Viva Alicia, Viva Legend!
On August 2nd the Bolshoi audience again saw the legendary ballerina and the founder of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (Cuban National Ballet) Alicia Alonso. The gala concert at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on Tuesday, August 2nd, was dedicated to the 90th birth anniversary of the famous ballerina and choreographer, whose jubilee was celebrated last December. At that time she promised that would again appear on the famous Bolshoi stage, where she earlier danced brilliantly in the classical ballets.
The day before the gala concert Alicia Alonso said that she was very happy to visit Russia again and that she felt a little nervous before the performance:
"I’ve visited Moscow many times, but it always seemed to me that it was not enough. Each time I came to Russia I received a hearty welcome here. The Russian audience showed great respect for me, and my colleagues - Russian ballet dancers - gave me all their tenderness. I’m very happy that I’ve returned to Moscow again but at the same time, I’m in a melancholy mood now because, for different reasons, I won’t be able to see many of my friends here."
Really, there’re only a few ballet dancers belonging to the generation of Alicia Alonso today. The famous ballerina can’t forget the great Russian ballet dancers of the early 20th century – the ones who were her teachers and with whom she started her professional career. Alicia Alonso says:
"My teachers were the former prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg Alexandra Fyodorova and Leona Fokina. At that time my dream was to start dancing in the classical ballets."
And finally, her dream came true. Alicia Alonso became the leading figure of the American Ballet Theatre. She worked with Mikhail Fokin, George Balanchine, Leonid Myasin, and Bronislava Nizhinskaya from the troupe of the prominent Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Alicia Alonso danced in the Russian Ballet in Monte Carlo, and also in the major theatres of Europe, Asia and America, and then she returned to Cuba, where she founded the Cuban National Ballet. Her first troupe came into being in 1948, and she has been the head of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (Cuban National Ballet) since 1948.
Alicia Alonso is visiting Russia for the 17th time now. For the first time she visited the former Soviet Union in 1957 because she wanted to dance the part of Giselle, which later brought her the world fame. She was also a great success in the Russian classical ballet “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky. She was traumatized three times during her first tour to Russia but continued dancing. Although at the age of 37 her eyesight worsened - she was practically blind at that time - Alicia Alonso performed on the stage until the age of 75! This is incredible!
The leading ballet dancers of the Cuban National Ballet and the leading Bolshoi Theatre soloists, Svetlana Zakharova and Andrei Uvarov, have taken part in the gala concert in honour of Alicia Alonso at the Bolshoi Theatre on August 2nd. Alicia Alonso wants the full-value tour exchanges between the Cuban and the Russian troupes to become a reality.