- Title: VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ BALLET Hugo Chavez ballet to debut in Venezuela
- Date: 28th November 2014
- Summary: VARIOUS OF BALLET DANCERS ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 13th December 2014 12:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA8JBFAYWYPF31XC5HBG0VPI6A9
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: His signature adorns buildings all over Venezuela. His eyes grace thousands of red T-shirts and caps. And there is even a special font to perpetuate his calligraphy.
Now, the legacy of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's charismatic socialist leader who died of cancer last year, has moved to the stage with a special ballet in his honour.
The state-sponsored work, "Ballet of the Spider-Seller to Liberator," is to premier at a Caracas theatre on Saturday (November 29) in homage to Chavez's life from poor boy selling homemade spider-shaped sweets in his rural hometown to president for 14 years.
The director of the ballet, Maria Rossell, said the ballet wanted to inspire people to continue with Chavez's Bolivarian project.
"For us it's important, it's part of the message we are giving, that this is a ballet, a political ballet, but a ballet with an aesthetic proposal, because it's a work of art, not a brochure, it's nothing like that at all. We truly want to transmit a message and part of that message we give at the end is that the task is not over yet, it's our job to build the Bolivarian project," she said.
John Lobo, who plays the lead role in the production, said the ballet does not just focus on Chavez himself but on his ideals.
"We don't exalt Chavez as the principal actor, as the main figure. On the contrary, we carry that message he used to carry with him with regards to union, of large scale social construction, of ideas and equal thoughts, of listening to your brother, of building," he said.
Hugely popular among the poor during his 1999-2013 rule, Chavez has become even more of a cult figure in death.
Government opponents roll their eyes at such deification and his still-ubiquitous image in public life.
They see that as a cover for the failings of his successor Nicolas Maduro who was elected last year after Chavez died.
Tickets for Saturday's show are going for between 16-44 dollars at the official currency rate, or 0.80 cents - 2.30 dollars on the black market for dollars.
The contemporary ballet has more than 40 artists, original music, circus, theatre and video-art.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.