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Cuban Ballet in exile.

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Thanks to Leigh Witchel ( :wink:) for sending me this link. A very interesting article on the newly life of the last defectors from National Ballet of Cuba.

Cuban Ballet in Exile

Some of the world's best dancers hang out at Costco, then perform Swan Lake...

By Janine Zeitlin

Published: April 10, 2008

"The National Ballet of Cuba has felt the trio's absence. Friends tell them so. "They say, 'Oh, now there's nobody who dances as good,'" Miguel Angel says. "It's painful. I miss them a lot."The Cuban stars, who were lauded for their Swan Lake performances, are San Francisco-bound. The company has extended contracts, but a spokeswoman declined to discuss the details until visas are granted.For now, the trio will dance with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.One afternoon in March, when asked about his hopes for the future, Taras, wearing a black AC/DC shirt and sitting on the couch in their Pompano Beach home, replies simply: "Success."


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This is a really interesting article, full of information and insights about something few of us will have seen directly. The author has gone behind the South Florida Cuban exile ballet scene in a way that most dance critics cannot. The result is a flow of information about the Cuban dancers moving into U.S. ballet that goes way beyond anything I've ever read.

It was fascinating to learn how Magaly Suarez welcomes, mothers, encourages, teaches, and gives opportunities to dancers like Roland and Daniel Sarabia. (I didn't know, for instance, that the younger brother, Daniel, left Cuba first.) For Miami City Ballet fans, there's also information on how Carlos Guerra got to where he is now.

Thanks, Cristian.

The article raises, indirectly, questions about what all this means for ballet in the U.S. and other non-Latin countries.

We're now seeing that Cuban and other Latin American dancers have really exploded on the scene," says Lynn Garafola, a dance critic and professor at Barnard College. "The fact is that the appearance of Latin dancers on the world scene is something pretty new and something that has really challenged the preeminence of the Russians as performers.

Without a doubt, this phenomenon has "challenged the preeminence" of the glamourous Russians. But what has the influence been, in practical terms, beyond the movement of a number of Cuban and other Latin dancers into the ranks of major and not so major companies? Has the technical barre been raised? Is style changing? Is the repertory changing to reflect the kind of works that these dancers grew up with? Are dancers trained within the non-Latin countries losing opportunities?

I hope many on BT get the chance to read this article and to comment here. :wink:

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