- Title: Cubans bid farewell to beloved dance legend Alicia Alonso
- Date: 19th October 2019
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (OCTOBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PEOPLE BY CASKET OF CUBAN DANCE LEGEND, ALICIA ALONSO WOMAN LOOKING AT CASKET PEOPLE IN LINE WITH IMAGE OF ALONSO IN BACKGROUND VARIOUS, PEOPLE WALKING PAST CASKET IN THE LOBBY OF THE 'ALICIA ALONSO GRAND THEATER' (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE CUBAN NATIONAL BALLET, VIENGSAY VALDES, SAYING: "What's better than continuing to transmit to the new generations everything that we've learned. Those of us who worked directly with her, those of us that had the possibility of being so close to know every thought, every idea, well, what's better than continuing, that's the world, the continuation, starting now, of all her life's work." FAMILY MEMBERS AND COLLEAGUES AT FUNERAL VALDES NEXT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE CUBAN NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL, RAMONA DE SAA ALSONSO'S HUSBAND, PEDRO SIMON ALONSO'S GRANDSON, IVAN MONREAL, AND CUBAN DANCER, PATRICIA HERNANDEZ, STANDING NEXT TO CASKET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN DANCER, PATRICIA HERNANDEZ, SAYING: "She is unique, once-in-a-lifetime, her training will be with us always, and every time that we get up on stage, we'll be transmitting everything that she taught us. I think she's one of the most universal dancers that we'll always have in our memories, that the whole world will always remember, not just Cuba, and it is our duty to maintain her legacy." PEOPLE AT FUNERAL IMAGE OF ALONSO WITH FLOWERS IN FOREGROUND PEOPLE IN LINE INSIDE THEATER PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE OUTSIDE THEATER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN ACTRESS, GINA CARO, SAYING: "Her loss hurts. It's inevitable that it hurts us artists, because Alicia means so much to this country, means so much to the people, means so much to the individuality of every Cuban, for being an example to generations and generations." VARIOUS, PEOPLE IN LINE FOR FUNERAL EXTERIOR, 'ALICIA ALONSO GRAND THEATER'
- 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: LVA001B1RJMMF
- 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
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