A New Giselle Season at Havana’s Grand Theater Alicia Alonso

The ballet Giselle will again thrill audiences at and bring beauty to Havana’s Grand Theater with a Cuban National Ballet Company season Feb 23/25 - March 1/4.  

Choreographed by Cuba’s dance legend, Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, the shows of the ballet classic will be danced by premier dancers Anette Delgado, Viengsay Valdés and Grettel Morejón and Sadaise Arencibia. The role of Albrecht is set to be assumed by Rafael Quenedit, Patricio Revé and Raúl Abreu; while Hilarión will be danced by Ernesto Díaz, Luis Valle and Ariel Martínez. Claudia García and Chavela Riera will make their debut as Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis, a role who will also be danced by principals Ginett Moncho and Ely Regina Hernández.

Inspired by a German folk tale, Giselle is one of the most important pieces in the repertoire of the Cuban National Ballet Company. Cuban ballet and dance were recognized in the world scene for the first time with Giselle and Alicia Alonso as its exceptional performer.

Edited by Damian Donestevez
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Acosta Danza to Premiere in Cuba Work of the American Justin Peck

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Meeting of Ballet Schools from Various Countries Starts in Havana

Students and teachers of ballet schools from various countries will share experiences from today in Cuba on the artistic education and the suitable development of techniques.

The International Meeting of Schools for Ballet Teaching is an event unique in the world and on this 23th time it will be held in Havana until April 19th.

The meeting will be opened at the National Theater with the Cuban School Fernando Alonso performing a piece of the classic El Corsario.

Director of the meeting Ramona de Saa will give lectures on methodology of teaching of the Cuban ballet school, along with physical trainer Jose Candia and historian of the National ballet of Cuba (BNC) Miguel Cabrera.

This 23rd event will be dedicated to historical leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, who died last November, and who, according to De Saa, played a key role in the development of ballet in Cuba and gave the Cuban National School Fernando Alonso its current headquarters.

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Alicia Alonso Willing to Strengthen Ballet in Latin America

Havana, Apr 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso said thar today it is a priority to increase the presence of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) in Latin American countries and show the skills of the region in ballet.

Alonso just returned from a tour across Costa Rica and El Salvador, where the BNC performed under her direction and was given the Doctor Honoris Causa degrees at the universities named after the two countries.

Presidents Luis Guillermo Solis, from Costa Rica, and Salvador Sanchez Ceren, from El Salvador, attended the BNC performances starred by Viengsay Valdes, Grettel Morejon, Sadaise Arencibia, Anette Delgado, Dani Hernandez, Rafael Quenedit, Patricio Reve and Raul Abreu, amid others.

During a press conference at the BNC headquarters in Havana, Alonso appreciated all the expressions of gratitude given to her and the BNC, which in her view moved the audience in the two countries with works like the second act of Giselle and a piece of the classic Don Quixote.

The BNC will perform at Mella Theater in Havana city next Saturday and Sunday, during La Huella de España Festival, an event chaired by Alonso.

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El Salvador Grants Award to Cuban Prima Ballerina Alicia Alonso

Alicia travelled to the Central American country from Costa Rica, where she received a National University Honorary Doctorate.

Salvadorean President, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, has presented Cuban prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso, with the “José Simeón Cañas” Slave Liberator Order.

This is the Central American country’s first recognition to Alonso, who is “one of the most important personalities in the history of dance and the top classical ballet figure in the Iberian American world.” Alonso returns to the nation’s capital, San Salvador, 68 years after her first visit in 1949, shortly after founding the Alicia Alonso Ballet, which later became Cuba’s National Ballet Company.

The prestigious Cuban dance ensemble arrived in El Salvador earlier this week, following successful presentations in Costa Rica, where Alonso was honored by that country’s Legislative Assembly and received a National University Honorary Doctorate.

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Alicia Alonso to Receive Honorary Degree in Costa Rica

San Jose, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso received here today the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), for her important work and legacy to the world classical dance.

The University Council of the UCR, the highest entity of that high educational center, agreed on Thursday, March 16th, to grant the honorary degree to the famous 96-year-old dancer, who danced until the age of 70. She founded and directed the Cuban National Ballet, one of the most prestigious companies in the world.

At the proposal of the Faculty of Fine Arts, the University Council stated that Alicia Alonso's contribution to Cuban and world dance has allowed us to rethink this art from its cultural importance and its influence in the construction of the Latin American identity. This has generated an extraordinary impact and unique contributions that have been widely recognized worldwide.

The famous Cuban dancer also 'boosted and inspired the Cuban Ballet School, which is characterized by a new style and a new methodology within the classical dance. Thanks to her extraordinary pedagogical work, several generations of excellent dancers have arisen'.

Alicia arrived in San Jose on Monday, March 20th, and will be here until Sunday, March 26th, along with fifty members of the Cuban company. They will perform at the 'Melico Salazar' Popular Theater in San Jose on March 25th and 26th (double show).

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Cuban Baillarina Marta Garcia Dies in Spain

Famous Cuban Baillarina Marta García, 68, died today in a hospital from lung cancer, according to sources close to the artist.

García was born on Feb.7, 1949 in Guanabacoa, Havana and her long career made her one of the main pillars of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC) company.

With less than 5 years old the Best Artist Award given by a popular TV program at that time, when she sang, acted and danced.

In 1956 she starts in the Academia de Ballet Alicia Alonso located at then called Teatro Radiocentro (today renamed Yara).

Ten years later she perfoms her first presentation in Las Amigas de Gisselle;and Danza Española and Mazurca from the El lago de los cisnes.

With thel BNC she travels the world and performed all the main roles of the great classic ballet repertoire like La fille mar gardée, Giselle and El lago de los cisnes, Don Quijote y La bayadera.

Less than two years ago she published her memoirs in Spain.

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Legendary Cuban Ballerina Alicia Alonso Turns 96

Havana, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina) The most renowned Cuban artist worldwide, Alicia Alonso, turns 96 today with the strong will to give her country a lastign legacy through the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC).

Alonso devoted her life to dance, first to form herself as a respectable ballerina, then to the creation of her own personal style, and then to perpetuate the ballet deeply within the Cuban culture.

Together with brothers Fernando and Alberto Alonso she founded the first professional ballet company in Cuba, 60 years ago, when that art was scarcely understood in Latin societies.

Despite the social, political and health situations that she suffered, the decision and courage of this woman made her persist in raising her status as a dancer.

Alonso supported the social revolution that began in Cuba in 1959, and raised above prejudices and ideologies to take her art to the people, factories, fields, forests,and any street.

Famous for her unique technique, some people still speak of the Alonso fifth, referring to a specific position of the feet, while the old lovers of ballet especially cherish the times they saw her transform into Giselle and Carmen, among other classic ballet characters.

Being 96 years old, the artist is still active as a teacher, choreographer, director of the BNC and of the Havana's International Ballet Festival, in which the most renowned dancers of the planet participate.

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