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Why was an acclaimed Spanish dancer en route to LA denied entry to US?

Spanish performance artist Marta Carrasco in her dance theater piece,
Spanish performance artist Marta Carrasco in her dance theater piece, "Perra de Nadie." The acclaimed dancer and three colleagues were prevented from traveling to Los Angeles to perform this month after U.S. officials stopped them in Seattle and forced them to return to Europe.
Photo by David Ruano

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The Latino Theater Company in Los Angeles had to cancel performances by an acclaimed Spanish dancer this month after the performers were barred from entering the United States.

Barcelona-based performance artist Marta Carrasco was set for an 11-day run at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. But the acclaimed dancer and three colleagues were stopped last week after they landed in Seattle, before they could board their connecting flight to Los Angeles. 

U.S. officials say the group entered via the Visa Waiver program, which allows visitors from Europe and select nations to enter visa-free, but they instead should have had specific visas for paid performers. Carrasco's producer, Manel Quintana, said they'd traveled to perform in the U.S. without incident in the past.