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Video, Photos: U.S. Dancers Among Cuba's 24th Intl Ballet Festival

HAVANA, CUBA -- For Brooklyn Mack, a principal dancer at The Washington Ballet, it is a dream come true: performing in the land of his ballet idol Carlos Acosta, one of the outstanding stars of the Royal Ballet of London.

Mack is one of over 20 dancers currently working in the U.S. who are in Havana participating in the 24th International Havana Ballet Festival, which opened October 28th and runs through Friday, November 7th. Among the visiting foreign dance companies are two from the United States: Ballet Hispánico and Pontus Lidberg Dance.

 The Washington Ballet’s principal dancer, Brooklyn Mack in Havana performing a scene from the ballet “Diana and Acteon.” Roberto Leon / NBC News
 Viengsay Valdes from Cuba’s National Ballet, and Brooklyn Mack from Washington Ballet, performing scenes from DIANA and ACTEON BALLET. Roberto Valdes / NBC News

The first Havana Ballet Festival was held in March, 1960, soon after the founding of Cuba’s National Ballet. There were further festivals in 1966 and 1967, but from 1974 the festival has been held biennially every other fall. Havana’s festival enjoys great prestige all over the world, and this year there are three world premieres, almost thirty premieres in Cuba and one premiere by Cuba’s National Ballet.

 Cuba’s National Ballet performing scenes from CELESTE. Roberto Leon / NBC News
 Cuba’s National Ballet performing scenes from CELESTE. Roberto Leon / NBC News

Companies and guest stars from Argentina, South Africa, Portugal, Italy, France, Norway and other countries are participating in the 2014 festival.

--Roberto León, NBC News