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Cuba Celebrates 75th Ballet Anniversary. Viral now

The National Ballet of Cuba marks its 75th anniversary.

With performances concluding in a tribute to its late founder, Alicia Alonso, who used her global star power to instill an art form with aristocratic roots in the Communist-run Caribbean island, the National Ballet of Cuba is commemorating its 75th anniversary.

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On October 28, the anniversary of “Giselle,” the romantic ballet for which Alonso is most renowned and which she danced into her 70s, the National Theater of Cuba will host a special gala.

Up until her death in 2019 at the age of 98, vision impaired Alonso directed dancers with the assistance of dependable artists in old, aged venues where company members practiced Ballet in the oppressive heat of the Caribbean without air conditioning.

“Ballet was never (for the) elite in Cuba,” said Leonardo Vinageras, a Havana resident and ballet aficionado who attended a recent anniversary event.


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Before performing “Giselle” at the 27th Alicia Alonso International Ballet Festival of Havana on October 30, 2022, at the National Theatre in Havana, Cuba, a ballet dancer warms up backstage.

Alicia Alonso formed the words largest ballet school

Forming the world’s largest ballet school, Alonso’s distinctive bravura style and technique rivaled that of the French, who originated dance in King Louis XIV’s court, and the Russians, whose elite Bolshoi and Mariinsky ballet companies date back to the 1700s.

Under the current direction of prima ballerina Viengsay Valdés, the National Ballet of Cuba and its affiliated academy have produced a disproportionate number of dance luminaries, such as José Manuel Carreño and Carlos Acosta, for a small island nation with 11 million people.

In 1948, not long after rising to fame in the New York company that would eventually become the American Ballet Theatre, Alonso established her namesake National Ballet Academy in Cuba. Driven by Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, Alonso relocated to Cuba permanently and joined forces with the government to promote the National Ballet of Cuba, which was renamed, in their efforts to popularize ballet.

After decades of growth, “I feel that we are on a different path and hope that 100 years can be something more wonderful than now,” said Grettel Morejon, the last principal dancer promoted by Alonso, after a rehearsal for the gala

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