In this April 3, 2013 photo, identical triplets Marcos, Cesar and Angel Ramirez Castellanos stand at the bar at the start of ballet class at the National School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba. The triplets say they fell in love with dance in 2007 when their mother took them to see a performance of “The Nutcracker,” which is put on every Christmas season and costs just pennies to attend. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
HAVANA (AP) — Visitors to the elite feeder school for Cuba’s renowned National Ballet might be forgiven for thinking they’re suddenly seeing triple.
Identical triplets Angel, Cesar and Marcos Ramirez wear matching black leotards and white socks as they leap, prance and twirl across the linoleum floor of the mirrored studio. They share the same wiry build, olive complexion, mussed hairstyles and coffee-colored eyes. And they speak the same fast-paced Spanish in the high-pitched voice of children.
Even their instructors have trouble telling the Ramirez boys apart, but they say the 13-year-olds have already separated themselves from their peers technically and artistically, and all three have the talent to make a big splash in the ballet world when they grow up.
If they succeed, they will join a long line of celebrated dancers trained in Cuba, where fans from every social stratum follow the careers of ballet stars like Carlos Acosta and Rolando Sarabia as closely as those of baseball players or boxers.
“I want to be a dancer. The National Ballet of Cuba turns out great male dancers,” said Marcos, sweat dripping from his face after a recent workout in the steamy studio as his brothers Login to read more