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"I wasn't allowed to dance Giselle because I'm black"exiled Afro-Cuban ballerina in US reminisces...

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#1 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:31 PM

[size=3]Caridad Martinez: "Prima Mulata Assoluta".[/size]

Searching online on Caridad Martinez, the only black ballerina that has ever made it to the top in the Cuban Ballet, I discovered this article in which she remembers her struggling as a former member of the Cuban company...a Company that has been historically and controversially "white", in a country where racial mixing goes back in centuries. She is currently the director of the Brooklyn Ballet School. The article comes from the Brooklyn Ballet website. It is in Spanish, and I used the Google Translator, which seems to be getting worse and worse every time. Still, you might have a general idea of some of the issues that Martinez had to face until she finally decided to defect and leave the country.

[size=2] I: "Did you feel discriminated within the company for being black?"

C.M: "More than that . I was told that I had a very hard image for Giselle, that I could not deliver a fragile Willi and that I wasn't suited for the madness scene because of my hard hair . It was humiliating, frustrating. I had the technique to dance the role, but I knew they would never give the role of Giselle to a black ballerina. From Sleeping Beauty I was only allowed to do the Grand Pas de Deux. Nor did I ever danced a complete Swan Lake."

This is the Google translation

And this is the original link...

And some old pics of her...

As a little swan...
Mixed feelings...
As Princess Florine...
As Kitri...
In Grand Pas de Quatre...
Teaching in Brooklyn...

In the ballet Plasmasis, with Lazaro Carreno-(clip)...

In the ballet Munecos-(Dolls) with Fernandito Jhones-(RIP)-(clip)...

I'm very happy to know that Miss Martinez is doing such a beautiful labor within the Brooklyn ballet scene. She must know that she's being remembered as one of the most charismatic dancers the Cuban company ever had. :dunno:

#2 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:51 AM

Edited: wrong thread.

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