The Story Behind the choreogrpher

Alexis Zanety

     Choreographer and former first soloist for Cuba’s national Contemporary Dance Company. He studied under Escuela Profesional de Instructores de Arte in Villa Clara, Cuba from 1983 to 1989 graduating with honors and receiving the coveted Diploma de Oro award (Gold Award) for best student. 

     He began his artistic career right after graduation performing for several dance companies in Villa Clara, Cuba but primarily with Compañía del Teatro de la Caridad, one of the remaining colonial theatres in Cuba and a national monument. As a former first soloist for Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea de Cuba from 1995 to 2002 he worked under the direction of several prominent contemporary choreographers such as Eduardo Rivero Walker in Zulkari, Narciso Medina in Metamorfosis, and Lídice Nuñez in Trastornados. He also had the chance to premiere Folía by Jan Linkens and several other leading roles in festivals around the world in places such as Holland Dance Festival, Nervi Festival in Italy, and Aida Opera at the reopening of the theater La Fenice. 

   He has also toured extensively throughout France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Martinique. In 1999 Alexis was commissioned by the National Ballet of Cuba to choreograph a neoclassical piece for the intermediate level students of the academy. During this time, he trained and mentored Taras Domitro who later received 1st place in Alicia Alonso’s International Ballet Competition and is now a principal dancer for San Francisco Ballet. 

Alexis then relocated to Mexico in 2002 after being invited by Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, Mexico to choreograph for Festival de Danza por la Vida. Once in Mexico, he was invited to perform the principal role of “Don Jose” in Carmen by choreographer Adriana Quinto in Festival Internacional Cervantino and invited to portray the leading role in Besame Mucho (2003). The latter produced by OCESA, a conglomerate of artistic productions in Latin America under the mass media company Televisa. 

      Throughout his lengthy artistic career, Alexis’ had an ongoing interest in choreography and pedagogy. Due to this, he looks for opportunities to combine the information he has learned from Afro-Cuban dance, neoclassical dance, and Caribbean rhythms and enjoys exploring movement to Son Cubano and Cuban Rumba. He merges these movement qualities along with classical ballet and Cuban modern dance in his own technique called Dibujo Circular de Movimiento (Circular Patterns of Movement). 

     In 2015, he was commissioned by Compañía Nacional de Danza de Cuba to choreograph Retorno. In 2016 Centro Morelense de las Artes in Mexico also commissioned him to choreograph Sombras y Destinos en Imágenes en Desequilibrio, a multidisciplinary piece with actors, dancers, and musicians. 

    Alexis relocated permanently to Houston, Texas in 2016. Since then he has been teaching independently in several cities in the US and has provided master classes at Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, University of Houston, Afro Latin Fest, and participated at the 2018 and 2019 International Association of Blacks in Dance Congress as a guest teacher. Future teaching and choreographic engagements include University of Oklahoma, Latin Week Houston, Carlos Luis Blanco Ramos (1st principal in Carlos Acosta’s Dance Company), the 2020 Afro Latin Fest, and others.