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Ballet West To Perform In Havana, Cuba

Luke Isley
Ballet West Principal Dancer Beckanne Sisk performing Rubies. Choreography © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Luke Isley."

Ballet West will be traveling to Cuba this fall to perform at Havana’s International Ballet Festival. The Salt Lake City company will be one of the first American ballet groups to perform in Cuba since the United States lifted travel and trade restrictions with the island nation this year.

Adam Sklute is the artistic director of Ballet West. He says many Americans don’t realize that ballet in Cuba is very popular.

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

Six dancers from Ballet west will make the trip to Havana in November. They’ll perform two pieces at the festival: Presto, a quartet by Ballet West’s resident choreographer Nicolo Fonte. Sklute says the second piece, George Balanchine’s iconic Rublies,  has never been performed in Cuba.

“We’re doing just the pas de deux, so just the central duet, from Rubies, but Cuba has never seen Rubies and so they’re very excited.”

Performance dates are November 5th and 6th  in Havana. Ballet West’s travel is being underwritten by the Quinney and Lawson Family Foundations

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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