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Cuban Ballet is synonymous with the world renowned Alicia Alonso born in 1921 and the most famous Cuban ballerina and teacher. She foundered and directed the most important ballet company in Cuba. Born Alicia Martinez in Havana, Alonso studied here and in New York City, New York, and London, England. She began her career in Broadway musicals in New York. Although plagued by eyesight problems, Alonso was one of the principal stars of the Ballet Caravan and later of the Ballet Theater. She was particularly noted in the role of Giselle. Alonso also created roles for contemporary ballets, including the role of the murderess Lizzie Borden in Fall River Legend (1948), which was choreographed by American dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille. In 1948 in Cuba Alonso formed the Ballet Alicia Alonso (renamed Ballet de Cuba in 1955 and, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Ballet Nacional de Cuba). Its ballet school earned admiration for the quality of its training and recruiting system. Ballet is still very popular in Cuba and can be admired almost daily in the countries capital, Havana.

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