Ballet Nacional de Cuba, that is. I spoke with prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso from her Havana home for this story in Friday's Weekend section of The Washington Post:
“'When I was in the United States and I was dancing,' Alonso said by phone from her Havana home recently, 'the critic John Martin wrote that he could tell that I was a Cuban, a Latina. I kept thinking, I don’t move my shoulders, I don’t move my hips, I’m a classical dancer. What he meant was the way . . . I project the melody of the music [and] the way I dance with a partner [and] my expression. So that’s the reputation we have — the way we dance with a partner, we express a romanticism, even a sensuality.'
Alonso founded the company and its school in 1948, and she is clearly proud of her accomplishments, saying the school produces more successful professional ballet dancers than any in the world.”