Cuban Ballet and the origin of style
Posted: 12 February 2009 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have recently come across an article published in the Havana Journal web site back in 2004 (relevant quotes below).  While the “news” may be old, the revisionist history by Alicia Alonso is consistent with her strategy for the past 50 years.  In actuality Alberto Alonso, Fernando’s brother and Alicia’s former brother-in-law, was the creator of the Cuban style of ballet.  The Cuban ballet movement was the result of the collaboration between Alicia as the dancer, Fernando as the teacher and Alberto as the Choreographer. 

Because Alberto refused to condone the censorship of his work by the Cuban government (most notably in his seminal work Carmen Suite) he was essentially written out of the official history of the Cuban Ballet movement.  Alberto and his wife Sonia, defected to the United States in 1992, after their son arrived in Florida on a raft.

Alberto spent the last 12 years of his life teaching at Santa Fe College in North Central Florida.  As a result of his long tenure here, the College produced a documentary about his work.  Actually not so much a documentary as a journey through his life both past and present.

You can view the web site about the film at http://www.sfcollege.edu/danceofmyheart .  The film has been in several film festivals, most recently in Havana, Cuba which was interesting to say the least.  As I metnioned in a previous post, the film and ballet will be shown together for the first time in Miami on March 28 and 29, 2009.  The ballet will be performed by the Cuban Classical Ballet Company after a screening of the film.

We are trying to set the record straight on the history of the Cuban Ballet and the important role all three Alonso’s played in its creation.

From the article in 2004, quotes from Alicia Alonso:

“The Cuban style comes from deep within the Cuban spirit, from our joys and from our sadness,’‘ Alonso says. “Some people are turned inward. The Cubans are always out, sensual. The Cuban ballet style comes from me, from my way of projecting my whole being.
’‘What looks natural on the Soviets,’‘ she says, ’‘would have looked mimetic, like a mannerism on us. We had a hard time explaining that to our Soviet friends.’‘ Alonso refused Russian ballet teachers ’‘except for character dances: They

[ Edited: 24 February 2009 04:17 PM by MCurry ]
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