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Cuban Dancer Crisis: National Ballet of Cuba Company Defect for Artistic Freedom on American Soil

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jun 20, 2014 01:20 PM EDT

Ballet dancers of the much lauded National Ballet of Cuba seem to be taking matters into their own hands. That is, most dancers are defecting during their tours outside the Cuban threshold, hitching their way to the U.S.

Dancers from Cuba may not have such a hard time making their way in the dancing industry, most notably because they are well-trained and very disciplined (balance being a key component to the Cuban dancer appeal).

Some of these performers aren't admonished for such actions. In fact, some dancers get the go ahead and are encouraged to become ambassadors for Cuba, so to speak. But some don't get the same treatment.

In Cuba, though, the National Ballet takes on a more "classical" program, meaning that they stick to the 19th century classics like Gisela and Swan Lake. Great productions, but they are only attained because of their copyright--or perhaps lack there of.

These performances are cyclical, sending dancers into a frenzy because their careers (much like their toes) don't seem to grow, their artistic thirst never satiated by productions that can't be performed from, say, George Balanchine or Jerome Robbins.

So to seek the new challenge, dancers make their way to the U.S. running the risk of extradition and losing all contact with their families for eight years.

It's a murky territory to pass through but Cuban National Ballet dancers are popping off the bandwagon to find a better life in America (now where have I heard that one before?).

Welcome, Cuban Dancers! We embrace your transgressions and open our arms at your pursuit for artistic freedom!

A little preview of Cuba doing Don Quixote for the time being.

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TagsNational Ballet of Cuba, Gisela, Swan Lake, Defect, Cuban, Ballet Dancers

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