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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:17 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
It sounds like it hasn't been an easy tour at all for the company, what with the Sylphides bust and the defections!


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 10:08 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Latin Passion and Drama Meet Academic Precision

By ANNA KISSELGOFF
The New York Times

Two exceptional young dancers, Joel Carreño and Viengsay Valdés, led the exuberant version of "Don Quixote" that opened a run by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba on Wednesday, continuing through Sunday at City Center.

New York has seen enough of this company over 30 years to do away with facile stereotypes. Alicia Alonso, now 82, was on hand for a standing ovation at the end of the evening, and it is worth remembering that the company is an outgrowth of the troupe she founded in 1948 in Havana with members of American Ballet Theater, where she was a star.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:03 am 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
For those who haven't seen this before, here's a photo of Valdes and Carreno suited up for Don Q.
<img src="http://forum.criticaldance.com/images/ballet-nacional_valdes-carr.jpg" alt="" />

Also, don't forget to check some of our previous threads on the company:

Washington Ballet Visits Cuba

Ballet in Cuba is BIG and Havana International Ballet Festival (Críticas en Español)

National Ballet of Cuba

Alicia Alonso & the Cuban Ballet

Ballet Nacional de Cuba


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:35 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Two Cuban National Ballet dancers flee to West Palm, defect

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Two young Cuban dancers plan to ask for political asylum after they defected while the Cuban National Ballet waited to perform this weekend in Daytona Beach.

Gema Diaz, 21, and Cervilio Amador, 20, slipped away from the dance company and jumped in a taxi to West Palm Beach on Saturday, a day before they were to perform in ``Don Quixote.''
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:54 pm 
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From Christie Taylor in the Christian Science Monitor

Quote:
Cuban ballet brings its charisma to the US
Dancers' technical prowess on view this week


Cuban ballet dancers have brought their fiery passion and Russian-based technique to American audiences for decades, despite political tensions between the two countries.

That tradition continues this week when the Ballet Nacional de Cuba launches an American tour - its first since November 2001 - and Cuban superstar Jose Manuel Carreño debuts with the Boston Ballet in "Don Quixote."
More...


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:06 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Discreet Charm of Swans, the Vigor of Nature

By ANNA KISSELGOFF
The New York Times

ore a showcase for diverse dancers than testimony to artistic coherence, the second program of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba was a truly mixed bill.

As announced, the company from Havana was obliged to withdraw its scheduled presentation of "Les Sylphides" because American Ballet Theater has acquired exclusive New York performance rights from the estate of the choreographer Michel Fokine.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:22 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Two Cuban Dancers Defect in Florida

Associated Press

MIAMI - Two young Cuban dancers plan to ask for political asylum after they defected while the Cuban National Ballet waited to perform this month in Florida, one of their lawyers said Tuesday.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:24 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
AP Review: Cuban Dancers Sharp, Playful

By JOCELYN NOVECK
Associated Press

his is an exuberant production that allows dancers to show off, and the Cuban dancers had plenty to show — especially a razor-sharp technique. There was barely a second of sloppiness in the ballet's three acts, and the final pas de deux was as good as those usually seen on the bigger stages of the Metropolitan Opera (news - web sites) House and the New York State Theater.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:42 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
The Fresh and the Stale

By DEBORAH JOWITT
The Village Voice

Most ballet companies, on the other hand, see preserving the classics as part of their job, but thanks to the vagaries of oral handing-down, those works are already a gumbo of individual dancers' favorite steps, choreographers' updates, and managers' ideas of "fresh" productions. Many were lukewarm about George Balanchine's Don Quixote, but at least he impressed a personal and deeply felt vision on Cervantes's tale.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:16 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A preview article I missed from last week:

Cuban ballet brings its charisma to the US
By Christie Taylor | Special to The Christian Science Monitor


Cuban ballet dancers have brought their fiery passion and Russian-based technique to American audiences for decades, despite political tensions between the two countries.
That tradition continues this week when the Ballet Nacional de Cuba launches an American tour - its first since November 2001 - and Cuban superstar Jose Manuel Carreño debuts with the Boston Ballet in "Don Quixote."

Prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso set the stage for Cubans dancing in the US in the late 1930s. She performed with Ballet Caravan, the predecessor of the New York City Ballet. Now she is general director and choreographer for the Ballet Nacional.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:33 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ballet National de Cuba City Center, New York
By Hilary Ostlere for The Financial Times


Anyone looking forward to Alicia Alonso's Le Sylphides, which she learned directly from its choreographer Mikhail Fokine, must have been disappointed to discover that it was cancelled owing to copyright restrictions apparently enforced only after the company arrived.

An abbreviated Swan Lake Act Two proved a poor substitution. Though it was danced with style by Laura Hormigón, a stately Swan Queen, attended by Oscar Torradó, as a noble but subdued Prince Siegfried, it had an overall paint-by-numbers look.

Far more lively was The Black Swan pas de deux with two exuberant youngsters, Viengsay Valdés and Joel Carreño, the younger brother of José Manuel Carreño, the American Ballet theatre principal.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:31 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Ballet Nacional de Cuba appeared in tiny, beleagured Flint, MI last night and gave no less than a spectacular world-class performance. The house was pitifully underfilled and the stage too small for some of the choregraphy, but the dancers were astounding. It was a gala concert performance: Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Coppelia, Don Q, Swan Lake and finally some Gottschalk that incorporated a bit of Latin flavor into classical work. One piece after another was pristine (corps work was especially clean), elegant and technically jaw-dropping. One of my favorite things about this company is their fidelity to true classicism. They refrain from exaggerating technical feats to the point of distracting from the cohesion of the piece (especially important in a program that was such a whirlwind tour of the standard rep). Although, I do think that a series of close to 20 supported pirouettes (in Don Q) is a bit of a non-sequiter. I mean, where do we take things from there and anyway, it's not like the ballerina (exquisite though she is) was doing them by herself. And of course the recorded music is a drag, and the sound quality at the Whiting Auditorium was not good. But what sticks is the tragedy that so few people experienced this performance. I live about 1 hour away in metro Detroit, and see dancers and teachers all day and no one had heard of it. Also not a plus was that it was a drizzly, freezing Tuesday - not a traditional theatre night in Michigan - AND, this area is all focused on anticipating opening night of the Kirov doing Bayadere tonight.

None of this deterred the dancers. We shouted as many loud Bravi as we could but they deserved more.


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:46 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Thanks so much for this report Julie! What a shame more people didn't get to see them!!


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 8:41 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Visiting ballet shows rare expertise

By SID SMITH
The chicago Tribune

Anyone lucky enough to catch the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in their belated Chicago debut two years ago almost assuredly became an instant fan.

Few troupes anywhere today perform with such precision, excitement and classical artistry. Founded in 1948 by Alicia Alonso, an ABT prima ballerina and one of the art form's most determined and dedicated champions, the company carries a passion and discipline endangered on stages elsewhere.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Nacional de Cuba
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 10:28 am 
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Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
From the Chicago Tribune review :

Quote:
[Carreno] and everyone else credit Alonso, of course, who survived retinal blindness and the ups and downs of Cuban politics to create and maintain this company and its high standards.
I came across an interesting article from 2001 about Cuban ballet and Alicia Alonso. It describes some pre-revolutionary “downs” that affected the company, which I’d never read about.


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