Pittsburgh has had a strong link with the Cuban style of ballet. I first encountered it when visiting Point Park University in the ’90′s, where Roberto Munoz had established International Summer Dance. There he assembled a faculty led by Laura Alonso, daughter of Alicia Alonso, founder of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Roberto’s respect for her was apparent and she undoubtedly affected his teaching, helping to produce students like April Ball (principal, Boston Ballet and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo), Simon Ball (principal, Boston Ballet and Houston Ballet), Stephen Hanna (principal, New York City Ballet) and Lauri Stallings (Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and renowned contemporary dancemaker). The effects of the Cuban methods have filtered down to many dancers in the Pittsburgh area over the years. So it was with great anticipation that I saw the original company at Kennedy Center. Read about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Also some clips of Alicia Alonso in the famous entrechat quatre section of “Giselle” progressing from 1963 to 1993, when she was 73 years old.