- Title: Cubans bid farewell to beloved dance legend Alicia Alonso
- Date: 19th October 2019
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (OCTOBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, FUNERAL PROCESSION DRIVING DOWN STREETS FUNERAL PROCESSION ENTERING THE COLON CEMETERY ALONSO'S HUSBAND, PEDRO SIMON, AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS ALSONSO'S BURIAL
- Embargoed: 2nd November 2019 20:46
- Keywords: Cuban star ballet funeral dance Cuba theater dancer legend ballerina Alicia Alonso
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA003B1RJMMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of Cubans waiting in long lines Saturday (October 19) to bid farewell to the iconic Cuban dancer Alicia Alonso who died Thursday (October 17) in Havana from cardiovascular disease at age 98.
A cross section of Cuban society, from art school students, to dancers, to Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and former president Raul Castro, came to Havana's Alica Alonso Grand Theater to view the legend's body in a casket surrounded by white flowers.
Alicia Alonso achieved global acclaim in the 1940s and went on to run the internationally renowned National Ballet of Cuba for decades.
One of the greatest 20th century ballerinas, Alonso used her star power to make a sometimes elitist art form popular on her Caribbean island, forging the world's largest ballet school with a unique bravura style.
So revered is Alonso in Cuba - where a perfume carries her name and the huge Coppelia ice cream parlor is named after one of her signature roles - that she carried the rare title of prima ballerina assoluta, reserved for only the most exceptional of dancers.
Alonso's breakout role was "Giselle" in New York on Nov. 2, 1943, when she replaced British dancer Alicia Markova, who fell ill, in the newly formed company that would become the American Ballet Theatre.
For her debut in the ethereal 1841 French Romantic role, Alonso had learned the steps with her hands while recovering from eye surgery.
Petite with an angular face, Alonso danced until her 70s despite having trouble walking, and continuing to direct her company with the help of trusted artists who served as her eyes.
(Production: Mario Fuentes, Nelson Gonzalez, Anett Rios)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None