BALLET IN FESTIVAL: Alicia Returns in her Giselle

BALLET IN FESTIVAL: Alicia Returns in her Giselle
Fecha de publicación: 
4 November 2022
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On November 2nd, 1943 Alicia Alonso replaced Alicia Markova in the leading role of the ballet Giselle, in the American Ballet Theater season. It was an event. Some of the critics attending that show affirmed that one of the great Giselles of the 20th century had been born. And history proved them right.

With that character, the prima ballerina assoluta created one of the main interpretive references of romantic ballet in the entire world. In multiple film records, it’s possible to appreciate her extraordinary virtues: full stylistic mastery, commitment to history, technical skills based on an integral expression of an art.

The English critic Arnold Haskell coined a phrase: Alice was born so that Giselle would not die. She could be too lyrical, and perhaps too absolute, considering that many dancers, before and after Alicia, made great contributions to her character. But Alicia certainly contributed to the revitalization of a referent, renewing its implications, bringing it closer, due to the humanistic calling of her interpretation, to the sensitivity of her time.

When, after years of study, after having danced the play on many stages, Alicia conceived and staged her own version of her classic, she endowed it with a freshness, a dramatic strength, and a lyrical truth that have stood the test of time.

Alicia's Giselle and that of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) has been staged in the most important theaters in the world, by the big companies (even by the Paris Opera Ballet, the cradle of that work), and it’s now the badge of the group founded by the Alonsos.

It’s the choreographic version that will be danced from today in Avellaneda hall of the National Theater of Cuba, one of the main proposals of the XXVII Alicia Alonso International Ballet Festival of Havana.

This October 28th the BNC celebrates its 74th anniversary. With this season of Giselle begins the 75th birthday program of a group that is a symbol of Cuban culture, Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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