Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Is the Cuban School of Ballet? Alicia Alonso and Mikhail Baryshnikov Speak.



“To speak of the Cuban School of Ballet, we first take note of its roots. ...I will mention that Cuba's theatrical dance tradition goes back to the eighteenth century, with a string of Spanish and other European companies that regularly visited the country and helped create a dance public.”

“Professional Cuban ballet emerged decisively in 1931. ...we founded the Ballet Alicia Alonso in 1948. This was the company that became the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.”

“When I danced in the Soviet Union in 1957 and 1958, I returned to Havana to share my experiences from Moscow, Leningrad and Riga with our dancers and ballet masters.”

“Cuban's are dancing people. Dance matters to us, and it matters deeply.”

And here is what Mikhail Baryshnikov has to say:

“What makes Cuban dancers stand out is their ethics. They have a respect for ballet from an early age. It's been said before that no one is born a dancer; you have to want it more than anything. These Cubans want it and feel priviledged to be a part of it. They give themselves completely.”

Cuban Ballet
Octavio Roca
Gibbs Smith, Layton, Utah, 2010

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