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Havana Love Letters

Cartas de Amor / Havana Love Letters is a new choreodrama inspired by Havana, by Cuban dancers and musicians, by poet Nicolas Guillen & painter Wilfredo Lam and by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s beloved novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. 

The themes of romance, hope, and patience offer important ideals in these times of change...


With a passion for Cuban dance, choreographer Suki John combines contemporary moves with the story-telling magic of classical ballet.


Suki joined with New York-based composer, Joel Diamond, whose enchanting composition weaves Latin American rhythms and poetry into a lush new score.


In 2016, Havana Love Letters was shown as a work in progress during the Festival de las Artes in Havana, and in excerpted form at CAP 21 in New York City and at Texas Christian University's   School for Classical & Contemporary Dance. Now the creative team is working  to bring Havana Love Letters to a major professional company in the U.S.


For Joel and Suki, it’s a chance to bring Havana Love Letters to life, to tell a story of love in its many twisted and redemptive forms, and to work with spectacular Cuban artists. These men and women have inspired us to keep making dances that spark ideas and optimism in audiences – no matter what the language or location – for 22 years.


Suki John is a passionate advocate for Cuban dance -- as a choreographer, performer, and writer. On the island she has choreographed for Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Compañia Narciso Medina, Danza Espiral, and Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, and the National Schools of Dance (El ISA and La ENA). She has created six original works with Havana Love Letters composer Joel Diamond.  Her acclaimed book, Contemporary Dance in Cuba: TécnicaCubana as Revolutionary Movement, is a personal and scholarly account of Cuban dance. She founded Cuban Arts Match, which partners with AltruVistas Travel, to bring Cuban and North American art and artists together. 


With decades of experience in the studios, schools, and theaters of Cuba, Suki and her partners have worked extensively with artists, professors, writers and performers across the island.  


CAM creates civilized adventures. We have traveled and worked in Cuba since the 1970s through today.


Cuban Arts Match associates have authored books, led tours, produced music, ballets, concerts, films, painting and sculpture. Suki’s well-received book, Contemporary Dance in Cuba: Técnica Cubana as Revolutionary Movement (McFarland Press, 2012) is the first to describe the Cuban contemporary dance technique now taking the world by storm. Her book s recounts a whirlwind experience of living and working with Cuban artists in good times and bad.

CAM is comprised of specialists in all forms of Cuban artistic and cultural production:


  • Dance:  ballet, contemporary, Flamenco, Afro-Cuban, folklore, social dance and hip hop


  • Music: performers, composers, conductors, music producers, music historians and ethnomusicologists


  • Theater: actors, directors and playwrights


  • Language: Cuban literature specialists in Spanish and the Santería languageof LuCuMi


  • Media, economics and politics 


  • Visual Arts: photographers, filmmakers, painters, sculptors and poets. 


Cuban partners:


The renown national university and school of the arts that house both performing and visual arts


The three national dance companies (Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Conjunto Folklorico, and Danza Contemporánea de Cuba) and their associated schools

National and local symphonies, orchestras, composers and bands; independent performing arts companies and schools specializing in all genres;


Members of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba

Filmmakers, playwrights, directors and actors; and painters, sculptors, and curators in independent galleries and national museums. 


Travel agency partner: 


AltruVistas are trusted travel professionals who manage travel planning and logistics.


CAM enhances those travel experiences so that they are personal and unique.


AltruVistas make your travel plans; CAM makes your travel unforgettable!!

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Tomás Guilarte and Suki rehearsing her work, BarrigaBestia in Narciso Medina's Calle 8 studio in Havana

photo by David Garten

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