Award granted to Viengsay Valdes and two other dance personalities

Cuba’s top ballerina takes reins amid crumbling theatres and talent exodus
HAVANA, Jan 2 (PL) Director-General of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), Viengsay Valdes,

was presented this Wednesday, January 1, with the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana Prize, which was also conferred post mortem to Alberto and Fernando Alonso. Honorary President of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), Miguel Barnet, confirmed that in 2020 Cuba will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alicia Alonso.

Alicia founded the BNC in 1948, together with brothers Alberto and Fernando Alonso, all three of whom were essential figures in fields such as choreography and dance pedagogy.

Regarding Alicia, whom he described as an extraordinary dancer, Barnet assured that her figure will continue to defy time on this stage that was more hers than anyone else’s.

One of the most precious gems among the younger generation of dancers, and Alicia’s closest student, Viengsay Valdés, was recently appointed director-general of the BNC, commented the poet and ethnologist.

Barnet highlighted Valdés’ indisputable artistic talent, as an example of tenacity and discipline, and considered her movement akin to a bird taking flight with the strength of a gust of wind.

Viengsay Valdés combines her art with an intelligence that demonstrates a capacity for convocation and personal charisma, he added.

‘I dare say the bells are ringing for you once again, dear friend. I know, we know, that you will honor the name of Alicia and Cuba will be forever grateful to you,’ Barnet stressed.

The event saw a gala performance by the BNC, which also included the pieces performed in honor of the royal couple of Spain, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, under the artistic direction of Lizt Alfonso, in which three other prestigious Cuban companies participated: Acosta Danza, the National Folkloric Ensemble and Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba.