René de Cárdenas

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For the baseball announcer, see René Cárdenas.

René de Cárdenas is a Cuban dancer and choreographer born in Havana. He is the creator of Sonlar, a musical performed worldwide, describing a day in the life of a Havana barrio, a kind of communal house where several families live together.


Since his earlier age, René de Cárdenas has been cradled by music and art : his mother was a professor at Cuba’s National Art Academy. But dance wasn’t really a calling and his career started for a much more practical reason : he was not good at the violin so his mother advised him to audition as a dancer because after the Cuban revolution, the island was facing dancers shortage. And what he thought as “not something a man should do”, became his passion.

He started dancing with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba for 30 years, under the direction of renowned Cuban names like Alicia Alonso, Jorge Esquivel, Andrés Williams, José Zamorano, Alberto Terrero… Besides, during these years, he was invited as a dancer, Maître, Ballet Master or choreographer in dance companies performing in countries like Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Poland, Colombia, Spain and many others.

But after 30 years of dancing and touring, his career was stopped by a foot injury. Unable to perform, he mobilized his talent and experience in order to create. As a choreographer, he has created around a dozen short pieces that entered the repertories of various Cuban dance companies. He also worked as a consultant in several Latin American and European Academies, giving lectures and courses, participating in workshops and stages.

But his greatest achievement is Sonlar, a dance and percussion show, telling the story of the life in a Havana’s solar. This musical is performed by his own dance company: la Compania René de Cárdenas. The premiere took place in the National Theater of La Havana in December 2004. Then the show notoriety kept on growing, so that an international tour was set. Foreign critics have compared it with big Broadway productions such as Stomp or A Chorus Line.

René de Cárdenas has also started a career of writer by publishing in 2005 Hatana de Los Remedios, a story compilation.


  • Best junior couple of the Ballet de Varna International Contest, Bulgaria (1978).


Dance shows[edit]

  • Havana, you are my love (2007)
  • Desencuentro (2007)
  • Sonlar (2004)
  • My Soul… Alone (2004)
  • Beats of the city (2003)
  • Remembranzas (2003)
  • Instinct (2003)
  • E pur si muore (2001)
  • Labil (2000)


  • Technical book of duo (soon published)
  • From the coldness of the shadow (soon published)
  • Hatana’s stories (soon published)
  • Hatana de los Remedios (2005)


External links[edit]