Recent seasons of the National Ballet of Cuba, with so many young dancers debuting in lead roles, coupled with a significant flow of these dancers to other countries and companies, has sparked the question as to how a ballet dancer reaches the highest category of principal dancer.
Is there a marked path to ascend to principal dancer? Do all dancers follow it? What is the impact of individual talent? Are the school, the barre, the rehearsal room, and taking on paradigmatic works all part of this path?
To decipher the steps that lead to a promotion, which are not as simple, or always as rigorous, as may be believed, and in some cases are controversial, this publication visited the office of Miguel Cabrera, historian of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) since the 1970s, in the Havana neighbor-hood of Vedado.