THE CAST

YOANIS PELAEZ

He studied at the Arts National School in Cuba. Graduated as dancer and teacher of modern and folklore dances. Credits: Cuban Folkloric Ballet,, Ballet Rakatan, Latin American Festival, MacaoArts Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Sydney Opera House, The Peacock Theatre and Dance-Encore Festival.

YARIMA RODRIQUEZ

Started dancing at the Escuela Vocacional de Arte Jose Maria Heredia in Santiago de Cuba. Graduated in dance in from the National Schools of Scenic Arts. Danced with Santiago Alfonso’s company. Worked with Latin Dance Ballet and member of Ballet Rakatan.

ANA AYLEN SALAZAR

Obtained degree in contemporary dance and Cuban folkloric dances at the National Arts School. Toured Switzerland and Norway with Havana Rakatan. Performed in Drums Fiesta, Alabanza Dance Festival and The Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival.

ADRIAN GONZALEZ

Studied at the National Art School (ENA) specialising in Contemporary Dance (Cuba). 1st prize winner best performance and costumes Versal Festival.  Participate in the 4th Festival of Contemporary Dance (Bolivia). Work with dance theatre companies Ballet Rakatan, Retazos and Memory Wax Company.

LEANDRO ZULUETA

Studied at the National Dance School (ENA) in Havana. During his final year was selected to join Ballet Rakatan to start his pre-professional practice. In 2013, graduated as a musical theatre professional dancer. Toured extensively throughout Turkey.

YANISLEY PRADO

Graduate of the National School of Dance. Performed with Cuba Contemporary Dance and Ballet Rakatan. Danced in the works, El Caballero de Paris (Eduardo Blanco) and musical Strawberry and Chocolate (Tony Diaz). 1st prize for feminine interpretation Festival of Arts of the ISA.

JENNY NOCEDO

Born in Camagüey, Cuba. Graduate of the National School of Cuban Dance. Has degree in dance art from the University of the Arts of the ISA. Worked with choreographers Jan Linken, Mats Ek, Juan Kruz, Itzik Galili, George Cepedas and Osnel Delgado. Co-director of the dance project, The Box.

LUIS CARRICABURU

Born in Havana graduating from the National School of Arts. Became part of the Contemporary Dance Company of Cuba (DCC). Festival participation includes Old Havana City in Motion, Festival of Ballet of Cali (Colombia), Tanz Festival Steps (Switzerland). Worked with Gabriela Burdsall and Julio Iglesias.

LAZARO JOAN AGUILERA

Degree in dance from Escuela Profesional de Arte. Received 1st place prize for Best Contemporary Choreography for Yesterday I Kissed Your Steps' and for 'Fall. Works as a choreographer include Shipwrecked On The Asphalt, The Fifth Season and Looking to The Attic.

YAIMA SANTANA

Studied at the Arts Vocational School of Holguín and National School of Musical Show. Worked at the Cuban Television Ballet. Participated in the Folkloric Arts Festival (China), anniversary of the Founding of the City of Hanoi, The Peacock Theatre (West End), Dance-Encore Festival (Canada) to name a few.

KATIA PEREZ

Graduated from the National Modern Dance and Folk School. Toured with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba and the Cuban Television Ballet. Won several awards including 1st prize in the UNEAC contest, Best Performance Competition of Danzandoos and 2nd second place at the Festival of Dance.

SUSELL LOPEZ

Susell is a Modern Dance and Folk Dance graduate. She has toured internationally with Compañía Yoldance’s Bésame Mucho. Susell joined Ballet Rakatan in 2012 and toured throughout Turkey with the company.

RANSES CHARON

Specializes in Afro-Cuban, contemporary and urban dance. Graduate of the National School of Dance. Lead dancer for Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, Yoruba Andabo and Ballet Rakatan. Toured internationally. Dancer and choreographer for the Double project.

DAYNERIS SANCHEZ

Graduated as dance teacher, choreographer and researcher in modern dance, contemporary dance and Cuban folkloric dances. Was part of the Camagüey Folkloric Ballet. Entered the Higher Institute of Arts, became part of the Isadance Group (Grupo Isadanza). Member of Ballet Rakatan.

GEIDY CHAPMAN - VOCALIST

At the age of 14 attended a workshop at the Teatro America in Havana where she wowed the crowd. After graduating from school she decided to concentrate on her musical career. She dedicates her life, heart and soul to song. Worked in London with Havana Rakatan where she was received with affection and wide critical acclaim.

MAIKEL ANTE - VOCALIST

Grammy nominated artist began his career as lead singer of the band The Farandula. Was part of the band ‘Irakere’ (Chucho Valdes) and participated in the recording of Babalu Aye. He has performed around the world in France, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Worked at the Blue Note (New York) and London’s Ronnie Scott’s.

JULITO PADRON - TRUMPET

Recognised as one of the most promising jazz musicians coming out of Cuba. Graduated of Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA). Played with Irakere under the direction multiple Grammy Award winning pianist Chucho Valdes. Worked with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and Adalberto Alvarez.

ALEJANDRO DELGADO - TRUMPET

Graduated of the Guillermo Tomás music school (Cuba). Has shared the stage Horace the Black Hernandez, Iovanni Hidalgo and Kenny Garret.  Worked with Oscar Valdés, Bobby Carcasés, Alexis Bosh, and others. Played as a guest with Wynton Marsalis.

YOANDY ARGUDIN - TROMBONE

He graduated from the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. Was part of the Young Jazz Band of Maestro Joaquín Betancourt and popular dance music groups Paulo FG and Alain Daniel, among others. Has collaborated with Frank Fernandez, Descemer Good, Good Faith and Arturo O’Farrill. 

ALEJANDRO CALZADILLA - SAX

Graduated the Golden Superior Title from the Art Institute of Cuba. Received master classes from Luis Rossi (Argentina), Antonio Saiote (Portugal) and Victor Goines (USA). Won 1st prize in the Musicalia Chamber Music Competition. Saxophonist for the musical Carmen Cubandirected by Chris Renshaw.

HECTOR QUINTANA - GUITAR

Musician, composer, arranger and instrumentalist. Graduated from Amadeo Roldan Music School and with a Bachelor of Music from the University of the Arts. He has shared the stage with Al Jarreu, Kurt Rosenwinkel among others. Received awards from Musicalia, Jojazz and Montreux Jazz.

CARLOS DIAZ - BASS

Attended the National School of Art specialising in bass guitar. Was part of Roberto Carcasses’ Interactive Group touring throughout the world including in Norway, Holland, France, Monaco, Germany, Italy, Canada and several US cities. Also performs with Ballet Rakatan projects.

ISABEL MESA - PIANO

Received a Golden Diploma at the University of the Arts of Cuba (ISA). 1st prize winner Iberoamerican, Piano and Musicalia Chamber Music, among others. Performed recitals throughout Europe and Latin America. Collaborations with Zenaida Castro Romeu, Antonio Pedroso and Roberto Valera.

MARY PAS FERNANDEZ - PERCUSSIONIST & DJ

Studied percussion under Oscar Valdes. Worked with the Diakara Group at age 15 taking her first steps into Jazz. Shared stages with Bobby Carcaces, Jorge Reyes, Marcus Miller and Roberto Fonseca. Performs with Interactivo and Kelvin Ochoa. She is the Director of the Electro Percussion Project.

JOSE CARLOS SANCHEZ - DRUMS

Started his career at the Manuel Saumell Music School followed by the National Art School. Participated in the Cuban Drum Festival winning 1st prize in the drum category. The following year he won 1st prize in the timpani category. Worked with Enrique Plat, Bobi Carcases and Roberto Carcases.

THE CREATIVE

NILDA GUERRA - DIRECTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER

Graduate of Escuela Vocacional de Arte in Cuba. Founder of Ballet Rakatan. Productions: Somos, Havana Rumba, Flamenco de Hoy, Cuba Body & Soul and Havana Rakatan a six-year-running West End hit and a U.S. debut at New York City Center in 2016.

CAL MCCRYSTAL - COMEDY DIRECTION

Following a early career acting in British theatre, TV, and commercials Cal became a director specializing in comedy. Credits: One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden (7 Tony Awards nominations), School of Rock, Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai and Zumanity, Spiderman - 2 (Sony Pictures) and Giffords Circus. 

CHRIS DAVEY - LIGHTING DESIGN

1984, Jekyll & Hyde (Northern Ballet), The Car Man, 21 (Rambert), Eventual Progress, Salieri Variations, Shoes (Sadler’s Wells/The Peacock), The Driver’s Seat (National Theatre of Scotland), Twelfth Night (Crucible Theatre). Won TMA Best Lighting Design for Dial M for Murder (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

 

ADAM WILTSHIRE - SET DESIGN

Graduate of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Theatre Design. Works: On The Twentieth, Romeo et Juliette, Guys and Dolls, Kiss to name a few. Designs for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Watford Palace Theatre and others. Associate Designer for Disney and Cameron Mackintosh.

GASTON BRISKI - SOUND DESIGN

Cats, Cabaret, The Producers, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Show, Tango Argentino, High School Musical, Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera. Sound Supervisor: Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!, Addams Family, among others.

LISANDRA RAMOS - COSTUME DESIGN

Studied Industrial Design at the Higher Institute of Industrial Design (ISDI). Designed scenic accessories for Gaia Theatre (Cuba) and FAMA. Designer for Ballet Rakatan and films The Court of Cienasta (Fatih Akin), La Trucha (Luis Ernesto Doñas), Co-designer Last days in Havana (Fernando Perez).

JULITO PADRON - MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Recognised as one of the most promising jazz musicians coming out of Cuba. Graduated of Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA). Played with Irakere under the direction multiple Grammy Award winning pianist Chucho Valdes. Worked with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and Adalberto Alvarez.

NORGE ESPINOSA - GRAMATURG

Graduate of the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) and the Superior Institute of Arts (Cuba). Worked with Teatro El Público, Teatro de las Estaciones and others. Wrote original plays for Ícaros, La virgencita de bronce, Cintas de seda and the Spanish lyrics and dialogues for Carmen La Cubana, a musical inspired by Carmen.

RANSES CHARON - GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER

Specializes in Afro-Cuban, contemporary and urban dance. Graduate of the National School of Dance. Lead dancer for Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, Yoruba Andabo and Ballet Rakatan. Toured internationally. Dancer and choreographer for the Double project.

EDUARDO EIMIL - STAGE DIRECTOR

Theater Arts Degree from Higher Institute of Art (ISA). Graduated in Directing from the International School of Film and Television. Worked as assistant director for Canal (Spain). Works include: Farewell to Cuba, Escuadra hacia la muerte, Santa Cecilia, The Awakening of Spring and The Glass Menagerie.

ALEXIS FERNANDEZ -  GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER

Graduate of the National School of Dance. Worked in the Ecuadorian National Ballet and Cuban dance-theatre company Retazos. Created LA MACANA with Caterina Varela. Worked with Potporus/Renegade, La Intrusa and Wang Ramirez.

CESAR LOZADA - COMPOSER

Musician, composer and arranger. Graduate in music from the city of Camaguey, specialising in the Cuban tres. Participated in international festivals. Composed music for renowned bands and soloists. Best known for the song Guarija en Descarga, (Tumi Music), saw significant sales in Europe and the U.S.

RODNEY BARRETO - COMPOSER

He comes from a family with a musical tradition. From the age of three, he was involved in musical activities. Rodney entered elementary music school in Havana to study percussion. At the age of 17, he joined Isaac Delgado’s Salsa Band, with whom he toured with for five years. He’s one of the youngest and brightest drummers in Cuba.

ANTONIO ANTE FAJARDO- COMPOSER

Antonio, a self-taught composer, has been composing since 1970. He is a member of the Society of Authors of Spain (SGAE) and Cuba. His works have been recorded and are part of the repertoire of Cuban and foreign artists.

SADIER ANTE FAJARDO - COMPOSER

Sadier studied music at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana. He has been composing since 1976. As well as a composer he has been avocalist for orchestras such as La Charanga Habanera and Climax amongst others. He is a member of the Society of Authors of Mexico country where he works as a composer and singer.

SADLER'S WELLS - PRODUCER

A world leader in contemporary dance presenting a vibrant year-round programme of dance of every kind bringing the best of international and British dance to audiences at their theatres in London, which includes the West End. They're commissioned and produces original new work for their stages and tour them to major arts venues around the world. Since 2005 they have helped to bring 100 new dance works to the stage.

ALISTAIR SPALDING CBE - PRODUCER

Alistair Spalding has been the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler's Wells since 2004. He has been responsible for programming at the theatre since February 2000 (when he joined as Director of Programming). In 2012 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list, for services to dance.

SUZANNE WALKER - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

EMMA BANWELL - COMPANY STAGE MANAGER

ADAM CARREE - PRODUCTION MANAGER

RIC MOUNTJOY - LX PROGRAMMER

MJ HOLLAND - VIDEO PROGRAMMER

ODWEN BEOVIDES - PROJECT MANAGER (CUBA TEAM)

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