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Portrait of Humanity 2020 Shortlist / Matt Burgess

Matt Burgess

Student at the Escuela National de Ballet, Cuba

Hidden in plain sight close to some of the Havana’s most visited attractions, the school teaches ballet alongside traditional subjects to Cuban and a smaller number of international students. In some ways, the Cuban ballet reflects the country as a whole in the sense that its reputation and renown far exceeds its size and apparent resources. Here the strength, skill and determination of the individual underpins all. In these environmental portraits, the context of the historic ballet school is an omnipresent and at times foreboding backdrop where the individual competes for attention. Yet it is the human beauty and steadfast nature of the dancers, their apparent resolve and youthful determination that prevails.

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