The Excelencias Cuba Awards are doled out among personalities and national institutions; handing it over to foreign figures only happens on exceptional occasions.
Bailaora María Juncal, Spanish is no doubt one of those exceptional cases. She is recognized for her work in pursuit of the development of flamenco art on the island and for her connection with the A Compas Flamenco project.
The A Compass Flamenco project, directed by Karelia Kadavid (Excelencias Award 2015 and recently distinguished with the Official Cross of the Isabel la Católica Order) has allowed and strengthened the personal and social growth of all its members.
María Juncal is a dancer of great prestige worldwide who, since 2009, carries out an important sociocultural, community, artistic, technical and methodological work that contributes to the development of flamenco art in Cuba.
In addition to being a technical and methodological advisor to the community sociocultural project A Compás Flamenco -from the Havana neighborhood of Los Sitios- María manages the annual cultural exchanges with Spain to train Cuban teachers.
She is also the director and coordinator of the Intercontinental Flamenco Meetings in Havana, in which professionals from different Cuban dance companies and Cuba-based Spanish Societies participate.
Her intense work in Cuba has earned her awards in important national events, including the National Dance Competition and the Honorable Mention of the Havana Grand Theater in the 20th International Ballet Festival of Havana (2006).
Among others, Maria Juncal received the National Flamenco Dance Award “Antonio Gades” back in 2004 in Córdoba, the First Flamenco Dance Award and "Desplante" Trophy in the XVLI Cante de las Minas Festival in 2006, and was appointed Universal Ambassador of Flamenco by the State of Tabasco, Mexico.
All of her work on the island nation is supported by Alicia Alonso. Thus, both seek to continue what Trini Borrull, a representative figure of world flamenco and aunt of Mary’s, began in Cuba back in 1986.