The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) was founded in 2006 by Pedro Pablo Pena, Director of the International Ballet Festival of Miami, recognized as one of the most important festivals of its kind in the United States. CCBM is solely dedicated to performing and preserving the classical ballet repertoire as exemplified by the Cuban ballet tradition. CCBM is also the only professional ballet company in Miami that produces classical ballet works exclusively.
Famous for its artistic virtuosity and technical brilliance, the Cuban Ballet School has trained some of the most well-known dancers of today and the late 20th century, and has created a technique that is unmatched in modern day classical ballet. One of CCBM's goals is to establish a permanent classical ballet company and school that will preserve and further the tradition of the Cuban Classical School of ballet outside of Cuba, creating performance and teaching opportunities for the exiled members of this school in Miami and elsewhere for years to come.
Many dancers come to Miami-Dade County looking for a place to continue their careers, including Cuban refugees and defectors, many of whom have gone on to prestigious dance companies around the US and abroad. Notable examples include Miguel Angel Blanco at Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ihosvany Rodriguez, Josue Justiz, Walter Gutierrez at San Jose Ballet of California, Taras Domitro at the San Francisco Ballet, Hayna Gutierrez at the Alberta Ballet of Canada, Jordan Elizabeth Long presently at Miami City Ballet, formally the Dutch National Ballet, Netherlands, Arianne Martin & Randy Crespo at the Arizona Ballet, and others. A great pride of our organization is that these dancers, though they have gone on with their careers, return to dance for our company year after year - a testament to the lifelong relationships that are forged with the talented dancers that we are fortunate to have passed through our doors.
Since its inception in 2006, CCBM's repertoire has included the following full-length productions of BALLETS - Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, Carmen, La Fille mal Gardee and Don Quixote; SUITES - La Bayadère, Raymonda, Paquita, Majisimo, Don Quixote and Carnival de Venice; BALLET RUSSE SERIES - L’Apres-midi d’un Faune, Les Sylphides, Spectre de la Rose, Cleopatra, Fire Bird, Carnaval, Scheherezade, Les Biches, The Fairy Doll, and Dying Swan; and PAS DE DEUX - Flames de Paris, Don Quixote, Pas Classique, Esmeralda, Black Swan, White Swan, Paquita, Le Corsaire, Satanella, La Vivandière, Harlequinade, Sleeping Beauty, Flower Festival and Giselle.
In the 2008 Season, the Swan Lake performance was superb with a new Cuban trio of dancers. According to Jordan Levin (Miami Herald, Feb 2008), “the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami gave us a passionate and professional performance…” The CCBM’s 2009 Season included two premieres, "Le Corsaire" and "Carmen Ballet" by Alberto Alonso. In another review from critic Orlando Taquechel from El Nuevo Herald, he stated: “The ballet company (CCBM) keeps the legacy of the Cuban Ballet School of the 1960s. It was a nostalgic trip and made an important historic event in town.”
On January 31, 2012, the Cuban Classical Ballet surprised travelers at Miami International Airport with spontaneous performances of "Swan Lake" as part of the Knight Foundation’s Random Acts of Culture™ program. Since December 2012, CCBM and its dance school have had a permanent home at the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center in the heart of Little Havana. The 1911 J. W. Warner House is one of Miami's oldest buildings, and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
During 2013, CCBM hosted a group of recently exiled Cuban ballet dancers and organized presentations by them at The Fillmore Jackie Gleason in Miami Beach and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. The dancers were interviewed in several newspapers and television stations receiving grand reviews.
In 2014 Classic Russian Ballets of Sergei Diaghilev was presented to rave reviews, and was the first time that these rare and classic pieces were presented in Miami-Dade County. Baltasar Santiago Martin for Newsweek en Espanol who wrote of the 2014 production of Classic Russian Ballets of Sergei Diaghilev: "All (dancers) were careful in their characterizations, not losing their characters in the exercise of maintaining technique...amen to those that rehearsed them, Master Eriberto Jimenez...and Jesus Sanfiel, his assistant."
Recent critical praise includes glowing reviews for their "Don Quixote" Suite, presented in June 2015 at the Colony Theater and the Miami Dade County Auditorium with guest Cuban principal dancers from Milwaukee Ballet and English National Ballet.
Continuing its Christmas tradition, CCBM annually brings its performance of The Nutcracker, choreographed by Eriberto Jimenez after Marius Petipa, at the Manuel Artime Theatre and the Chapman Center at Miami-Dade College.