Longform

Cuban Ballet in Exile

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Martin praises, "You are an outstanding ballet dancer, but the best thing you have going for you is your mother."

The National Ballet of Cuba has felt the trio's absence. Friends tell them so. "They say, 'Oh, now there's nobody who dances as good,'" Miguel Angel says. "It's painful. I miss them a lot."

The Cuban stars, who were lauded for their Swan Lake performances, are San Francisco-bound. The company has extended contracts, but a spokeswoman declined to discuss the details until visas are granted.

For now, the trio will dance with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.

One afternoon in March, when asked about his hopes for the future, Taras, wearing a black AC/DC shirt and sitting on the couch in their Pompano Beach home, replies simply: "Success."

His mother plops down next to him, kisses his arm, and softens his response. "And you want the audience to like you and to dance well no matter where you're at."

Taras nods in agreement and heads outside to smoke. Magaly is trying to get him to quit. These days the pair just enjoys normalcy — a mother who wants the best for her child and a son who wants time with his mom.

On this rare Friday afternoon free from dancing, Magaly follows Taras outside and asks, "Wanna drive?" as she fishes into her turquoise Coach purse. She pulls the front door closed, hands over the keys, and settles into the BMW's passenger seat. Like any other family, they head to the mall.

The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami performs The Best of the Classical Repertoire May 10 and 11 at the Manuel Artime Theater in Little Havana. For more information, call 305-549-7711 or visit www.cubancbmiami.com.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami in our online slide show at www.miaminewtimes.com/slideshow.

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Janine Zeitlin