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Children's Theater of Cuba. La Colmenita! (The Little Beehive) ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By La Colmenita. Edited/compiled by Axis of Logic
La Colmenita
Monday, Oct 17, 2011

Editor's Comment: In this rare appearance the world renown Children's Theater of Cuba, known as La Colmenita, is performing Abracadabra on this rare tour of the United States in October. Abracadabra is a play written by the children themselves. The name derives from the ancient Aramaic language and is used as an incantation for stage magic tricks and historically was believed to have healing powers when inscribed in an amulet. The meaning of the prefix, abra, is "to create" and cadabra means, "as I say," i.e. "create as I say," thus used in magic.  

The children of La Colmenita ("The Little Beehive") have charmed audiences in 25 countries with their mix of dance and music in a high energy, ever changing repetoire mixing rock & roll and fairy tales with messages of justice and peace. Their play is about a teacher who invites her students on a journey in search of truth and justice.

La Colmenita's director, Carlos Alberto Cremata* seeks to develop a better understanding and relations between Cuba and the United States with this tour.  He comes from a family of famous Cuban artists and is a notable film director in his own right. Cremata's father was an airline worker who was killed in the 1976 terrorist bombing of Cuban Airlines Flight 455. He created La Comenita to serve as a legacy of his father.

Among the fans of La Colmenita are Danny Glover, Vanessa Redgrave, Jackson Browne and Patch Adams. If you're one of the lucky ones to have an opportunity to see Abracadabra please write to us at Axis of Logic with a review or about your experience?

- Les Blough in Venezuela

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
La Colmenita, the National Children's Theater of Cuba, US tour 2011

(2 videos and many more photos below)

La Colmenita, or “The Little Beehive,” began as a Havana community theater project during one of Cuba’s most economically desperate times.  Everyone pitched in: children, parents, even grandparents. When the lights came on, it was magic!  This October — in a rare U.S. appearance — Cuba’s internationally acclaimed children’s theater, a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, will bring its  high-energy performance to Washington, New York and San Francisco.

Schedule for Colmenita's 2011 US Tour

When Event
10:00 -12:00
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC 20007
7:30 -9:30
La Colmenita
Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture, Repertory Theater, Bronx New York
3:00 -5:00
La Colmenita
PS 154-The Harriet Tubman Learning Center, Harlem New York
7:00 -9:00
La Colmenita
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond California
7:30 -9:30
La Colmenita
Fort Mason Center, Cowell Theater, San Francisco California
2:00 -4:00
La Colmenita
Fort Mason Center, Cowell Theater, San Francisco California

Carlos Alberto Cremata Malberti, the founder and director of La Colmenita, or “The Little Beehive,” is quick to note that his kids “don’t want to be actors. They want to play at acting.”  The goal of the internationally acclaimed children’s theater troupe is to use dance, music and acting as a way to develop each child’s creativity so they can achieve their greatest potential, individually and as a group. Their success has inspired “beehives” all over the world. (Stories by Deisy Francis Mexidor)

In the short video below, little Federico of Colmenita talks with René González, the first member of the Cuban Five to be released from US Prison in Ocober, 2011 but forbidden to return to be with his family in Cuba for 3 years.

Primary Source: La Colmenita

Below, by various photographers in different locations.

Carlos Alberto Cremata ("Tim"), founder and director of La Colmenita. He says his inspiration for La Colmenita was his father,  who was killed in the 1976 bombing of Cuba Airlines.  His father was enthusiastically involved in the community, and loved music and theater. It took 14 years, from 1976 to 1990, to develop La Colmenita into a fully functioning children’s theater.  During that time, the project gestated in his mother’s home where the children came to practice their scenes and music numbers.

Tim sees La Colmenita as his father’s legacy, one that encompasses his father’s values: humanity, creativity and forgiveness.   He sees no place for bitterness, even for victims of terrorism.  Indeed, all those children who pass through La Colmenita must demonstrate these core values not only in their work, but in their day-to-day lives, in order to remain members of the troupe.

“If adults use their worn out phrases and world view on children, they can expect children to be obedient human beings, but they won’t be creative,” says Tim, who adds that he has total faith in “the infinite resources of children.”  The real task of education is “to create human beings without fear or prejudice.”

It is these children, he says, who go on to become responsible, ethical, generous and caring adults.

Source: La Colmenita

Meet the Colmenita Family

Sponsor of La Colmenita's 2011 US Tour

The Brownstone Foundation

Gilbert Brownstone is a curator, collector and philanthropist who lives in France. He created the Brownstone Foundation in October 1999 to support social and humanitarian projects that promote cultural and educational development. The Foundation manages cultural projects throughout the world with a focus in Latin America.

The Foundation has forged a close relationship with the Cuban Ministry of Culture. In January 2010, the Foundation donated to the Cuban people a collection of 19 and 20th century graphic works, including Pablo Picasso’s “Imaginary Portraits” series.

In Havana, the Foundation has created the NOEMI Room, a project that supports the dance, the plastic arts and biennials. That includes  the NOEMI Video Library and Projection Room,  which  is located within the Havana Dance Center and highlights the best of Cuban and international dance. This resource supports educational projects and dance training centers throughout Cuba.

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