National Ballet of Cuba in SaratogaIn June, National Ballet of Cuba will make its first appearance on the SPAC stage. The renowned dance company was founded in 1948 by legendary ballerina Alicia Alonso. It is now the world’s largest ballet academy with over 3,000 students and enjoys international acclaim as a hub of contemporary Latin American culture. At age 97, Alonso remains the dance company’s director.
For its debut at SPAC, the National Ballet of Cuba will perform Alonso’s interpretation of the romantic ballet “Giselle.” The original French production, based on a Victor Hugo poem, premiered in 1841. Primarily known throughout the years for its Russian interpretations, “Giselle” was revitalized by Alonso’s fresh choreography. Her dazzling take redefined the ballet, earning it the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris in 1966. Now, National Ballet of Cuba brings “Giselle” to SPAC—one of only four United States locations on its limited summer tour.
“Giselle,” a ballet in two acts, follows a young, peasant girl who falls in love with a prince disguised as a commoner. The heroine faces betrayal and heartbreak in this intensely dramatic production, which is regarded as one of the most technically difficult ballet routines to perform—especially for the lead who dances throughout the entire piece.
National Ballet of Cuba will perform “Giselle” Saratoga Performing Arts Center three nights: Wednesday, June 6 through Friday, June 8. Visit SPAC’S calendar of events page for more details.