The story of two Cuban ballet dancers that risked their lives to escape the tyranny of Fidel Castro, and interestingly enough, the tyranny of Alicia Alonso.
Via Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune:
“I remember how we was in that room, thinking and talking,” Martin says of the exchange with Franco, now his wife. “In that room, in that moment, we decide. We take the risk of our lives.”
The decision they reached was to defect while on tour with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, where Martin, now a principal with the Sarasota Ballet, was a principal dancer and Franco was a member of the corps.
The previous year, Martin had been denied permission by Alicia Alonso, head of the Cuban company, to accept a contract to dance in Canada.
For almost a full year the couple had deliberated.
“That was a very hard year,” says Franco. “We were trying to decide our future. We were trying to decide our lives.”
When they left Havana for a brief Mexican tour, they didn’t know they would not be returning. They did not say goodbye to their families. Nor did they have more than their per diem expenses and a visa that would expire in just a few days in their pockets.
You can continue reading their story HERE.