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ArtSpotlight

Lifetime Achievement Spotlight

Alberto Alonso
Master-Artist-In-Residence for the Visual & Performing Arts Department
Santa Fe Community College

Alberto Alonso brings to class with him the knowledge of a lifetime of dance. Mr. Alonso is one of the most distinguished ballet personalities in the world and co-founder of the National Ballet of Cuba with Alicia and Fernando Alonso. He is also the only non-Russian to ever be invited to choreograph for the Bolshoi Ballet. Maestro Alonso is currently Master Artist in Residence at Santa Fe Community College, and is the subject of the documentary, Dancing In Freedom's Shoes: The Alberto Alonso Story, to be released in 2006.

 

Mr. Alonso began his career dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, traveling throughout Europe, the United States, and Australia working with such prominent figures as Michel Fokine, George Balanchine, Leonide Massine, Sir Anton Dolin, and Jerome Robbins. With Ballet Russe he danced principal roles in Prince Igor, Le Coq d'Or, Prodigal Son, and Petrouchka to name a few. In the late '40's, Mr. Alonso danced with the American Ballet Theatre, working with dance personalities such as Anthony Tudor and Jerome Robbins. During this time, Mr. Alonso was under contract with MGM in Hollywood, appearing in Fred Astaire's film Yolanda and the Thief.

Mr. Alonso has been credited as the creator of what is now known as the "Cuban" style of ballet. Internationally, Mr. Alonso is most noted for his famous ballet Carmen, which he choreographed for Maya Plisetskaya of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. In addition, Mr. Alonso has choreographed for many major dance companies in Europe and Asia. His most recent choreographic contributions to the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe have been Quotations, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Medea, Concerto, Nepenthe, Legend in my Living Room, American Heritage and many other short ballets.

 

From 2001-2004, Mr. Alonso and his wife Sonia Calero-Alonso served as master instructors for the Santa Fe Summer Dance Institute. Mr. Alonso recently returned from Japan where he staged Son, Son de mi Son for the Tokyo Ballet and since the spring of 2000, he has restaged his legendary ballet Carmen on the Argentinean ballet company Estable of the Colon Theatre, the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and the Sarasota Ballet of Florida. Mr. Alonso has been with the faculty at Santa Fe Community College since 1993, where he serves as the prestigious Master Artist in Residence and the resident choreographer for the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe, the performing company of the Dance Department of Santa Fe Community College.

 

In November of this year, Mr. Alonso and his wife Sonia will travel to Russia where they will re-stage his masterpiece, Carmen, once more at the Bolshoi Theatre. The performance will commemorate the re-opening of the newly renovated Bolshoi Theatre, the 80th birthday of prima ballerina , Maya Plisetskaya and the return of Alberto to the Bolshoi Theatre with his legendary ballet Carmen. The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, first presented "Carmen Suite" the ballet, choreographed by Alberto Alonso, in 1967, with Maya Plisetskaya in the leading role. The American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House New York first presented it in the United States, in 1975.

 

A mere 86 years old, Alberto represents the best of the teaching artist who ensures that art transcends the limits of national boundaries and individual lives. His life and work are conspicuously worthy of special recognition. Dancing In Freedom's Shoes premieres in Gainesville, Florida at the Phillips Center For The Performing Arts April 19, 2006.

--Leslie Lambert, Professor of Art History, Director, Santa Fe Galleries --



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