Yes, We Stand in Awe!

We should not be surprised by the amazement of those who discover admiringly that in Cuba, for example, the ballet is an art that belongs to us all, because it also gives meaning to our existence

By: José Luis Estrada Betancourt

Email: estrada@juventudrebelde.cu

2016-11-08 | 17:50:32 EST
Photo: Yailín Alfaro GuillénZoom

It happens to everyone but mortals who live in this land. It is a matter of custom which forms part of our heritage. We would never see it otherwise than as the most natural, considering the imbalance in the world. The truth is that we should not be surprised at the amazement of those who discover in Cuba, for example, the ballet is an art that belongs to us all, because it also gives meaning to our existence.

What supposedly hhappened in this unique land, without doubt miraculous that in 1959 it stopped accepting that we could not expect anything else, it was that we would stop thinking that we did not have the right to receive education, to become cultured, to let ourselves be touched by art. But the people did not want another option than to grow, to dream, even though it seems a chimera, like that of the great Alicia Alonso to have a ballet company in Cuba.

And the best in the utopia of Alicia was not just thinking of artists, of the dancers, "but in a culture for the people, in the right of every human being to enjoy a beautiful art, It had to stop being for an elite. I could not do much for the world, if I had not left my land. The artist is like a tree which needs nourishment from the earth, it absorbs all its nutrients to grow and be strengthened. Only then can it bear healthy fruit. These fruits are the art with which we feed the spirituality of other nations; and the earth, the Fatherland. "

There was no one better than Alicia to face the enormous challenge of making ballet a popular art in Cuba, because she, as emphasized critic Ahmed Piñeiro, "became representative of our country, and with her art stood, for the first time, in the history of centuries of ballet. She also took the proverbial Cuban facility for movement and integrated it into her dance. Her unique and novel way of dancing led to marked differences in the sense of rhythm, in style, phrasing, the accent ... one noticed, when executing the same steps as other dancers. Unintentionally, she began in an aesthetic way the now world-renowned Cuban ballet school. "

Yes, Alicia was essential. Alicia, the Revolution and Fidel, as she has always likes to emphasize. "Fidel has made my golden dream possible: that in Cuba we have one of the best ballet companies in the world, and a very prestigious school. Probably very little of that would have been possible without his unconditional support, without recognition of the significance of culture for Cubans. "

Of course it was not easy shape the audience of today that crams into the rooms and dashes to get tickets for an International Ballet Festival, which is unthinkable in many other parts of the world. Fernando Alonso himself, one of the fundamental pillars of the Cuban school of ballet, often recalls those early times of the Revolution in the company travelling throughout the island, and especially once they were in the Valley of Viñales. "What do you think happened when they were told they would see a revolutionary ballet called" Yes Fidel "? It was disturbing when they saw those girls wrapped in tulle, dancing and jumping appear... They were very surprised and rightly so. They had understood "Yes Fidel" instead of Les Sylphides ... What more could you expect! It was the first time in their lives they saw a show like that ... ".

Now it seems the most natural thing when we know that it is not. And yet, for ten days this island becomes the universal capital of dance when companies or stars, whose performances could be worth a fortune come together:  the Martha Graham Dance Company, Justin Peck with his Dance American, the Ballet Hispanico of New York, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Dutch National Ballet, Brooklyn Mack, Joaquin de Luz, Ashley Bouder, Maria Kochetkova, Joel Carreno, Lucia Solari, Javier Torres, Dugaraa Altankhuyag, Mary Carmen Catoya, Osiel Gouneo, Maria Ricetto, Gustavo Carvalho. .. But they they do it out of admiration for Alicia and the extraordinary school she founded with Fernando and Alberto. They do it for Cuba. They do it for its beautiful people, who are excited and grateful with warm and sincere applause, but sometimes do not give the real dimension of what makes our life more important.

Translated by ESTI

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