The Cuban National Ballet, complete with
its own training school and indigenous twist, was built in large part by
Fernando Alonso, a remarkable man who danced on Broadway, studied with
the greatest figures of the Golden Era of Ballet, and helped win the
support of the post-1959 revolutionary government for the advancement of
of Alonso’s work are scarce, yet Toba Singer’s quest to spotlight his
seminal role in the development of the modern ballet canon yields key
material: pre-blockade tapes from Lincoln Center, Spanish-language
sources from the Museum of Dance in Havana, and interviews with the
ballet master himself alongside a broad range of friends, relatives, and
collaborators from throughout his long career, including his ex-wife,
Alicia, a famous ballerina in her own right.
Under Alonso’s loving guidance, Cuban ballet has become the most
revered art form in the country—and a powerful presence in the
international dance arena.