National Ballet of Cuba will honor UNESCO's 70th anniversary

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© UNESCO
11 March 2015

With the restaging of the ballet Tula, inspired by the life and work of the renowned Cuban writer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) and its director, prima ballerina assoluta and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Alicia Alonso, will honor the seven decades of the foundation of UNESCO next Saturday, March 14th.

The initiative is sponsored by the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNESCO Havana.

The ballet piece is choreographed by Alonso, drawing from a libretto by José Ramón Neyra. The music is composed by Juan Piñera while costume and stage designs are the work of Salvador Fernández.

The leading roles will be played by the first BNC dancers, Amaya Rodríguez and José Losada, seconded by principal dancers, soloists and artists.

Tula's world premier took place in 1998 during the 16th International Ballet Festival of Havana, where it was acclaimed by critics and the public.

This time, Tula will be performed at the Avellaneda Room at the National Theater, named in homage to the writer.

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, also known as "Tula" and "The Pilgrim" was an outstanding intellectual from the nineteenth century, who is considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement. He dabbled in fiction, poetry and drama, with masterpieces like Sab, Leoncia, La hija de las flores and Balthazar.

Her relentless quest for the abolition of slavery and the recognition of women's rights also makes her a precursor of the Spanish American feminist movement.

In 2014, UNESCO joined the celebrations for the bicentenary of her birth.