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24th International Ballet Festival was inaugurated last Tuesday night at Havana's Karl Marx Theater with the presentation Shakespeare and his masks and the performance of the principal dancers Anette Delgado and Dani Hernández.

The event, chaired by Prima Ballerina Assolluta Alicia Alonso, will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of the English dramaturge and poet William Shakespeare.

Rubiel García, president of the Brothers Saíz Association (Asociación Hermanos Saíz), in his opening words for the event, paid tribute to Alicia Alonso and called her “mentor of youth, for her unquestionable faith in the new generations, to which she has dedicated her life and her wisdom”.

This festival will include performances by dancers from prestigious foreign companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, New York City Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flandes, Hispanic Ballet of New York, Pontus Lidberg Dance, Cincinnati Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, National Ballet of China, among others.

About the participation of foreign companies Aurora Bosch, one of the Four Jewels of Cuban Ballet, shared that “it's good for the public, for dancers, for the maitres. It is a support for the Cuban culture and specifically for ballet”.
Bosch also added a message for the novice dancers who start practicing ballet: “Take this with a lot of passion, it takes devotion and sacrifice but ‹‹when the bug bites ››, you can not detach. Work hard and above all else, love what you do”.

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