Viengsay Valdés to Alicia Alonso: “I will follow in your footsteps.” Photo: Courtesy of the National Ballet of Cuba

The words that I will always say to Alicia Alonso, our prima ballerina assoluta and director of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), are very simple: “I am your faithful follower, I will follow in your footsteps,” prima ballerina Viengsay Valdés told Granma International on being officially named as the company’s deputy artistic director.

The news was revealed on January 22 by Fernando Rojas, deputy minister of Culture, in a ceremony held at the BNC headquarters, in the presence of company teachers and members. The official explained that to date, the company had only had deputy executive, technical and administrative directors.

This new post is related to the organization of the company’s artistic activities, Rojas added, who also noted that work is already underway, alongside Pedro Simón, director of the Museum of Dance, to celebrate that great figure of Cuban and universal culture, general director of the BNC, Alicia Alonso’s hundredth birthday; and for which a national government commission will be created, in charge of carrying out the well-deserved tributes.

Meanwhile, Viengsay expressed her gratitude for the trust placed in her to hold such a responsibility. “I believe we should all continue the historic legacy of the Cuban School of Ballet so that it is perfected, further strengthened, and continues to be successful,” she stated, and asked for the confidence and support of the dance corps, as well as their enthusiasm: “I would like you to come here every day, excited to work and very proud of belonging to the company,” she concluded.