In Association with
Oil/canvas by Vladimir Iglesias

Tour - September 20 to October 4, 2002:
The two week-long experience of Proyecto Palo Monte is guaranteed to stir the rhythms in anyone. Proyecto Palo Monte is an educational collaboration between Stage Of The Arts, Inc. of Los Angeles, California, Educational Opportunity Program and International Programs and Services of Cal State University, LA. To be taught at (CNEART) - Centro Nacional Escuela de Arte.

Subjects of study will be the folklore traditions of the Yoruba, the Congo, and Arara, specifically, Rumba, Palo, the Orisha dances, Comparsas, and dances of the Oriente, "Afro-Haitian" with an introduction to accompanying music and songs. The popular dances will include, the Son, Danzon, the Mambo, the Chachacha, the Casino "Cuban salsa," and their relationship to Afrocuban culture.

Located in the Miramar section of Havana, CNEART comes equipped with large double and triple occupancy rooms which include: hot and cold water, air-conditioning, TV, refrigerator, closets, and access to e-mail and fax. Right next door is a nice restaurant with an extensive menu, with breakfast and dinner included free.

CNEART has been teaching all aspects of Afrocuban culture since it's foundation 37 years ago, making it one of the longest running companies in this field.

The building where the school is housed is equipped with large classrooms with wooden floors- mirrors and all necessary apparatus for dance students. It is a 2-story building with dance rooms on both floors. There are other class rooms for song instruction, drumming and lectures. With well over 50 instructors from ages 17 to 71, you shall get the most comprehensive learning experience possible in a 2 week period. In fact many of the other music and dance companies borrow instructors from CNEART to compliment their classes.

For the above said reasons, CNEART is our choice in dance instruction. All previous foreign students have had extremely positive results and many have returned.

Workshop Schedule

Program Description. Plane leaves Friday from LAX and arrives in Jose Marti airport in Havana, Friday at 9:00 pm. Participants board a bus for a 20-minute ride to houses at Miramar.

Day 1 - Saturday. Pick up at the houses at 12:00 for a tour through the old part of the city. At 4:00 pm, the group will enjoy the most popular folkoric show in Havana (Sabado de la Rumba) geaturing the performers of the Conjunto Folclorico National. The performance takes place in a beautiful patio known as the Palenque (Cuban word referring to Sanctuary for runaway slaves, the Cimarrones). Back home for shower and to relax. Welcoming party at Lincoln Hotel with live music and drinks.

Day 2 - Sunday. Pick-up at the house at 12:00 noon, group heads over to Callejon de Hamel (Hamel alley) in the Cayo Hueso neighborhood, very near the University of Havana, which is over 200 years old, where we'll visit the world famous gallery and surreal dwelling of internationally accalimed muralist and sculptor, Salvador Gonzalez. From here he directs his ambitious projects, most striking of which are the huge mural paintings portraying the entire Pantheon of Afro-Cuban folklore--a suitable backdrop for the best Rumberos in Havana, who play there every Sunday afternoon. After the party the group will visit museums in old Havana. Free night out on the town together, or as individuals.

Day 3 - Monday. Breakfast at 8:00am. Classes begin at 9:00am. At 12:00 noon
break for lunch. Afternoon session of classes 2:00pm to 4:00 pm. Home for relaxation, dinner and free night.

Day 4 - Tuesday. Same schedule as Day 3. In the evening, group will travel together to a Toque de Santo. This is a Santeria religious party to give clients the opportunity to take part in this religious ceremony in an authentic environment so they can experience the mixture of music, songs, dance and the feeling of the party.

Day 5 - Wednesday. Same schedule as Day 3.

Day 6 - Thursday. Same schedule as Day 3.

Break from Havana for a 3 day 3 night stay in the country side. Eco-retreat at the wonderfull Valley of Vinales, Orichaoko and Ochun, the caves and the rivers...

Day 7 - Friday. At 9:00 am group departs for Moncada--one of the first villages built by the Revolution in the 60s and is located in one of the most scenic and beautiful provinces in Cuba. It's famous for its large caves and limestone formations and tobacco and coffee plantations. It also stands out for the warmth and friendliness of its inhabitants. We will be staying at the former Cuban Caving School (CCS), now also devoted to ecological research and located by Cuba's second largest underground cave system comprising over 46,000 m of passages, chambers, rivers and crystallized mineral formations. We will have our lunch at the CCS and be briefed on the nearby village and the aspects of its daily life. Life music in Vinales, rum, beer and fun.

Day 8 - Saturday. Breakfast at 10:00 am, then we move on to an unforgettable underground experience in a 100% natural environment. No previous caving experience needed. Then everybody returns to their lodge for rest and get ready for the camp fire pig roast party.

Day 9 - Sunday. Breakfast at 10:00 am. Group departs for a 2hr walk through the surrounding wilderness to see the local flora and fauna. Locally renown privately owned garden with exotic fruits and flowers. Lunch at a typical country restaurant by the mountains. As a wrap up we will enjoy a live folkloric performance inside a cave with natural acoustics.

Day 10 - Monday. Group departs at 10:00 am for Santa Maria beach, just 20-minutes outside Havana for swimming, snorkeling, sun bathing and lunch. With ceremony to Yemaya. Return to Havana at 5:00 pm for shower and relax at home. Open night to go out together or as individuals.

Day 11 - Tuesday. Same class schedule. "Free night"

Day 12 - Wednesday. Same class schedule. "Free night"

Day 13 - Thursday. Same class schedule. Farewell Party at 9:00 pm: live music, drinks, dance and all friends invited! Location to be determined.

Day 14 - Friday . Same class schedule. Transfer to Jose Marti airport at 10:00 pm.

Cost for the trip is $1995.00 USD, including LAX-Habana round-trip airfare, ground transportation, class tuition, lodge and meals as described. Treasury Department license for traveling to Cuba for cultural academic exchange is provided. Check or Money Order payable to Stage Of The Arts, Inc. P.O.Box 26688, LA, CA 90026. A non-refundable deposit of $200.00 is requested by Friday September 6, 2002 and the full amount due before departure on Friday, September 20.

Project coordinator is Kevin Mastro (619) 206-6155 or contact the Director Phone: (323) 960-0389..

Proyecto Palo Monte is an ongoing exploration of the Afrocuban values and traditions. Visit or write to

There is a 30 mints. documentary about the previous trips of PROYECTO PALO MONTE (Available by sending your mailing address and a check or money order for $18.00 to Stage Of The Arts, Inc. (P.O.Box 26688, Los Angeles, CA 90026) and refer to PayPal.
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Look at the previous Palo Monte Project's:

PALO MONTE 2000 Project
PALO MONTE 2002 Project







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