Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cuban National Ballet

My first introduction to the Cuban National Ballet was a small mention given to the company's founder, Alicia Alonso, in a documentary. Since then I have read her biography and any other material I could find, and scrounged YouTube for videos. I recently found this production (performed in Paris in 2007) on DVD. What I love most is the passion with which they dance, even the corps, and their musicality. Alicia Alonso founded the company in the 1940s, and in those early days they toured the country performing in factories and army bases, among other unlikely places, and sharing the history of ballet as they went. As a result of one woman's vision and persistence, ballet is now as popular as soccer in Cuba, with audiences cheering and screaming unrestrainedly during performances. She still directs the company at the age of ninety.


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