Meet dancers and the director of the Camagüey Ballet company – renowned across Cuba and the world for its classical ballets.
Teatro Principal Camaguey Ballet Exerior
Camagüey Ballet’s home theater is the Teatro Principal – a beautiful neoclassic structure near the heart of Camagüey. Here, you’ll take in a private performance from the company’s world-class ballet before meeting its director Regina Balaguer – and the dancers themselves. Active since 1967, Camagüey Ballet has put on more than 250 unique ballets often entertaining foreign dignitaries and famous Cubans.
About the Camagüey Ballet
Taking steps under Teatro Principal’s stained glass and chandeliers can seem the height of a young dancer’s career. The theater and its troupe are Camagüey’s crown jewels, and its performers – some as young as 18 – have trained half their lives to join the group fulltime. Mixing classics with contemporary, the company represents Camagüey across the island and their country at-large in tours around the globe, including performances in the U.S., Latin America, and Italy.
There’s no secret to Ballet Contemporáneo de Camagüey’s success. Instructors provide open classes on dance, history, piano, and wardrobe design – all keeping in tune with Cuba’s tradition of public arts education.
Ballet in Cuba
For first time visitors, salsa and son seem to dominate the island. But Cuban ballet stands at the pinnacle of dance – nationally and globally – thanks to Alicia Alonso, who, until her passing at 98, was the figurehead and force behind Cuban ballet. Partially blind since her youth, Alonso was well-known in both New York and Havana when Fidel Castro came to power and offered the state’s help in establishing a new company – Ballet Nacional de Cuba, now among the island’s most prestigious.
The Cuban style is known for its free-flowing, but technically solid foundation – taking cues from British, French, Italian, and Russian ballet. And after visiting the Camagüey company, you’ll understand why dancing shares a title with cigars and rum for the country’s most exalted exports.