The applause the Cuban public gave to the National Ballet and the international stars that attended the 25th International Ballet Festival of Havana still echoes. The first, of many to come and that will be named after its president and creator Alicia Alonso.
In the distant March of 1960 it was born this prestigious event. Alicia tells that in these editions a little more than fifty foreign companies and a large number of artists have taken part. “I'm not going to talk about Cuban and world premieres, whose number is not far from a thousand ... At the same time, it's not an exclusive event for dancers, but it is where choreographers, maîtres, pedagogues, musicians, technicians, critics, journalists also converge” ...
“In addition, it is a festival of the arts in general, because exhibitions are inaugurated, books are presented, films are shown, lectures given, workshops given, etc. And, as if that were not enough, the galas are transmitted by the Cuban Television, in order to extend them to the whole country”.
“Entrepreneurs and theater owners are shocked when they know that these things happen in Cuba. Is that possible?, They ask me. And I say, “Yes, we do miracles in Cuba. An event of this magnitude only takes place in countries with large companies and a solid ballet movement. Our ballet is not competitive, but artistic and cultural.
“The first few times the great stars came was due to their friendship with me, for the respect towards me as an artist. Then the admiration for the BNC and what Cuba symbolizes were taken into account; and of course, also for the prestige the International Ballet Festival has won over the years ”.