Two principal dancers with Cuba’s Ballet de Camaguey have defected and will make their U.S. debut in Miami Sunday.
Milena Teresa Garcia Valido and Julio Cesar Concepcion Mederos will perform the Don Quixote pas de deux as part of the closing performance of the International Ballet Festival of Miami at 5pm Sunday at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 East Flagler St., in downtown Miami.
The pair left the Camaguey troupe, the most important in Cuba after the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, while it was on a recent tour in Ecuador and traveled to the United States on Sept. 5, crossing by land through Mexico.
“We are seeking greater artistic opportunities and personal freedom,” Garcia said in a statement released by the festival. The two dancers are staying with relatives in Miami, and reached out to festival director Pedro Pablo Peña, who frequently presents Cuban dancers in exile, often in their U.S. debut.
“We have always made every effort to make opportunities available for exiled dancers,” says Peña. “This is our welcome to Milena and Julio Cesar to freedom and a successful artistic future.”
Information and tickets for Sunday’s performance are available at www.internationalballetfestival.org.