The first dancer Viengsay Valdés, artistic deputy director of the National Ballet of Cuba, explained last night in a Sauto Theater full of public, that despite the news of Alicia’s death, the company had come to do “… something that, simply, she told us He taught: dance with your heart. ”
And she emphasized: «Sauto today has the honor of being the headquarters of the first tribute to our Alice.»
And the Matanzas, with a taste tested by ballet, responded to the call, not only by going to their theater, but also by showing the love and respect that Alonso and the National Ballet of Cuba, Cultural Heritage of the Nation deserve. The applause and cheers confirmed it.
Before starting the function, the artistic director of the group addressed those present. In his words he said that «Cuba and the world today are full of sadness» for the death of Alicia and confessed that his advice is jealously guarded. She went back to his first class at the National Ballet of Cuba, when he discovered Master in the company’s White Room. He said his agility was amazing. Then Alicia was 74 years old.
The program presented The Sylphs, Dolls, Our Waltzes – interpreted with true mastery by Viengsay Valdés herself and also the first dancer Dani Hernández – and Celeste.
In the notes to the hand program, written by Miguel Cabrera, historian of the company, it is cited as the first presentations of the Ballet in Sauto on February 7th and 8th and April 10th and 11th, 1950.
On November 15th, 1956, Matanzas artistic and cultural institutions offered a tribute to Alicia and the rest of the group in relief to the crisis caused by the Batistan tyranny of the Ballet. The National Poet of Cuba, Agustín Acosta, spoke the words of welcome and support; Carilda released her unpublished poem Alicia Alonso and denounced the policy of running over the tyranny.
From August 25th and 26th, 1960, the first presentation of the Ballet in Sauto after the triumph of the Revolution, and until April 4th, 2009, the company brought to Matanzas the best of its repertoire in the Matanzas Coliseum. On thirteen occasions it has been a branch of the International Ballet Festival.
On the outskirts of the Colosseum a screen conveyed the function for those who could not enter. And in the lobby a book of condolences was enabled. The main tribute of Matanzas to Alicia was to have opened to art – just a week before his farewell – the doors of the best of the Cuban theaters of the nineteenth century, the same in which his feet danced so many times.
• Photos courtesy of Sergio Martínez