Fourth Cuban Ballet Defector Arrives Tonight

Ballet fans rejoice: another Cuban ballet star is coming to Miami.

Carlos Quenedit, a former dancer with the National Ballet of Cuba, crossed the Mexican border last week. He’s slated to arrive in South Florida tonight to begin rehearsing with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, a company created to cradle the talents of exiled dancers.

He will become the fourth recent defector to grace local stages this year.“They come seeking the freedom to express themselves and develop their careers,” says Pedro Pablo Peña, the troupe’s co-artistic director. “They’re choosing to do a grand jeté into a world of truth.”

The 22 year old defected from the renowned Cuban company a year ago and has been performing with the Ballet of Monterrey in Mexico, Peña says. Word of the Quenedit’s border crossing quickly spread in the close-knit dance world.

The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami soon invited Quenedit to make his United States debut at the Manuel Artime Theater in Little Havana. Next weekend, May 10 and May 11, Quenedit will join the three other recently exiled Cuban stars in “The Best of the Classical Repertoire.” Since defecting from the Cuban company in December, Taras Domitro, Hayna Gutierrez, and Miguel Angel Blanco have been training and living with the company’s co-artistic director, Magaly Suárez, also Domitro’s mother.

Read more from the New Times about the trio and their transition here.For tickets, call 305-549-7111 or visit

--Janine Zeitlin

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