Historic Exchange Continues with Cuba Between Ruth Page Center and Havana’s Escuela Nacional de Ballet

Historic Exchange Continues with Cuba Between Ruth Page Center and Havana’s Escuela Nacional de Ballet

(2015 exchange, featuring Cuban and American students. Photo courtesy of The Ruth Page Center for the Arts.)

As President Barack Obama makes history March 20-22 with his visit to Cuba, another historic event coincides with his trip. Chicago’s Ruth Page Center for the Arts, who initiated a cultural exchange last year between their School of Dance and Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Ballet (CUBA Y CHICAGO: The International Dance Experience), will be the first American ballet training center to participate in the XXII International Festival for Ballet Academies in Havana, Cuba. Victor Alexander, Ruth Page School of Dance Director and Birute Barodicaite, Ballet Mistress, were invited by the prestigious Cuban ballet school to represent Chicago and teach master classes as well as judge a choreographic competition during the Festival’s run, March 20 – April 3.

Now in its 22nd year, the International Festival for Ballet Academies in Cuba is a nationally sponsored festival where ballet schools from around the world come to participate in performance and choreographic competitions, as well as advanced level master classes. Barodicaite will be teaching a series of master classes in ballet technique and Alexander will be a judge for the Choreographic Competition as well as teach a master class in Contemporary dance. “We are very honored to have been invited to travel to Cuba to be part of this important festival,” noted Alexander. “I was born in Cuba and received my dance training there, so it is very special to be among my former teachers representing the United States and the school I now direct in Chicago.”

For more information on The Ruth Page Center for the Arts visit www.ruthpage.org.

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