Dance in Cuba

Identity and Projection

This panel will discuss the social and political implications of dance and will trace the origins and development of the Escuela Nacional de Ballet, one of only six acknowledged techniques in the history of ballet, as well as the influence of Cuban-trained dancers, teachers, and régisseurs on the global ballet scene. Caridad Martinéz, former principal of the Ballet National de Cuba and professional ballet instructor joins David Álvarez, the classical ballet dancer who stars in "Billy Elliot" for an exciting lecture and demonstration. Randy Martin of NYU and Ana Maria Hernandez of LaGuardia Community College and the Bildner Center, both experts on the subject, complete this exceptional panel.


Ana María Hernández

Ana María Hernández specializes in Caribbean and River Plate studies and teaches Latin American Literature and Culture at LaGuardia Community College. She has been part of the reviewing staff of World Literature Today since 1977. Her recent research has focused on Cuban dance and national identity.

Randy Martin

Randy Martin is professor of art and public policy and director of the graduate program in arts politics. Dr. Martin holds degrees in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the City University of New York. He has studied, taught, and performed in dance, theater, and clowning in the United States and abroad.

Caridad Martinéz

A graduate of the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, Cuba, Martinéz has studied with, Fernando & Alicia Alonso, Joaquin Banegas, Azary Plisetski, Ramona de Saa, Karemia Moreno, Jose Pares. As principal dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba she performed in the most important theaters in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Caridad led The Havana Ballet through a theater creative concept that transformed the performing Arts in Cuba during the 80's.

David Álvarez

David Alvarez is a Canadian dancer and actor, best known as being one of the original Billys in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical. David began taking classical ballet more seriously at the California Ballet. In 2005, Alvarez received a full merit scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre. While at ABT, Alvarez danced feature roles in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.