An artistic gala full of allusions to the nation’s roots was held in this city as part of the 11th Festival of Cuban Identity (Fiesta de la Cubanía), with a special rendition of Cuba’s national anthem, the military march “La Bayamesa”, first performed on October 20, 1868.
The ceremony which combined music, dance and theater took place in the very square where the people first sang the march, written by independence hero Pedro Figueredo (Perucho).
Artists from the theatrical socio-cultural project, Guerrilla de Teatreros, staged a piece depicting the events of October 20, 1868, when the people and patriots who had taken the town sang the sacred work for the first time.
Entitled Nuestra nación (Our Nation), and directed by playwright Mirelys Echenique, the ceremony featured a wealth of local talent including the soprano María Eugenia Barrios, singer Adrián Berazaín, the Lizt Alfonso ballet company, folklore group Babul, the Professional Choir of Bayamo, and performing artists from the province of Granma.
Writer Luis Carlos Suárez stressed that culture is a means of connecting with history and key to building national identity.
We Cubans are our culture; if that culture is hurt, we are hurt, and if it is distorted and falsified, our roots are torn up, he added.
Sonia Virgen Pérez, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and first secretary of the Party in the province of Granma; Julián González, Minister of Culture; René González Barrios, president of the Institute of History of Cuba, and Eduardo Torres-Cuevas, National Social Sciences Award, all attended the gala.
As part of the celebrations for Cuban Culture Day, celebrated every October 20, as well as the Festival of Cuban Identity, the Bayamo Prize, the highest award presented by the Granma branch of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, was awarded to essayist Armando Hart Dávalos at the childhood home of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and received on his behalf by Teófila Acea, president of the provincial branch of the José Martí Cultural Society.
Also awarded the Bayamo Prize 2015 were musicians Pedro Rivero Ruiz, Luis Millet Yaque, Luis Bonet Tamayo and Luis Antonio Domínguez.