The legendary Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso died yesterday at the age of 98.
"Alicia Alonso has left, leaving a tremendous vacuum, but also an incomparable legacy," Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel wrote in a tweet. "I have placed Cuba in the best position in world dance." Alonso studied dance in Havana and at the American Ballet School in New York, and professionally danced with choreographer George Balancin in 1939. In the 1940s, Alonso gained a reputation as a member of the American Ballet Theater, performing intermittently dances until 1959. After the leftists took power in Cuba After the revolution in 1959, Alonso's private company was renamed the “Cuba National Ballet” and performed dances in the world's best theaters, including the Paris Opera and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Alonso died in a Havana hospital, according to media reports. A year ago, she canceled her participation in the opening of the International Ballet Festival in the capital for health reasons.