innopac

Dancers who have defected

22 posts in this topic

Norá Kovács (21) and István Ráb (22) -- from the Budapest Opera House dancers, in May 1953

Valery Panov (21) -- Mali and later Kirov dancer was sent home from San Francisco in disgrace in July 1959. After 15 years of escalating persecution he was finally allowed to leave Russia for Israel with his wife, Galina Ragozina, in June 1974.

Rudolf Nureyev (23) -- Kirov dancer in Paris, June 1961.

Natalia Makarova (29) -- Kirov dancer in London, September 1970.

Mikhail Baryshnikov (26) -- Kirov dancer in Toronto, June 1974.

Aleksandr Godunov (29) -- Bolshoi dancer in NY, August 1979.

Li Cunxin (20) -- in Houston 1981.

Rolando Sarabia (24), dancer from the National Ballet of Cuba. in Miami 2005.

Who are the others?

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John Wey Ling in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982.

Alexandra Koltun and Janna Sinitsyna, in Washington, 1991.

Alberto Alonso (New Mexico?) c 1993.

Leonid and Valentina Kozlov, Los Angeles, 1979.

The articles that I saw said that Rolando Sarabia defected by going from Mexico into Texas in 2005?

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Isn't that Istvan Rabovsky?

David Caute in his The Dancer Defects writes István Ráb (Raab) on page 470 .... ?

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I am not actually sure of the date. :thumbsup: I should have asked when I had the chance. Maybe one of you knows.

circa. 1971

Ballet master Jurgen Schneider (East Berlin) in Helsinki, Finland from Comischer Oper tour, East Berlin

There were quite a few East German dancers who defected in the early 1970's.

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From Ballet Nacional de Cuba the list is endless-(I posted one somewhere, but i can't remember where...)

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c 1970, Alexander Filipov and Gennadi Vostrikov from the Moiseyev Ensemble, in Mexico.

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Since musicians are as "portable" as dancers, unlike actors, I would have assumed that there would be many defections from within professional musician ranks. Do you think the numbers would be as high as with dancers? If not, why not?

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Cuban defections are, as i said earlier, endless. First there was Jorge Esquivel, one of Cuba's finest male dancers of the 60's, 70's and 80's, whose departure from the island in 1992 was considered a major defection. He joined San Francisco Ballet where he is now senior character dancer and teacher. More recentlyt here is this list, out of my head...

The Girls

Lorna Feijoo-Boston Ballet Principal

Lorena Feijoo-San Francisco Ballet Principal

Hayna Gutierrez-Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami Principal

Adyaris Almeida-Corella Ballet Principal

Dalirys Valladares-Monterrey Ballet (Mexico) Principal

Alyhaydee Carreno-National Classical Ballet of Dominican Republic Principal

Lisbell Piedra-National Classical Ballet of Dominican Republic Principal

Catherine Suaznabar-Maurice Bejart's B.of the XXth Century

Dagmar Moradillos-Ballet Etudes/Miami Principal

Rosario Suarez(Charin)-freelance teacher-(currently in Miami)

Caridad Martinez-Residen Choreographer at Brooklyn Ballet

The boys

Rolando Sarabia-Miami City Ballet Principal

Isanusi Garcia. Miami City Ballet Principal

Carlos Guerra-Miami City Ballet Principal

Joan Boada-San Franciso Ballet Principal

Nelson Madrigal-Boston Ballet Principal

Reyneris Reyes-Boston Ballet Principal

Cervilio Amador-Cincinnatti Ballet Principal

Lienz Chang-Roland Petit Ballet Principal

Osmay Molina-Puerto Rico Ballet Principal

Angel Laza-Monterrey(Mexico) Ballet Principal

Daymel Sanchez-Monterrey (Mexico) Ballet Principal

Taras Domitro-SFB Principal

Miguel Angel Blanco-Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami Principal

And then, there's that famous limbo where the deceased Fernandito Jhones (RIP), JM Carreno-(and ex wife/ex CNB Principal Lourdes Novoa)- and C.Acosta belong...

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And then there was Kaleria Fedicheva, who married American Martin Freedman and for two years, despite her People's Artist of the Soviet Union title, was not cast in anything. In 1975, she was allowed to emigrate to join her husband.

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Would George Balanchivadze (Balanchine), Alexandra Danilova, Tamara Gevergeva (Geva), and Nicholas Efimov, who left the Soviet Union in 1924 with permission but ignored demands that they return, be considered "defectors"?

Or Lidia Lopokova --who never came back to Russia after being stranded in the West during World War One? She also ignored orders to return.

And how about Kurt Jooss, who fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and established his school and company in England.

If we count those generations of dancers, the list of those escapaing political and artistic totalitarianism becomes rather larger.

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I'm assuming-(and I'm pretty positive that this is the general feeling)-that the term "defection" in ballet nowadays is usually applied to those escaping from a communist country against official premises. (Hence, that's why I called earlier "a limbo" Acosta's and Carreno's current situation). Again, this is acknowledging that this would be just a chapter in a longer story , as bart just noted.

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Not necessarily communist, but "defect" has come to apply there. I think it applies to anybody escaping a totalitarian system with a practical "no-exit" policy.

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"Escaping" is the key word. Acosta and Sarabia both left the CNB roster. The first one "went to dance abroad", as the official remark went. The second doesn't get that lucky. Not being diplomatic relationships reestablished between Cuba and US since the early 60's, the fact of him deciding to stay in American soil means fitting into the Cuban official-(and even constitutional)-category of "traitor to the motherland", and hence, loosing all types of legal status. Then this is how he-(along with other thousands of us)- becomes a "defector". I guess it was the same during the Soviet years.

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The film "Born to be Wild" showed Jose Carreno visiting his family and partying in Cuba. It implied that he has a certain freedom to come and go between the US & Cuba. I'm curious about this.

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Let's not forget that Carreno lives and works in NYC, far from the old Cuban-based politically invaded Miami. It's not a secret either that McKenzie has a personal friendship with Alonso, and that Mme. is best friends with Castro. The math can't be easier.

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I thought the equation for Cuba was whether Alonso had given her blessing to perform abroad, however indefintely. Those to whom she didn't give her blessing were defectors, unable to return home.

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I thought the equation for Cuba was whether Alonso had given her blessing to perform abroad, however indefintely. Those to whom she didn't give her blessing were defectors, unable to return home.

The equation certainly contains that factor, but the fact that Mme. had tight links with Lucia Chase and de Valois in the past and now with McKenzie, also plays a key role..(that's how she can go over Constitutional laws, and Carreno has the freedom that we don't have to come and go between the two countries). This doesn't apply to Acosta, thought.

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Isn't that Istvan Rabovsky?

You are right. When he became a soloist in Hungary he was advised to change his name from Rabovsky as it was not Hungarian. So he became Istvan Rab. When Rabovsky escaped to the West he changed his name back to his real family name.

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John Wey Ling in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982.

Alexandra Koltun and Janna Sinitsyna, in Washington, 1991.

Alberto Alonso (New Mexico?) c 1993.

Leonid and Valentina Kozlov, Los Angeles, 1979.

The articles that I saw said that Rolando Sarabia defected by going from Mexico into Texas in 2005?

I remember much of the above--Alexandra Koltun danced with BB, I saw the Kozlovs in LA, and I,too, remember reading that Rolando Sarabia defected by walking across a bridge from Mexico into the U.S.

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