Alicia, that tenacious spirit

Already, in 1929, only nine years old, a trip to Jerez de la Frontera would channel this natural impulse under the guidance of Mari Emilia an Andalusian dancer-turned teacher, who would give the first lessons of a regulated dance, which allowed him run Malaga and Seville, which pleased dances with requests made by Don Elizardo, the nostalgic Santander grandfather, leaving little an¬tes her to Spain.

Two years later, the School of Ballet of Pro-Arte Musical Society of Havana would be the path chosen by the family to strengthen their fragile health institution in the Russian Nikolai Yavorski discover the first glimmers of talent bubbling therein, since the debut in the Grand Waltz Sleeping Beauty, the December 29, 1931, and subsequent successes in Coppelia (1935) with the young Alberto Alonso and Swan Lake (1937), where his partner to Robert Belsky, a dancer of the famous Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, who at that time used the pseudonym Emile Laurens.

Seeing his performance as Odette-Odíle, a critic of the time called for “rooftops” that announced their urgent step to professionalism, the flight to new heights, orbit that was the starting point in Broadway musicals and continuity in the American Ballet Caravan (now New York City Ballet) and Ballet Theatre, a company of which he was a founder and which achieved worldwide stardom.

But their victories were no blows of fate, but the result of a determined will to forge iron itself under the rigor that instilled the Italian Enrico Zanfretta, eminent professors at the School of American Ballet and Balanchine, Vilzak, Oboukov, Craske and especially Alexandra Fedorova, which brought him the foundations of romantic-classic nineteenth-century legacy.

When the November 2, 1943 made his memorable debut in Giselle, he came winner in a hard struggle against adversity, which damaged his eyes forever, but tempered his character to not stop the path he had set.

The win not only his own stood as a single star, but placed his country on the world map of ballet and proved they had the talent to succeed in Latin American roles hitherto reserved only for Slavic or Anglo dancers.

Global successes reaped thereafter not departed from its roots, nor the mission was intended to accomplish: to sow in his homeland always the seed of a great art.

So it was the most determined partner in the task of developing a Cuban choreography throughout the 40s of the twentieth century and the protagonist of Dione (1940), with choreography by George Milenoff Bulgarian music and Eduardo Sanchez de Fuentes, first ballet with sound support of a Cuban composer; and before dawn (1947), with choreography by Alberto Alonso, music by Hilario González and Carlos Enriquez designs, showed for the first time in our ballet scene social issues of Cuba then.

In an even bolder step was the key figure in the founding of the National Ballet of Cuba today, on October 28, 1948, the first professional company of this artistic genre in our country.

From that day forward, the history of Alicia Alonso is very well known. She was and is a reality and myth that belongs to all Cubans, not only for its performance as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and director for more than eight decades, but as a symbol of the highest culture and our ambassador it in 61 countries on five continents.

A universal Cuban has not changed the flower butterfly exotic tulips and the marsh from his Havana seawall by foreign snows.

At this point in his life, challenging scratches over time, your mind is not giving up the ethical principles that have guided his professional and civic life.

When they remember the 132 titles ballets performed as a dancer, his 64-year tenure on the stage, the 214 national awards and distinctions 255 artistic, social and political character that have distinguished themselves in the four corners of the world , usually head down esbozarnos only with humility and a smile.

In this hour of special celebrations for her 95th birthday, we can see it appear on the stage escorted by Giselle, the peasant wili; Odette, Aurora, Florina Hermilia and princesses; the evil Odile, by Juliet and Elora, Kitri and pestle Sugar Plum Fairy nymph, Mexican girlfriend Billy the Kid and Madame Taglioni, the Carolina, Ate and Lizzie Bordem tormented, the Zemphira gypsy, Lisette and the mischievous Swanilda, the incestuous Jocasta, the abandoned Dido, or the freest and sensual Carmen, among the many that make up the incredible cast of characters.

And it is also not hard to tell that reverence which I am sure will make the public in the Gala that with so much love has organized it for the day 20, hear with emotion the humorous “ha ha ha”, which always gives me every award received, to let us know that all this is merely the result of an accomplishment and tenacious impetus never know pause.

Translated by: Daysi Olano Fernandez 

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