News: American Ballet Theatre to visit Cuba

Friday 20 August 2010

American Ballet Theatre is to perform in Cuba this November for the first time since 1960 when the appeared in the first ever Havana International Ballet Festival. Fify years later they are taking part in the biennial festival again.

Earlier this week US officials announced that the Obama administration is considering lifting travel restrictions to communist Cuba and ABT’s trip seems to be evidence of that move, although spokesperson Rachel Moore distanced the company from the government: _*\“We are artists, not politicians,\”* _she said at a press conference.
_*\“We really do believe this trip in November will be a bridge between the two artistic communities creating a dialogue between artists and, actually, communities. We’re extremely excited by that opportunity.\”* _

The trip is of enormous significance for both countries. The woman who founded the National Ballet of Cuba, Alicia Alonso, who is now in her nineties, started her ballet career with ABT in 1940, before returning to Cuba to form her own company in 1948, which with Fidel Castro’s backing became the national company in 1959.

Ballet is a highly valued art form in Cuba -and attracts huge audiences. Last year Carlos Acosta, international ballet star and local boy, took the Royal Ballet home to Havana and an overwhelmingly enthusastic welcome.

American Ballet Theatre are coming to London early next year.
They’ll be presenting two mixed bills at Sadler’s Wells between 1 & 6 February 2011”
More details”:http://www.sadlerswells.com/show/American-Ballet-Theatre-2011

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