CriticalDance Forum

Three cuban dancers defect during a tour in Canada
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Author:  CarolinaM [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Three cuban dancers defect during a tour in Canada

Taras Domitro, Hayna Gutierrez and Miguel Angel Blanco defected during a tour in Canada.

It seems that they will be joining the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, managed by Taras’ mother.

Article in Spanish here

It seems that they will be touring in Spain next year :)

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:09 pm ]
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Wow, haven't seen one of those in a while. Defections always seem so romantic...

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:00 pm ]
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While I don't know the reasons for the defections, I note that -

Gross Domestic Product adjusted for local prices:

USA: $44,000

Cuba: $4,000

Countries such as Estonia also lose a lot of dancers, especially men, to those with higher standards of living, although in this latter case, dancers can leave when they want to.

Author:  osiris661 [ Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:59 pm ]
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They would be better off to head over towards NYC rather than south Florida. There are lots and lots of cuban dancers out of work in Dade County. I guess they have to get on their feet somewhere and CCB will provide that in the short term but they need to leave South Florida to really be able to secure GOOD employment.

Now another thought, how they are able to be working so quickly after defecting? I have helped a few Cuban dancers through the process of obtaining legal working status in the states and it is not as easy as just claiming political assylum. You have to be approved by immigrations as well as the treasury department in order to work legally. INS is not so much the issue but the Treasury Dept is, they want to make certain that you will not be working in the states and then sending money back to Cuba thus violating the embargo. This process takes a solid year and that is with a $$GOOD$$ attorney. Granted, there are plenty of fine immigration attorneys in Dade County, trust me it is a booming business in the greater Miami area but the bottom line is that the process takes time.

I wish them the very best and welcome them to beautiful Miami.........

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:50 pm ]
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Maybe this has been in the works for a while. Is it different if they are refugees? Or is that the same?

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:25 pm ]
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They would be seeking political asylum. I think that the term refugee applies to someone from a war zone (or who is forced to leave their home for some reason) and has to seek safety in a different country (an IDP or internally displaced person is one who is displaced within their home country and thus not eligible for some kinds of aid), and who would then either seek political asylum or temporary residency until the situation at home is tenable again. It's not, I believe, an official immigrations category, rather a designation (often by the UN) that makes a person eligible for certain things, like asylum or housing in a refugee camp

It may well be that these dancers are not actually working, rather they are dancing for free, but the company is paying for room and board. I think that's legal, so long as the remuneration is not monetary and only in the form of room and board. And would be why dancers of such caliber are dancing for a no name company (that and the fact that the company is run by a close relative of one of the dancers...)

That said, never underestimate the political power of the Cuban-American population in Florida. They represent a lot of (Republican) votes. Draw your own conclusions there about why the embargo still exists.

I suspect that once these dancers have cleared the immigrations paperwork hurdles, they'll quickly be scooped up by bigger ballet companies. But until they are 'legal', union companies are unlikely to get involved - NYCB in particular has had run ins regarding both hiring Cuban dancers and having dancers perform in Cuba. (As if the salaries of a dozen or so dancers are going to make or break the Cuban economy...) And I suspect dancers like Jose Manuel Carreno may be making fewer and fewer trips back home, and costing ABT a fortune in lawyer bills.


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