Prima ballerina, Alicia Alonso, known today as the founder of the Cuban ballet and its great dancer, hails from Havana. She began there her dance education in 1931 and later she went to the United States to study, first at the Wiltsack-Shollar School, then at the American Ballet School.
After her debut on Broadway in 1938, in the musical comedy, Great Lady and Stars in Your Eyes, Alicia Alonso joined the New York Ballet Theater in 1940, where she performed until 1960 with some interruptions. She danced the choreoraphies by Michael Fokine, George Balanchine, Leonid Massine, Bronislava Nijnskaya, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille.
In 1948 she, Alberto Alonso and Fernando Alonso founded the Alicia Alonso Ballet, today's Cuban National Ballet. In 1950 the dancing school, Alicia Alonso Ballet Academy was organized. Among her best roles are Giselle, Odette/Odille, Svanilda, Terpsichore (Apollo). She was the first performer to dance challenging roles in the works of Tudor, Balanchine and De Mille.
In 1967 she performed Carmen in the ballet of Alberto Alonso. With her company she visited many countries around the world. She danced in Paris, Milan, Vienna, Naples, Moscow and Prague. The great ballerina, she also created a number of original ballets. Alicia Alonso has received many national and international awards. In 1999 UNESCO bestowed upon Alicia Alonso the Picasso Medal for her excellent contributions to the art of dance.
Presently Alicia Alonso is director of the Cuban National Ballet where she devotes a lot of time to educate a new generation of Cuban ballet dancers. Alicia Alonso has been nominated for her contributions to dance development.