The application was filed by principal dancer Nilas Martins, who had been invited to participate in the festival by Alicia Alonso, the director of the festival and of the National Ballet of Cuba. Martins was slated to perform the role of Apollo on the festival's opening night with the National Ballet of Cuba, and planned to bring eight NYCB dancers to perform an all-Balanchine program.
Martins's application was first turned down in August, and subsequent attempts have also been unsuccessful. A Treasury Department spokesperson, in a statement, said, "We fully enforce the Cuba sanction program to ensure hard U.S. currency doesn't flow into the hands of Castro and his cronies."
Dancers from two other American companies, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Houston Ballet, will attend the festival.