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The Project

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 and 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 joins 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. 


Explore the workshop and university performances here. 

Suki's Story & the Project

Twenty-two years ago the world famous ballerina Alicia Alonso gave me my big break – a commission from the Cuban National Ballet.

A week before departure, composer dropped out, and in my panic a mutual friend introduced me to Joel Diamond. Joel wrote a spectacular score in one week; in fact it was so good my own father wondered if I could equal it with my choreography. By all accounts we were a great fit and our work, After Pandora, premiered at the Grand Teatro de Habana.


Two years later Joel and I created BarrigaBestia for the Compañia Narciso Medina and the first Havana festival of modern dance: Dias de la Danza. And we started imagining another ballet - Havana Love Letters. In 2016 Dias de la Danza celebrates 20 years as a month-long festival of contemporary dance. Joel and I are still collaborating, this time on the first co-production between El ISA, Cuba’s Juilliard, and an esteemed collective of North American artists. This unprecedented collaboration is meant to built bridges and forget inter-cultural exchange.


But for me and Joel 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.

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