Jose Manuel Carreño was born in Cuba, where he received his training at the Provincial School of Ballet and the National Ballet School. He won the Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition in 1987, and the Gran Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1990. He has appeared extensively in Europe, Latin America and the United States.
Carreño joined the English National Ballet in 1990, where his repertoire included Solor in “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, the Prince in Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Albrecht in Giselle, the Prince and the Gopak in The Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and roles in a number of one-act ballets and pas de deux including A Stranger I Came, Etudes, Graduation Ball, and Prince Igor. Carreño joined The Royal Ballet as a Principal Dancer in 1993, where his repertoire included the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Basilio in Don Quixote, Oberon and Puck in The Dream, a leading role in Herman Schmerman, and the leading role in Matthew Hart’s Caught Dance. Carreño joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in June 1995. His repertoire with the Company includes the title role in Apollo, the leading role in , Solor in La Bayadère, Franz in Coppélia, Conrad, Ali, the Slave and Lankendem in Le Corsaire, Basilio in Don Quixote, the third sailor in Fancy Free, Albrecht in Giselle, Fate in HereAfter, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker.