Cuban Economy & Co-Ops

BBC Special on Cuban Ballerina Lorena Feijoo

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Lorena Feijoo is a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. Lorena was born into the world of ballet in her native Havana. Her mother was a dancer with Cuba’s National Ballet and she remembers being looked after by the costume managers whilst her mum was performing. Her sister Lorna also followed in her footsteps and Lorena is now married to a dancer, she has performed with both of them. Lorena’s career has taken her to Europe and America, but she is always grateful for the free ballet training she received as a child in Cuba.

Kitty Phetla grew up as a tomboy in a township in Soweto and did not know what ballet was until the age of nine. She was given the option of joining a ballet or karate group and thought she would not do the ‘obvious’ thing and went for ballet. Kitty danced with the Ballet Theatre Africans and is now a senior soloist and choreographer with the Joburg Ballet. Kitty is known for performing The Dying Swan, a piece made famous by legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Kitty’s version has an African twist though, instead of wearing a white tutu, pink tights and pointe shoes, she breaks with tradition to perform in an all-black costume to become The Black Dying Swan.

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