- March 13, 2017
In mid-March seven dancers in the Cuban National Ballet defected while the company toured Mexico, and, within weeks, made their ways to the United States. One of the dancers, 23-year-old Edward Gonzalez, made it to Sarasota, where he will join Sarasota Ballet’s company next season.
Gonzalez had reached out to someone at the Sarasota Ballet, who wishes to remain anonymous, and when Director Iain Webb heard, he invited the defector to take a class at Sarasota Ballet. Gonzalez took a class the morning of March 8, and Webb offered him a contract later that afternoon.
Aside from González, the other corps de ballet dancers were: Randy Crespo, José Justiz, Ariadni Martín, Luis Victor Santana, Annie Ruiz Díaz and Alejandro Méndez.
Four of the dancers spoke about their decision to leave the communist country on América TeVé in Miami.
“We’re thinking of a better future, both economically and artistically,” Annie Ruiz Diáz said on the Spanish-language program.
Lawyers are trying to figure out legal details, but Webb has made his intentions clear — González is in.
According to a quote from dance agent Jane Hermann in The New York Times, one or two Cuban National Ballet dancers defects from most tours she books.
Contact Mallory Gnaegy at [email protected].