In Her Own Words

March 22, 2009

Alicia Alonso’s Statement on Cuban Defectors, January 2009


I regard the dancers who have defected with great sadness and concern. Generally, we know these dancers since they are children. We see them grow up. We dedicate to them a thorough, artistic endeavor in order to form them. We spend considerable material resource on them. Later on, with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, they travel and perform in the best theaters of the world, and they incorporate the traditional repertoire and modern creations. Suddenly, some of them go away from their roots and enter in to the world like a senseless kite. They try to sell in other parts of the world what they have received in their country with love and dedication. Cuba is a small country, with a small population, in which the dancers are selected and developed as a part of a glorious tradition. They (the dancers) have inherited the history of a great company, which will continue to enrich. However, some, the minority, make a leap into the void, with very diverse and incredible illusions. Most dancers who emigrate in this way will never be artists. Just a very few manage to make a career, but I am sure that in the inner spirit, they always have the feeling of a basic and unfulfilled commitment. I highly value those who have a true sense of belonging to their country, to their company and to their national tradition, especially those who are grateful for all they have received from it.