Josefina Mendez delayed obituary (1941-2007)
Posted 02 July 2007 - 07:25 AM
Posted 02 July 2007 - 09:37 AM
Thanks for acknowledging Mme. Mendez work.
Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:05 PM
Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:02 PM
This is old news, but i wanted to post it anyways...
Havana, Jul 3 (acn) The Legion of Honor Order, which is the highest
decoration granted by the French government to personalities in the
world of Arts and Culture, was granted post-mortem to Cuban ballerina
Josefina Mendez (1941-2007).
French ambassador to Cuba, Marie France Pagnier gave the award to
Victor Gili, the son of departed Josefina Mendez. Gili is a first
dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba, as his mother was.
Josefina Mendez, who died of cancer early this year, has been dubbed
one of the "Four Jewels" of the Cuban classic dance along with Loipa
Araujo, Aurora Bosch and Mirta Pla.
Videos of the most outstanding moments of Mendez' career were screened
during the awarding ceremony such as her performance of "Giselle" along
Etoil Cyril Atanassoff, at the Opera of Paris in 1972.
Known for her classicism, superb technique, and dramatic flair, Mendez
won bronze and silver awards at the Varna International Ballet
Competition, as well as honors in France, Italy, and Brazil.
In addition to her performing career, she founded Cuba's National
School of Arts, where she developed the Cuban technique and coached
most of todayÂs great local dancers.
France's Legion of Honor Order was created by Napoleon Bonaparte back
in the 19th century. It is usually awarded to French personalities;
however, a few personalities of other nationalities have been honored
as well. In Cuba, Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, filmmaker
Alfredo Guevara, writer Miguel Barnet, and doctor Rodrigo Alvarez
Cambra have been awarded the Order.
Posted 01 March 2008 - 11:05 PM
Posted 27 December 2008 - 08:39 PM
When were you with Ballet Celeste? I also was a page (Emerald) in "Six Pricesses" with Mrs. Lanova. Our princesses were other members of the company... I always find it interesting to conect with former members!
Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:18 PM
Hi, uniqe2, and welcome to BalletTalk.
It's nice to find this kind of connection on BalletTalk, and chances are that with time, you will find former colleagues and friends you've lost touch with. You might start by introducing yourself on our Welcome Page (click New Topic). Also, please feel free to join our sister board,BalletTalk for Dancers (with special forums for dancers of all levels). While memberships overlap to a degree, most members post exclusively on one board or the other.
Please keep in mind, though that both are discussion boards, which is not the same as a chat room. This thread is devoted to Josefina Mendez.
Posted 28 December 2008 - 05:26 PM
Posted 04 January 2009 - 12:41 AM
Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:10 PM
Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:47 PM
"Margarita flourished in the system, rising through the ranks from corps de ballet to prima ballerina. Later on she married John White, an American who was recruited by Alicia Alonso to dance with the newly formed National Ballet of Cuba. Ramona married Santiago, one of Fidel Castro's close associates.
Using old family photographs and archival footage of their days as young dancers in Havana, including rare footage of Margarita de Saa performing in the National Ballet of Cuba's "Giselle," "Mirror Dance" introduces viewers to the twin sisters and their worlds. Archival and super 8 footage further suggest Havana in the turbulent '50s and early '60s when the twins were growing up, during their respective courtships and marriages, and through the political events leading up to their dramatic separation.
Following the marriages, the twins began to grow apart. In 1964, concerned about the changing political environment, Margarita, her infant son and husband--now a ballet master--made the painful decision to leave their life, careers and family in Cuba. Ramona remained in Havana. A self-described "revolutionary woman," she was dismayed by her twin's lack of commitment to the Revolution. Believing Margarita was a traitor, Ramona refused to have contact with her. In the forty years since the sisters' separation, Margarita and John opened a small dance academy in Narberth, near Philadelphia, where they remain committed to helping young dancers pursue their dream. Ramona has become Director of the Cuban National Schools of Ballet. It was not until 2000, after being approached by the filmmakers, that Margarita began to think seriously about returning to Cuba.
During the course of the film, Margarita reflects: "When I left Cuba I didn't just lose my biological family, I lost something very special to me--the National Ballet of Cuba. I lost two families." Despite pouring her heart into her work, and trying to create a new ballet family in the United States, memory and loss still persist. In Cuba, the film follows Ramona in her routine as the sole woman who determines the fate of every aspiring dancer in Cuba, and viewer experience the all-encompassing, government endowed National School of Ballet.
Finally, on February 28th, 2004, Margarita, her husband John and daughter Melinda departed for Havana. In a touching scene at Jose Marti Airport, Margarita, Ramona and their brother Jovita are finally reunited".
Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:02 PM
Posted 30 March 2009 - 03:27 PM
There is additional information about Josephina's life/passing in an article in Dance magazine. Her brother Tony Mendez, cue card boy for David Letterman/Dancer, speaks openly, and shares family photos. He misses his sister dearly. Tony has become a friend through a relationship sprouting from a visit to the Late Show many years ago.
The photos are in a slide show separate from the special four page content. Look to the left on the page to be
able to view it.
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