Cuban ballet training has earned its reputation thanks to the team of three who developed the Cuban National Ballet and school: Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso, and Alberto Alonso. The fourth member of that team is the Cuban Revolution, which from its very beginning, rescued and gave generous support to the advancement of ballet on the island. Since all students of classical ballet in Cuba receive that training at one level or another, ballet teachers who now live outside of Cuba claim to offer the Fernando Alonso methodology to attract students to their private schools. One must ascertain that such claims deliver the actual progressive method painstakingly developed by Fernando Alonso that is today jealously guarded by the Cuban school. Even with the best of intentions, market competition compounded by disconnection from the Cuban school’s on-site values and discipline, can translate into slippage from Maestro Alonso’s technically effective and artistically affecting method.
Therefore, I am especially pleased, honored, and proud that my book, “Fernando Alonso, the Father of Cuban Ballet” [Fernando Alonso, el padre del ballet Cubano], is recommended reading for the Cuban Ballet Methodology course, which Ballet Arts Company, under the direction of the Cuban-trained teacher Deborah Marquez and stewardship of Laura Alonso, is offering this summer. Laura Alonso, the daughter of Alicia and Fernando Alonso, is an internationally recognized master teacher, and for more than half a century has seamlessly transmitted her father’s method to students the world over.
Fernando Alonso, the Father of Cuban Ballet is available for purchase at:
Fernando Alonso, el padre del ballet Cubano está disponible para su compra en:
TOBA SINGER is the author of “First Position: A Century of Ballet Artists,” (Praeger Publishers, 2007). From 2004 to 2010, Singer was the Dance Selector and Senior Program Director of the Art and Music Center of the San Francisco Public Library. She grew up in The Bronx and graduated from New York City's High School of Performing Arts, attended Boston University and graduated with a BA from the University of Massachusetts, and an MLS from the University of Maryland. She has lived, worked, and written in Baltimore, Boston, Cambridge, Charleston, West Virginia, Jersey City, Richmond, Virginia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Articles by her have appeared in the Charleston Gazette, San Francisco Chronicle, Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, DanzaHoy, Dance Europe, Dance International, and the website culturevulture.net.
Singer was a founding member of the board of the Robert Moses' Kin dance company. She has studied dance with Svetlana Afanasieva, Nina Anderson, Perry Brunson, Cora Cahan, Gertrude Shurr, Jane Dudley, Richard Gibson, Zory Karah, Donald McKayle, Françoise Martinet, Augusta Moore, and Kahz Zmuda. Her son, James Gotesky, was a soloist with Houston Ballet. Singer lives with her husband Jim Gotesky in Oakland, California.
Photo Credit Christine Tatasciore.
Ballet Arts Dance Company is a 501 (c) (3) Charitable Organization, and is sponsored in part by
The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County, and thoughtful and generous donors.