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Viengsay Valdés to dance Kitri with WB in October!

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Washington Ballet sent out this press release today. Ms. Valdes's Kitri is on DVD with her home company, and I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing her dance!



Viengsay Valdés featured in Don Quixote on First Solo Visit to United States

Production runs October 14-18 at the Kennedy Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Ballet is pleased to announce that Cuban ballerina Viengsay Valdés will appear as a guest artist in the company’s 09.10 Season opening performance, Don Quixote, running October 14-18 in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. Ms. Valdes will be dancing the lead role of Kitri in a new staging of the the classic ballet by internationally recognized choreographer Anna-Marie Holmes.

“I am delighted to welcome Ms. Valdés to Washington,” said TWB Artistic Director Septime Webre. “She will add a great spark to TWB’s fantastic ensemble.”

Mr. Webre, who is of Cuban descent, also said that it brings him personal satisfaction to showcase such an important cultural treasure from his native country. “My own Cuban heritage has played a significant role in repertoire I’ve selected at The Washington Ballet,” he said. “To be able to welcome Viengsay is personally very meaningful to me. I am proud that TWB will be her first solo visit in this country.”

Born in Havana, Ms. Valdés began her ballet studies at age nine at the Alejo Carpentier Provincial Ballet School. At age 15, she continued her course of study at the Escuela Nacional de Arte with Ramona de Sáa and Mirtha Hermida. When she was 17, legendary director Alicia Alonso invited Ms. Valdés to join the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. In 2001, Ms. Valdés became a principal dancer and primera bailarina. She has won numerous dance awards and prizes, and has performed the role of Kitri in various productions of Don Quixote and at dance competitions. Most recently, in April 2008, Ms. Valdés performed as Kitri at the Theatre of Light and Sound amid the Giza Pyramids, in Egypt.

The last time Ms. Valdés was in the United States was in 2003 with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. This will be her first solo visit to the nation. TWB is thrilled that an O-1 visa for Ms. Valdés was secured, and that DC audiences will have the chance to experience this internationally-renowned dancer. She arrives on September 22, and will begin rehearsing with the company on September 23, 2009.

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Wow...and it HAD to be Miss. Valdes...the most controversial ballerina the Cuban Company has ever had...Love her or hate her-(and I've been in both sides at different times)-she DEFINITELY personifies the Cuban spirit...chaotic, contradictory, extreme, but NEVER boring... :flowers:

Here's a mix of her Kitri. Entrance, Solo with Toreadores, Dulcinea's variation, PDD variation and PDD Coda.




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How is her first name pronounced? (I don't speak any Spanish.) Is the g silent?

Let me try to get a "translation" for the English phonetic...

It would be something like VEE-ENNE-SI (all together, sans the separation, of course, and the G should sound, but one can't really hear it, so it is usually omitted in the pronunciation..) The REAL pronunciation would be more like VEE-ANG-SI. We usually just call her "V". :tiphat:

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This is so exciting! The clips of her on Youtube are amazing.

How is her first name pronounced? (I don't speak any Spanish.) Is the g silent?

Valdes is named after a site in Laos, where she spent her first years. I've read her father was Cuban ambassador to the Asian nation. I've also seen

the Laotian name transliterated as Viengxay but like Viengsay, that would be a Western approximation of the original.

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