Ballet Palm Beach Completes 4th Cuban Tour

Tenth Year of International Outreach Performances for Ballet Ambassadors

(Palm Beach Gardens, FL –Oct 11, 2019) Ballet Palm Beach’s international outreach program, Ballet Ambassadors, brought Artistic Director, Colleen Smith; six company dancers, Danielle Glynn, Rafael Ferreras, Madeleine Miller, Lily Ojea Loveland, Shannon Murray, and Adriana Salazar; and two guests, Mark Baccash, a patron of Ballet Palm Beach, and William Fritz, a graduate from Dreyfoos School of the Arts and current student of USC Film School, to Cuba from September 21st to September 27th to present free performances.

The National Cuban Council of Churches and host church, Inglesia Presbiteria Reformada in Varadero, invited Ballet Palm Beach’s Ballet Ambassadors to make their fourth visit to Cuba. In the span of the week, Ballet Ambassadors toured three cities, Varadero, Havana, and Cardenas, and the dancers performed in four shows at various venues: places of worship, a theater, and a community center. At the International Prayer for Peace event, this year held in Cuba, the Ballet Ambassadors were featured guests, representing the U.S.A. The dancers also performed in the 500th anniversary celebration of Havana.

The toured show was a mixed bill, fusing traditional Cuban and American-styled pieces along with classical ballet. The troupe performed a Cuban mambo-inspired piece; Colleen Smith’s Heaven’s Declare, a contemporary work using Appalachian music; and, new to Ballet Palm Beach’s repertoire, Smith’s Ineffable, a romantic neoclassic piece set to music by Chopin.

“We first went to Cuba in the summer of 2011, and we have formed strong relationships with our hosts ever since. We are grateful to have this unique opportunity to share our art with the Cuban audiences and serve communities that might not have experienced live ballet otherwise. Their passion and love for the performing arts inspires us,” says Smith.

The outreach program, Ballet Ambassadors, started in 2009 and has taken Ballet Palm Beach’s professional company dancers and advanced Ballet Palm Beach Academy students to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cuba, Russia, and Hungary. All efforts by the dancers and artistic staff are voluntary.

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[Photography by Steven Caras © All Rights Reserved]