Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Great Cuban Ballerinas of the 60's,70's and 80's.(XI)


Recommended Posts

Svetlana Ballester is the child of a Cuban-Russian marriage, from the era when thousands of Cubans took advantage of Soviet scholarships for Cubans to study in Russian schools and universities. So this was the case of Miss Ballester-Akimova's father, who wed a Russian girl while studying in Moscow. Svetlana was born in the Russian capital, but wastaken to Havana when her father decided to bring the family back home when she was just 1 year old. As the majority of the children of Cuban-Russian marriages, Miss Ballester-Akimova speaks and writes both Spanish and Russian, but define herself as a Cuban. After the fall down of the Soviet empire, many of the families returned back to Russia, but many others decided to stay in Cuba. "I have spent most of my life here. In Moscow I don't feel strange, but this is where I am from. At home we speak only Russian, and my mother is Russian until the day she days'', Miss Ballester once said in an interview.

Svieta-(as she is better known among Cuban balletomanes)-went then to study in Alonso's academy, eventually becoming a member of the Company after her graduation. 1987 saw her big breaktrough, during the second New York International Ballet Competition, where she was awarded the bronze medal. This was the same competition that gave the only gold medal to a then very young Cuban dancer: Jose Manuel Carreno-(Toto). This promessing young ballerina raised to the rank of Principal Dancer-(that below of Primera Bailarina)-where then she stayed, without knowing that a dark chapter in her raising career was about to start. As a Principal dancer she stayed forever and ever , without being promoted and almost forgotten...not even taken during international tours. Yes...she he was another victim of the most unexplainable unfairness within the Company directives, to which she finally took the decision of an early retirement...just like so many other great ballerinas who, like herself, were given the lethal decision of being left in the shadow... completely ignored. Miss Ballester was a beautiful ballerina who fall under many circumstances, among them a devastating tendency to gain excessive weight, which she found very hard to control towards the end of her active career. I had the privilege to see her dancing all the way through, even going to her very final farewell, where she danced in a ballet specially made for her, "Tula", based on the life of XIX Century Cuban writer Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda.

Today our Svieta is a very important Maitre of the Company and a great teacher.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss Svetlana Ballester-Akimova.

In Giselle as Myrtha-(hers start at 4:22, in a shared performance)

In the Pas de Trois from Swan Lake, Act I, along with a then very young, unknown Viengsay Valdes. Her variation starts at 6:14.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...