Alicia Alonso: our eternal dancer

Por: Yarelis Rico Hernández

The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Havana hosted on Monday, December 14, a mass for the centenary of our Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, who died on October 17, 2019.

The religious celebration, attended by family and friends of the great Cuban artist, wanted to evoke her figure not only from art, but from eternity where today God welcomes the woman who linked all her corporeity with her spiritual being.

The Catholic office was a unique way to remember Alicia Alonso. She was baptized in the parish of the Holy Angel Custodian, the same church where two other great Cubans received this sacrament, Father Félix Varela and José Martí. Like them, to say of Father Yosvany Carvajal Sureda, parish priest of the Cathedral, “this girl was destined to be a great Cuban”.

In his homily, Carvajal Sureda asked to pray for the person who was Alice and for the work she founded, the Cuban Ballet School. He also insisted on remembering her alive, “for it is precisely the desire for eternity that calls us to celebrate this Mass.”

The parish priest of the Cathedral emphasized that this was a time to thank God for Alice’s long existence, which allowed him to create and enjoy a wide work.
She stated that on the way she also found her cross, but knew how to carry her with patience and dignity, even sick. “He danced everything and danced well”, as expressed by his friend Msgr. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes García Menocal. “When Alice danced,” Father Yosvany stressed, “she left in everyone the spiritual burden she conveyed; nobody left the theater the same as it came in. If this does not occur, art does not occur. Many of us talked about God without knowing it, without seeking it, Alice found him in dance.”

The Mass was accompanied musically by the Symphony Orchestra of the Great Theater of Havana, under the direction of Yhovani Duarte and the performances of Johana Simón, soprano, Lesby Bautista, contratenor, Jessye Cordero, cello, the Khronos Trio and students of the teaching unit of the Teatro Lírico Nacional de Cuba.

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