Rad A. Drew Photography: Beauty and Grace 2020

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Beauty and Grace 2020

Cuba and Dance!


Dancers of the National Ballet of Cuba


© Ramses Batista

with

Ramses Batista 
&
Rad A. Drew

February 26 - March 3, 2020 *NEW Dates!*


and

March 7-13, 2020 


© Rad A. Drew

Cuban Photographer, Ramses Batista, and I, created this unique photo workshop for the nearly exclusive purpose of photographing Dancers of the National Ballet of Cuba.

© Rad A. Drew

For several years now, Ramses and I have collaborated to bring photographers and dancers together for some amazing portrait sessions. But there never seemed to be enough time to spend with the Dancers!



That's why this trip is all about photographing dancers and all things dance!


© Ramses Batista
Although our primary subjects will be ballet dancers, we'll explore other forms of dance practiced in Cuba that may include Contemporary, Afro Cuban, and even, possibly, Flamenco! Who we photograph all depends on availability of the dancers during the time we'll be there. Last trip we photographed 16 dancers in 5 days from Ballet, Contemporary, and Afro Cuban disciplines.


© Rad A. Drew

Description

We'll photograph dancers in multiple locations in Havana including historic sites, in the streets, and in abandoned structures. 

© Rad A. Drew


Don't worry! There'll still be plenty of time for street photography including architecture, old cars, and portraiture in locations throughout Havana, including along the Paseo de Prado, the Malecon, the historic squares, and Old Havana.


© Ramses Batista
In keeping with our Dance theme, we'll engage in activities that support the theme, selecting activities from a long list that includes visiting the Alicia Alonso Grand Theatre of Havana. This magnificent theater, named after prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonzo, is home to the National Ballet de Cuba. I've brought groups here several times since it was renovated in 2016 and it is magnificent!


Inside the Alicia Alonzo Grand Theater
© Rad A. Drew

Cuba's boys and girls have an early opportunity to learn dance. Those who show promise at elementary levels matriculate to a dance school in Havana where they receive both their ballet instruction and their academic education. We'll visit the Dance School and photograph students as they work hard at practice, and hang out in the halls as students do in any school! It's an opportunity to look inside one of Cuba's cultural institutions.

Between visits to these (and other surprise locations!), we'll photograph dancers against the gritty background that is Cuba through and through, and in locations not readily available to visitors.


© Ramses Batista
During the week, Ramses and I will support you in making great images for your portfolio. We'll support photographers shooting any type of camera including traditional, infrared, and mobile.

As an option, when photographing dancers, you'll have the opportunity to use remote flash equipment for fill and dramatic effects. You'll use the equipment with your camera and Ramses and I will provide support on the use of the equipment and techniques. For those who'd rather not use the flash technique, we'll have plenty of opportunities for available light photography, using positioning and reflectors to influence the light.


© Rad A. Drew


A Visit to Ramses' Studio

It's important to note that a visit to Ramses's studio is an experience in and of itself. His studio is a work of art! He's created a functional studio built from available and found materials (there's no Home Depot or Lowes for building supplies!) that come together to make a uniquely beautiful working studio that can be transformed into a restaurant for special lunch and dinner guests.



© Rad A. Drew


Lodging

We'll stay in Casas (the equivalent of our B&Bs), with private bath, AC, and breakfast. Many of these locations are places our groups have stayed in before, and all are vetted by our travel partners on the ground in Havana.



Cost

$5,295 (email me for information on how to make your $500 deposit and claim your spot.)

The trip includes the following:

  • Ground transport to and from the airport in Havana (we’ll pick you up and drop you off)
  • 87 CUC ($100 USD worth of local currency) upon arrival at the airport (to make sure you have cash until we have an opportunity to exchange money)
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
  • Lodging in Casas in Havana
  • Ground transportation
  • Fees for photographing dancers and models




Not included:

  • airfare to/from Havana
  • travel visa (purchased at airport, usually $100 or less depending on your airline)
  • gratuities
  • alcohol
  • Trip insurance (in the event you can’t travel)

© Ramses Batista

Itinerary

Saturday, March 7, 2020
(Wednesday, February 26, 2020)

You'll arrive in Havana on the afternoon of March 7 (February 26) and be greeted at the airport. We'll spend the rest of the day getting settled in our Casas, getting out for some street photography, and then dinner.

Sunday, March 8 – Thursday, March 12, 2020
(Wednesday, February 26 -Tuesday, March 3, 2020)

We will not provide a specific day-to-day itinerary for March 8 to 12 (or February 26 - March 3).

Ramses and I have created an overall plan for these days with anchor events. We'll make decisions based on the weather, the dancer's schedules, availability of locations, and, always, we'll have an eye out for the wonderful serendipitous events that always occur.


Ramses refers to Cuba as a land of shifting sands, and that is an apt way of describing it. In my many trips there, I've learned that it's important to go with the flow and be ready to adapt to those shifting sands, because there is almost always wonder in the unexpected.




Important

Documentation Requirements

A valid passport, and a Travel Card (aka Visa) (purchased at airline ticket counter) is required for Cuba.


Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Trips to Cuba are strictly governed by the OFAC. We work with an experienced travel agency to ensure that all of the appropriate documentation and OFAC licenses are obtained for each participant for travel to Cuba.


© Ramses Batista
Terms and Conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of booking. Once fees are paid-in-full cancellation penalties apply.

Cancellation

60 Days prior to arrival date, deposit $500.00

59 to 45 days prior to arrival date - 50% of total cost.

44 days to arrival date - 100% of total cost

Click here to email me for registration instructions.