Extravagant costumes. Acrobatic dancing. Strong rhythms. Music ranging from tender ballads to all-out ensemble performances.  Tropicana Night gave Ottawa listeners a taste of Cuban music and dance in its many forms.

©Brett Delmage, 2018
The Los Cubanitos dancers in full flight behind singers Rusdell Nuñez, Cristina Sayén, and Sheyla Fernandez, with the dancing beat of Fiesta Cubana led by pianist Miguel De Armas (left) ©Brett Delmage, 2018

It was the biggest production ever undertaken by artistic director Miguel De Armas and producer Yasmina Proveyer, with the Los Cubanitos dancers, the Fiesta Cubana band led by De Armas, the rumba percussion group Clave y Guaguancó, and four vocalists: Rusdell Nuñez, Caridad Cruz, Cristina Sayén, and Sheyla Fernandez. They performed classic Cuban tunes by composers from across the 20th century, with the dancers adding glamorous interpretations.

The 500-seat Harold Shenkman Hall was mostly full. By the end of the first set everyone was up and dancing to the infectious rhythms. The second set ended with more dancing and a full-out standing ovation.

Our video contains excerpts from several of the numbers in the show, plus an interview with Yasmina Proveyer.