Cuban Ballerina Expects More US-Cuba Cultural Exchange

Cuban ballerina Viengsay Valdes predicts there will be more cultural exchange between the two countries since they announced a normalization of diplomatic relations. She says artists will benefit from the added exposure.

The “prima ballerina,” or number one ballerina of the National Cuban Ballet welcomed a new era in cultural cooperation between Cuba and the United States Friday after the two countries announced the normalization of diplomatic relations earlier this month.

The reestablishment of diplomatic relations will enable more Cubans to perform in the United States and vice versa, said Cuban ballerina Viengsay Valdes.

There has always been a certain degree cultural exchange between the U.S. and Cuba, but the historical Dec. 17 decision to renew relations will undoubtedly expand that, the artist noted several times to applauding U.S. audiences.

During the XXIV Havana International Ballet Festival from October 28 to November 7, one of the most awaited performances was put on by the Hispanic Ballet of New York, for the first time in Cuba. The festival was first held in 1960 and has since hosted companies from more than 50 countries.

The next major event in Cuban ballet will be a celebration of the 56th anniversary of the Revolution, where several 19th century classics will take the stage.

In 2011, Dance Magazine elected Valdes and Russian ballet dancer Ivan Vasiliev as the most inspiring dance couple of the year for their impressive rendition of the pas de deux Don Quixote in a New York performance.

teleSUR, December 26, 2014

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