Dance in Cuba


Garcetti’s new book of photographs, Dance in Cuba, is a visual chronicle of Cuba’s little-known, yet extremely vibrant, dance culture. Working with Alicia Alonso, Director of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Garcetti enjoyed unprecedented access to classical ballet and contemporary dance studios in addition to street and folk dance troupes.

Gil Garcetti

Gil's lifelong love for photography began with his first camera, a gift on his thirteenth birthday from his father, who was a barber in South Los Angeles. Through his photographs, Gil discovered he could share his unique vision of the world, finding beauty in the overlooked, as well as the grand. In addition to his photography, Gil became chairman of the California Science Center Foundation in 2019. He is a producer of the hit CBS series, ALL RISE, having been a producer of the TV series THE CLOSER and MAJOR CRIMES. Gil is a frequent speaker on subjects he photographs and on social change; he is a leader in the effort to eliminate the death penalty in California. He was a teaching Fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School and President of the LA City Ethics Commission.


Now achieving national critical acclaim from numerous institutions for his work in Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Frozen Music, Gil Garcetti embarks on a voyage to Cuba. In a country most known for political tensions, the American public is not as familiar with Cuba’s performing arts. In addition to music, dance is an essential part of daily life. In natural conditions, without the use of studio lighting and posing, Garcetti reveals that dance is more than a discipline. For Cubans it is a passion. Folkdance, classical ballet, contemporary dance, lamenco and street performances are a way of life, and no one is excluded. Working with Miguel Iglesias Ferrer, Director of the Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, Alicia Alonso, Director of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and other dance company directors, choreographers, and dancers, Garcetti had unprecedented access to dance company classes and rehearsals, as well as stage performances. But Cuban spirit is not limited to the professional stage. It can also be seen every day with dancers in the streets, in clubs, and in schools. Garcetti has used his camera to capture the energy and spirit of the Cuban people through their love of dance.

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Hardcover, 114 pages

3 reviews for Dance in Cuba

  1. Avatar

    Lewis Segal Dance critic, Los Angeles Times

    “The wrathful ghosts of Cold War politics have left the diverse but always passionate Cuban dance scene virtually a lost world to U.S. audiences. Now, however, we can glimpse what we’ve been missing through Gil Garcetti’s sumptuous and often surprising gallery of images. Garcetti sees dance with insight, humor and sometimes a sense of longing – admirable qualities for any photojournalist.”

  2. Avatar

    Kevin McKenzie Artistic Director, American Ballet Theatre

    “Gil Garcetti’s images give the viewer a palpable sense of the magic and sensuality of Cuban dance, providing an intimate view of a country where dance in one form or another is as crucial to life as food and water.”

  3. Avatar

    David Schonauer Editor in Chief, American Photo magazine

    “Using light and shadow, Garcetti captures form and movement with transcendent beauty. His photographs document the fl avor of Cuban dance culture but go well beyond the canons of photojournalism in order to reveal the joyful and searching human spirit.”

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