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The United Nations headquarters in New York is hosting a photo exhibition on Cuban dance. The display opened Tuesday after an address by the Cuban ambassador to the international body, Rodrigo Malmierca.

The photos were taken by American photographer Gil Garceti, who is considered as one of the four best photographers in his country.

Speaking at the opening of the showcase, Rodrigo Malmierca said dance is part daily life in Cuba. "It's in our blood; it's a mixture of Spain and Africa," he said, as the exhibit reflects the grace of Cuban dance in its multiple professional and popular manifestations

Garceti's photos were taken in natural environments --without artificial lighting or poses-- to demonstrate that dance on the Caribbean island is a passion rather than only a discipline.

The prints range from classic ballet to people dancing in the streets.

They show contemporary dance, flamingo and Cuban folkloric dances. The exhibit is a small representation of four years of work during which the photographer could make friends with many Cubans - dance professionals as well as amateurs, said Malmierca.

Gillian Sorensen, from the United Nations Foundation, said she was grateful for having the opportunity to take a closer look to Cuban dance through the work of Garceti, who could not attend the ceremony due travel outside the country.

Present at the gallery was Cuban ballet dancer Jose Manuel Carreño, who is currently a member of the American Ballet Theater.

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