Dancer's Corner

Learn About the Artists in Ballet Hispánico's Company

Lyvan Verdecia

I was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, and I joined Ballet Hispánico in August 2015.

What experience, mentor, or teacher supported your passion for dance?

When I was a kid, I grew up next to my cousin Miguel Altunaga. He was a dancer then and still is today. I remember dancing, or trying to dance, all of the choreography that he danced. This is how my passion for dance began. My cousin trained me until I started in the Ballet School at the age of nine, where I had the blessing of having amazing ballet teachers who encouraged me to work hard every day.

When did you know you wanted to pursue dance?

Right away, I knew I wanted to dance when I saw my cousin performing on stage. I felt that I desperately wanted to get on that same stage and dance too. I remember dancing in the living room of my house in Cuba for all the guests. I would show them my version of the choreography that my cousin had recently performed.

What is your first, favorite, or most memorable performance?

My favorite performance was in London in 2006. I had the opportunity to dance with Carlos Acosta in Tocororo "A Cuban Tale." In this choreography, based on the life of Carlos Acosta, I danced the role of young Carlos. Dancing with Carlos Acosta, alongside my phenomenal fellow Cuban cast mates, for a different audience outside of my homeland each evening taught me a great deal. This experience helped me to be the dancer that I am today.

Why did you choose to come to Ballet Hispánico?

In 2014, I saw Ballet Hispánico perform at the Havana International Ballet Festival. Without knowing much about Ballet Hispánico, I went to a rehearsal and to one of their performances. I fell in love right away. Ballet Hispánico had everything I wanted. It had the contemporary movements plus the Latino flavor. I saw in Ballet Hispánico a part of Cuba, a part of the Latino identity, which distinguishes us as a Culture and as a People.

How do you see dance progressing as an art form? What impact do you feel you or your generation of dancers will have on the field of dance?

Every year people learn more. The whole world is moving forward and the same is happening with dance. Nowadays, dance technique is more evolved than years ago. I think now dancers have more knowledge and a better understanding of how to execute a dance step with proper technique and artistry, while never forgetting the basic principles that got them to that point of mastery.

Lyvan Verdecia

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