Victor Estevez has recently moved from the Queensland Ballet, which he joined in 2016, to the Australian Ballet, where he will start next year. Here, he tells Denise Richardson why he left Cuba to come to Australia and offers some insights into the Cuban training.
What persuaded you to join Queensland Ballet?
It was an opportunity that came in my career at the right time. I wanted to grow as an artist and challenge myself in a new adventure.
Did it take you long to settle in a new country and new company?
Yes, it did. It took me a few years to feel connected as I was navigating a new language and culture.
Is training here much different to training in Cuba?
I will say yes, there are differences in the training systems. The training is based more on getting you dancing and getting that feeling. Dancing is a feeling. Our school encouraged us to connect to the music, as we all connect differently. Allowing us, encouraging us to dance before aiming for perfection, or aiming for what’s required at the end of each term. Focussing on what you need to learn but also encouraging you to discover your full potential early. From a very young age we are encouraged to discover individuality. Empowering and encouragement builds confidence, which is what I remember. It made me feel I could do things before they were right, and as we go along the way, with maturity, you start fixing what needs to be better.
What do you miss most about Cuba?
I miss the culture, the food, and the spontaneity of life.
What do you love most about Brisbane?
What sets the Cubans apart from other ballet dancers?
In my opinion what makes us different is our rich culture of music and dance. Cuban dancers have a need to dance. The best way I can describe it is like a fire that burns as we dream of becoming the best dancer, we can be.
Victor is one of three "charismatic Cubans" featured in the current Oct/Nov/Dec print issue of Dance Australia. Buy your copy before it goes off the shelves! Find it at your favourite retailer or online here or here.
SUBSCRIBE AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR CHRISTMAS OFFER: $22 FOR 4 ISSUES (PRINT AND DIGITAL), a saving of $40 on the full price! Just go https://www.greatmagazines.com.au/index and apply the code ADV/XM23.