Cuba: International Congress of Ballet Academies Enriches Ballet Teaching


Prensa Latina reports on the 19th edition of the International Congress of Ballet Academies, which closed yesterday, Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Havana, Cuba. The artistic activity, held at the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, paid tribute to late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and his integrationist dream of uniting Latin American countries. The congress was dedicated to Alicia Alonso and the recently-deceased Mirta Hermida, for a lifetime work as a trainer of professors and dancers from different parts of the world.

The 19th International Meeting of ballet academies held in Cuba offered artistic opportunities to more than 400 participants and guidelines for study centers of 14 nations. The encounters comply with the dream of the founders of the Cuban ballet when gathering here many countries interested in the development of new generations.

“We hope that Cuba is the place of Spanish-speaking America where they can go, of the rest of our America, to acquire teaching dance,” said Fernando Alonso in 1950 in the program of the first end-of-course party of the academy created by him and Alicia Alonso.

ballet“We dream of being a ballet center in Latin America,” the teacher said in those days, the dream came true in 1993 when the National School convened the first international meeting to exchange knowledge and experiences through dialogue and joint reflection. [. . .] Students from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Canada, Panama, Peru, Spain, Italy and the Dominican Republic, among others, received physical training classes, tips, repertoire, choreographic composition, character dances and classical duo. Also included were optional choreography workshops, performance, Yoruba folklore, popular dances, makeup, design, taught by experts from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Cuban prima ballerina Viengsay Valdes and fitness trainer of the School Jose Candia participated in several conferences of the event, held in the capital from March 24 to April 6. The meeting paid tribute to the teaching work of teachers Alonso and Mirta Hermida, the latter recently deceased.

During the event, students from different nations shared the stage at the Teatro Nacional de Cuba in seven artistic galas with contemporary, neoclassical works, and three suites of great classical pieces, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and Don Quixote.

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