Osnel Delgado has received major Cuban awards including the Premio a Mejor Coreografia del Concurso Solamente Solos (Award for Best Solo Choreography), and a Special Mention award at the VII Iberomerican “Alicia Alonso” Choreography competition in Madrid. He was a member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba from 2003 to 2011 and founded MalPaso Dance Company in 2013, where he currently serves as choreographer and artistic director. Delgado's work expresses the passion and uncertainties that define Cuban life and are embodied in the country's rich dance tradition.
Northrop's McKnight International Artist program invites one international choreographer each year to spend time in residence in Minnesota, collaborating with Minnesota dance artists, and showcasing new work. International Artist residencies are offered by invitation only. Cuban choreographer Osnel Delgado has been selected as the 2014 McKnight International Artist, and this year the McKnight Fellowship program cohosts the residency with Zenon Dance Company.
Delgado began his residency by creating a new work for Zenon Dance Company. Additionally, Delgado taught classes in Cuban dance at both the Zenon Dance School and Northrop, and participated in a variety of dance community events.
Delgado’s classes focused on the Cuban technique of modern dance, which is a dense and unique blend of North American modern dance patterns and Afro Cuban dance elements and movement modes. The classes approached key Cuban popular dance styles related to the Rumba Complex; and some dance styles belonging to the Cuban religious dance traditions mostly related to the practice of Santería or Yoruba culture.
Additionally, two community classes were offered from Minneapolis-based, Cuban-born dancers René Thompson and Chini Perez at Zenon Dance Studio. Thompson’s class taught the uniquely Cuban steps of salsa, chachacha, rumba, mambo, and other traditional Cuban rhythms. Perez taught an all-levels combination of Latin dance and Afro Cuban including Cuban style salsa, merengue, bachata, son, chachacha, rumba, and Columbia.
A public talk called “Baseball and Dance in Cuba” led by Fernando Saez, cofounder of MalPaso and director of the Performing Arts Program of Fundación Ludwig de Cuba, was held at Northrop.