Salt Lake City ballet company prepares for Cuban performance

Posted: 01-Sep-16 08:29

As travel restrictions continue to ease between the United States and Cuba an American ballet company makes plans to take the stage in Havana. Ballet West, a Salt Lake City dance troupe, will perform in Cuba later this autumn. The company is one of the first U.S.-based ensembles to head to the island in decades.

Salt Lake City ballet company prepares for Cuban performance

Some American ballet dancers will soon have the opportunity to travel to Cuba, joining fellow U.S. citizens in experiencing the island nation for the first time. Ballet West, a major dance company has now revealed plans of its own to perform in Cuba within the upcoming autum.

As explained in a short article and audio clip posted to KUER, a public radio station based out of the University of Utah, Ballet West, of Salt Lake City, plans to travel to the country with a performance planned during the 25th Havana International Ballet Festival. Writer Nicole Nixon adds the company will be one of America’s first ballet groups to take the stage in Cuba since the U.S. started easing up on travel restrictions to the country. The American Royalty Ballet performed in Cuba earlier this month.

While Nixon writes that process began earlier in 2016, American travel restrictions to Cuba actually began to lift in late 2014 with an announcement by President Barack Obama. Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute says he envisions the event as being influential for both Cubans and Americans. He added:

“I have been told that ballet performances in Cuba are greeted like massive sporting events. That audiences are crazy about ballet in Cuba. Just to be able (to) let our artists be exposed to that is so exciting.”

The six American dancers from Ballet West will travel to Havana in early November, performing two pieces during the festival. The first is a quartet choreographed by Nicolo Fonte of Ballet West entitled “Presto”. The second is “Rublies”, which Sklute describes as extremely exciting due to the fact that Cubans have never witnessed a performance of it before.

The Quinney and Lawson Family Foundations are financing ballet West’s travel to Cuba. Performances are set for November 5-6.

The festival, which takes place every two years in Havana, commonly brings in prestigious dancers from around the world, while also showcasing the Cuban ballet. Dancers take the stage to share their artistic creations as locals and visitors enjoy the beauty of international dance within some of Cuba’s most impressive theatres.


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