Pointe and Fly (Juliana Araújo )/ October 9, 2017/ NEWS/ 0 comments

 

On the 8th September last, prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso received the Leonid Massine Positano award (one of the most prestigious awards in Europe)for her exemplary career. Alicia traveled all the way to Italy to receive the gold medal directly from the Committee for Culture’s Presidente of Italy. The dancer was also given a drawing autographed by filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli.

Alicia who worked with the most well-known names of the XX century – George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Antony Tudor, etc. – formed with Igor ___ one of the most charismatic of partnerships of her time, notably their on their memorable performances with the Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. During her career, Alicia dance essentially all the great classics, but her interpretations of Giselle and Carmen have become the Cuban ballet’s hallmark.

Alicia Alonso and Rudolf Nureyev.

Alicia Alonso and Rudolf Nureyev via Rtve

Alicia has received numerous awards including the UNESCO Pablo Picasso Medalfor her exemplary career and for being responsible for the dissemination of classical dance in her country.

Alicia Alonso receiving a special tribute.

Alicia Alonso and Michele de Lucia Photo by M Capodanno

Obstinate, Alicia had never been put off by her visual disability. Even after having undergone a number of eye surgeries to correct retinal detachment problem, the dancer was still exercising. What is absolutely amazing is that she used creative ways to overcome her limitations. She used to train her partners for them to be in the exact place during her performances and used sets of light beams to guide onstage. Alicia was so bright that her disability was totally unnoticed by the public. So, the dancer fulfilled and still fulfills her mission to spread her art around the world.

Even when she had already stopped dancing with her vision increasingly impaired, Alicia choreographed for the Cuban ballet and passed her ideas to her maitres de ballet; and at the age 92 she continues to lead the Ballet Nacional de Cuba School, which produces some of the best dancers in the world. Is it or not example and to be followed?

Alicia who worked with the most well-known names of the XX century – George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Antony Tudor, etc. – formed with Igor ___ one of the most charismatic of partnerships of her time, notably their on their memorable performances with the Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. During her career, Alicia dance essentially all the great classics, but her interpretations of Giselle and Carmen have become the Cuban ballet’s hallmark.

Alicia has received numerous awards including the UNESCO Pablo Picasso Medalfor her exemplary career and for being responsible for the dissemination of classical dance in her country.

Obstinate, Alicia had never been put off by her visual disability. Even after having undergone a number of eye surgeries to correct retinal detachment problem, the dancer was still exercising. What is absolutely amazing is that she used creative ways to overcome her limitations. She used to trained her partners for them to be in the exact place during her performances and used sets of light beams to guide onstage. Alicia was so bright that her disability was totally unnoticed by the public. So, the dancer fulfilled and still fulfills her mission to spread her art around the world.

Even when she had already stopped dancing with her vision increasingly impaired, Alicia choreographed for the Cuban ballet and passed her ideas to her maitres de ballet; and at the age 92 she continues to lead the Ballet Nacional de Cuba School, which produces some of the best dancers in the world. Is it or not example and to be followed?

Below is a brief chronology of Alicia’s achievements and their contribution to the dance world.

21 December 1921 – Alicia Alonso Martínez is born (born Alicia Ernestina de la Caridad Martínez Hoya).

1931 – Alicia begins to study dance at the School of Ballet Society Pro-Arte Musical.

1938 – Already married to Fernando Alonso and having moved to the United States to develop her career further, Alicia makes her debut on the Great Lady musical.

1939 – Alicia joins George Balanchine’s Ballet Caravan (now the New York CityBallet).

1940 – Alicia joins Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre) on its foundation year.

1941-1943 – Alicia returns to Cuba and the Theatre Pro Arte becomes known as the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company.

1941 – Alicia is diagnosed with retinal detachment.

1943 – Alonso returns to Ballet Theatre and dances the leading role in Giselle, remaining with the Company for five years.

1946 – She is promoted principal dancer of Ballet Theatre.

1948 – Alonso returns to Havana to found her own company, the Alicia AlonsoBallet Company.

1950 – The National School of Ballet Alicia Alonso gets affiliated with the main ballet company.

1952 – Alicia dances twice in Russia.

1953 – Alicia produces Giselle for the Paris Opera Ballet

1955 – 1959, Alicia dances with the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo as a guest artist.

1957-1958 – Alicia is invited to dance in the main theatres of the Soviet Union.

1959 – Alonso returns to Cuba and her ballet company officially becomes the national Ballet of Cuba.

1964 – Dancers of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba participate for the first time in theInternational Ballet Competition in Varna.

1967 – 1971 Alicia performs in Canada, where critics said was that she was the greatest dancer of her time.

1975 – 1976 Fidel Castro allows the Ballet Nacional de Cuba to perform again in theUnited States.

1980 – UNESCO organises an international gala in Paris to honour of Alicia Alonso.

1990 – The historical performance between Alicia Alonso and Rudolf Nureyev takes place in Victoria de Los Angeles.

1999 – Alicia is awarded the UNESCO Pablo Picasso Medal for her outstanding contributions to art and culture.

2002 – Alicia is appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her outstanding contribution to the development, preservation, and popularisation of classical dance and to promoting the brotherhood of peoples and cultures of the world.

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