Ballet is a well-guarded bastion of cultural and national pride in Cuba. The National School is valued for its rigorous training and its students have become some of the top ballet dancers in the world.
Originally founded in 1948 as the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company by Alicia and her husband Fernando, a school was established two years later to promote the talents of young local dancers and create a uniquely Cuban style of ballet. Apart from improving on the traditional repertoire, the strong choreographic movement can be rated as some of the most significant achievements of contemporary dance choreography. It is the world´s largest ballet school, with over 3,000 students.
Another highlight is the Acosta Danza, a company created by Carlos Acosta, the Cuban dancer that achieved world fame as the first black principal dancer in the London Royal Ballet. After 13 years as lead dancer he has returned to Havana to pursue his long-held dream of starting a contemporary dance company in Cuba.
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