Alicia Alonso (published 2013)

Biography

Alonso discusses what her most important career influences have been; dancing and dance itself. She was always very self-critical and aimed to constantly improve her dancing, despite being complimented by others. Since there were not many places to dance when she first started her career, Alonso saw the dance classes she took as performances. When she danced in Giselle, she searched for her own “taste” and was inspired by things, such as poems and lithography. At the time of this interview Alonso was a teacher and stated that what she has to offers her students is her experience as a dancer.  She sees life as her career and lives for it.

Biographical note:

Born in Havana in 1921, Alonso began her ballet training in Cuba and continued it in New York City with Anatole Vilzak and the School of American Ballet. She joined the corps of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1940 and was promoted to ballerina two years later. She danced regularly with Igor Youskevitch in productions by George Balanchine. She maintained her affiliation with ABT until 1960, but also performed regularly with other companies, including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. In 1948 she founded her own company, Alicia Alonso Ballet Company which was later renamed Ballet Nacional de Cuba. At the time of this interview she was the director and prima ballerina of Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Now, well into her nineties, Alonso continues to direct the ballet company.

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Barcelona, Spain

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Citation

“Alicia Alonso (published 2013),” Dance Dialogues: Interviews by Barbara Newman, 1979-Present, accessed August 16, 2017, http://dancedialogues.prattsils.org/items/show/97.