently, the Blankenship Ballet Company invited Supreme Master Television to the premiere of its “Cuban Ballet & Dance Extravaganza,” featuring luminous world-class Cuban ballet dancers. Within a grand ballroom venue, the audience could enjoy a rich variety of performances in a graceful, intimate setting.

When we return, we will find out more about the Blankenship Ballet Company and its presentation of pure Cuban ballet arts and more. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Enlightening Entertainment. At the Blankenship Ballet Company, the purpose of dance is to inspire.

This is visible in the faces of those attending the company’s “Cuban Ballet & Dance Extravaganza.”

The only thing that’s traditional about it are the elements of it that come in the form of the dancers. But the rest of it is a vision of community to bring people together using the spiritual energy from the arts.

“Muñecos” (Dolls) is an extraordinary piece, I love it because it is a lot of drama. She becomes a doll, he becomes a soldier for a moment, and... It was very moving for me to do it, it is my first time.

The Cuban artists at the Blankenship Ballet Company are some of the best, and are dedicated proud in sharing the Cuban culture with the public.

My name is Miguel Ángel Blanco and I´m a dancer, a classic one.

My family is a family of artists and I started at a young age in Cuba. I was the lead dancer in the National Cuban Ballet, and this is what I´ve done all my life so far and I love to do it. I think I couldn´t live without doing it.

I think Cuba is a very rich country with culture. Not only ballet, but very good musicians, very good painters, good artists, and they love it. The audience loves art very much.

I came to this country to make art, to teach what I was taught, and to keep on passing it, passing it along to other people, to children, or to all the people, or to be able to teach it so that it won’t be lost.

Because in Cuba, that is what we are taught, art. It is what we are taught the most, and we want to share it with other people.

The Blankenship Ballet Company also celebrates the arts of non-Cuban cultures. The evening of “Cuban Ballet & Dance” featured performances by the noted Flamenco dancers such as Ms. Celina Zambon as well as a special capoeira exhibition by Brazilian capoeirista Gustavo Caldas. Each artist contributes his or her full enthusiasm for art.

My name is Gustavo Caldas I’m from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. I came into this country to teach capoeira to perform as a capoeirista and I’m also a dancer.

It’s a Brazilian martial art. And many times you’re going to see people describing capoeira a mix of dance and martial art, we also have a lot of music involved. No matter where I am, capoeira is in my soul. That’s my mission.

I was born in Argentina. I’m a flamenco dancer and choreographer. Then we bring that culture and show it to them. You have to be standing there, and show the people what you are. Not even to pretend a little bit less because it doesn’t work.

If you think about a culture, a culture is defined by its art. When we close our eyes, and think about things, we think about art, we think about beautiful creations, and it’s so much more. Art lasts forever. I don’t think art belongs to anyone. It belongs to the public.

These ballets, and this Cuban culture that we brought tonight, it lives forever in the hearts and the minds of the people that saw it. They’ll never forget it. There will be children here that will never forget that they were here. There will be families that never forgot that they were here.

The Blankenship Ballet Company is so committed to promoting the ballet arts to any and all interested in learning more that it even welcomes spectators to its performances regardless of their capacity to purchase a ticket.

And then they come to lend us their soul and heart and ears, for one-and-a-half hours, and we take them for a ride.

They are going to be thinking: Ah, last Saturday I saw a flamenco show that inspired me! Life is so beautiful! Look at the flamenco, how beautiful it is! That’s culture. That’s art. Give hope to the people, hope, that life is beautiful.

By going dancing to different places, so that people can see and love this, it helps to change the world, to peace.

What mesmerizing performances! We sincerely thank the elegant Blankenship Ballet Company and its diverse artists for dedication to introducing Cuban ballet as well as other cultures. May Heaven bless your pure-hearted endeavors to share hope, wonder, and joy through the arts.

For more information about the Blankenship Ballet Company, please visit:

Thank you for your company today on Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May your spirit be lively and magnificent!

Circus animals lead agonizing and stressful lives of confinement. Calling this “an act of cruelty,” Bolivia became the world’s first country to ban the use of all wild and domesticated animals in traveling circuses. For their compassion, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored Bolivian Congresswoman Ximena Flores and President Juan Evo Morales Ayma each with the Shining World Leadership Award.

My greetings and respects to Master Ching Hai, because I'm sure that the thought she has is shared by many of us, that we are in the plan to have a more humane world, and free from suffering for animals.

Join us for this program on Saturday, August 21, on Supreme Master Television.

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