A principal dancer with the Cuban National Ballet, Elier Bourzac, is one of five company members who declined to return home with the troupe after its triumphant first appearance in Montreal last month.
All five are seeking to stay in Canada in the hope of joining Canadian dance companies. Among their first acts in the week following their decision to stay was an audition with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.
“My reason for staying is artistic,” Bourzac, 26, said in a telephone interview Monday from Toronto, where he took a regular class with the National Ballet of Canada as part of an audition process. “I went as far as I wanted to go in classical ballet – in Cuba, it's exclusively classical dance – and I'd like to continue to perform ballet, but now I'd like to explore contemporary dance, too, and work with international choreographers. As far as Canada goes, I like Canada's way of life better than that of other countries where I've toured.”
In two appearances in Montreal in the ballet Giselle, Bourzac displayed brilliant technique in the lead male role of Albrecht, partnering with the company's eminent ballerina Viengsay Valdés. His repertory includes leading roles in Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Corsaire and other major classical works.
via Cuban ballet dancers remain in Canada
Photo: Viengsay Valdes and Elier Bourzac in Giselle by Nan Melville
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.