The first dancer of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC) Viengsay Valdés was appointed deputy director of the company directed by the legendary Alicia Alonso.
“I am grateful for the trust they have placed in me, I feel that I can help the dancers in their training and professional development, I hope to convey security and inspiration to share that common dream of a united and strong company” she said to Prensa Latina.
According to the official designation of the Ministry of Culture, Alonso remains the general director of the institution but Valdés would be in charge of artistic decisions.
“I have the best relations with Alicia, marked above all by respect and admiration. She always gave me great professional advice in my career and was an idol to follow, highlighted the dancer whose last performance was precisely a tribute to the teacher.”
Last October, for health reasons, Alicia Alonso was unable to participate in the 26th Havana International Ballet Festival. At the closing gala Viengsay Valdés paid tribute to her by performing a piece by choreographer Tania Vergara on a music by Frank Fernández entitled ParAlicia by himself.
The Cuban National Ballet (BNC) prima ballerina Viengsay Valdés is an icon of the ballet world. Born in Havana, Viengsay Valdés began artistic gymnastics at age six and puts her first ballet shoes on at the age of nine, when she began her ballet studies at the Alejo Carpentier Provincial Ballet School in Havana. At age 15, she continued her studies at the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA). Ramona de Sáa and Mirtha Hermida were her main ballet professors, the latter being her main inspiration. While she was still a student she won numerous prizes and distinctions. In July 1994, Ms. Valdes graduated from the National School of Art (ENA) with a degree in Dance and Choreography, and gold honors.
According to the artist, one of her main satisfactions in recent years has been the opportunity to work closely with the Fernando Alonso National Ballet School, thanks to continuous invitations from its director and deputy director, Ramona de Sáa and Marta Iris Fernández, respectively.
“I want to continue strengthening the company’s relations with the school in favor of the same line of work and the identity of the Cuban dancer” said Valdés.
Last year, the BNC celebrated 70 years of being founded by Alicia, Fernando and Alberto Alonso, a trilogy of brilliant dancer, extraordinary master and original choreographer whose joint work flourished in the renowned Cuban ballet school.
Valdés, valued as one of the top figures in Cuban ballet today, has been a guest artist at the Washington Ballet of the United States; the Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico; the Joburg Ballet of South Africa; the Bolshoi and Mariinski of Russia, among other companies. The Ministry of Culture of Cuba awarded her the Distinction for National Culture (1999), the Alejo Carpentier Medal (2003) and the Raúl Gómez García Medal (2014).
Valdés was chosen among the 100 best dancers in the world by many international Dance Magazines, and has taken her art to stages on five continents, thanks to commitments with the BNC and numerous invitations to world star galas and international festivals.