In Cuba, ballet dancers are revered in the same way rock stars or actors are admired in North America. This artistic institution is a mix of Cuban athleticism and rhythm along with the influence of the former Soviet Union.
Photographer Omar Robles who has famously shot dancers in urban settings in New York, recently had the opportunity to travel to Cuba. Robles turned his lens to the island’s elite ballet dancers. He discovered that while photographing the classically trained dancers, another type of dance also made its way into the camera.
“I found myself tangled between the rhythm of the ballerinas I set myself to shoot and the cadence of the Cubans in the streets…and I was swept off my feet by that dance,” explains Robles. Most of the dancers admit to not earning enough in their profession, often discouraged by family to follow their passion. It is their love for the craft, nonetheless, that keeps them dancing.
This is probably one of my favorite images from my shoots in Cuba. While I was shooting Daniela Cabrera, this elderly woman got really close to her and just stood there watching her for the longest time. I’m almost certain she didn’t even notice me shooting. It seemed as if she was reminiscing about her own youth. As she stood, I moved back to adjust my composition and include her into the frame. #OZR_Dance || #🇨🇺💃 || #Cuba