Joaquin la Habana

Joaquin la Habana

 Berlin, Berlin, DEU

His artistic creations stand for the synthesis of tradition and
avantgarde. JOAQUIN uses his extensive experience and education in contemporary dance, ballet, theatre and song, merging those with the centuries-old tradition of Santería shamanism and Cuban theatre.


JOAQUIN LA HABANA REYES was born in Cuba in August 1952, into a musical family. Joaquin’s aunt is singer OLGA RIVERO and his cousin is the percussionist “PATATO VALDES”, and through their international recordings became famous beyond the borders of Cuba. Following a competition in Cuba age 12 , he got a scholarship for the public art school San Alejandro, Havana, to study painting, sculpting and ceramics. In 1966 Joaquin settled in USA where he graduated from high school. Three years later, in 1969, he studies music, dance and avant-garde theatre at the conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). He was the guest choreographer of the experimental Cambridge-Dance-Theatre in Loeb Drama Center at Harvard University, USA.
Joaquin has also worked with different chamber opera ensembles at renowned universities such as Harvard University, Radcliffe, New England School of Art, North-Eastern University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Between the years 1967-1971 he studied modern dance, Afro-hindu dance, Afro-Haiti dance in the Dance Circle of Boston and in the Elmer Lewis Afro-American Dance Centre with renowned teachers such as James Truitti, Geoffrey Holder, Talley Batty, Charles Moore and Eugene Compson.

After the move to New York in autumn 1971, La Habana specialized in multimedia performance. The teachers of this new theatre direction are pioneers of this field - MERCE CUNNINGHAM and ALWIN NIKOLAIS. His got his training in modern dance and jazz dance at studios of teachers like JOSÉ LIMON, PHIL BLACK, LUIGI. Under ALVIN AILEY he studied the technique of Horton and Cath Serine Dunham. As well as dance, he studied singing in New York by the famous teacher of art songs LYDIA DE RIVIERA and he became familiar with a wide repertoire of Cuban art songs and operetta-vocals as well as Spanish Zarzuela.
Religiously Joaquin La Habana originates from the Yoruba-community. He is initiated in the Santero (Oshun-Priests) and was instrumental in the direction of Folklore and contemporary dance in the mid 80s in Havana, Cuba, with the ENA (National Art School), the “Conjunto Folclórico Nacional” and “Cuba Danza”.

In the years between 1971 and 1981 Joaquin La Habana performed in many bilingual productions (Spanish-English). Among that he was in different “Off Broadway” theatres: La Mama ETC, WPA THR, Actor’s Studio. Finally he made a jump to BROADWAY where he performed with IRENE CARA in “Gotta go Disco”.
Joaquin has appeared in films, such as “THE BRONX” (with Paul Newman) and the musical “HAIR” and
“THE WIZ” (with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross). During this time he had also a role in the dance-ensemble Le Clique Fantasie Follies” in the TOM JONES SHOW at Cesars Palace, Las Vegas.

In 1981 Joaquin moved to Berlin and began a series of shows in the Carribean, Canada and all over Europe, where he performs art songs and Cuban Folklore. These were to be heard on theatre stages, in radio, TV and in movies. Since this time, he made numerous of co operations with Rosa von Praunheim, for example “Stadt der verlorenen Seelen”, 1981.
In 1986 Joaquin organized the first “FESTIVAL KUBANISCHER KULTUR” (Festival of Cuban Culture) at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. This festival was a start of an intensive co-operation with ELENA GARCÍA (soloist of the “Conjunto Folklórico), whom he invited as a choreographer and solodancer and later co-founded the group IROKO (contemporary Afro-Cuban dance theatre) in Miami, Florida. With this production they went on a tour to Argentina, Germany, Spain and USA. Parallel to his work in the theatre and in film, he studied the African culture and its artistic expressions by masters in this field: KOFFI KOKO (Rep. Benin) and GERMAINE ACOGNY (Senegal). Joaquin made collaborations with MAYMONA SUMBÚ (Guinea Bissau), PARANA BOMFIM (Brazil), MURAH SOARES (Brazil) and ELISE PINTO (Brazil).


1996: Joaquín la Habany "Besame mucho"

Set List

as requested