Cuba the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet, it is east of the Yucatán Peninsula, south of both the U. S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is capital; the area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres. The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres, the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants; the territory, now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonisation in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902.
As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba; the country was a point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Cuba is one of few Marxist–Leninist socialist states, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America, it is a multiethnic country whose people and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
Cuba is a sovereign state and a founding member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States. The country is a middle power in world affairs, it has one of the world's only planned economies, its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco and skilled labor. According to the Human Development Index, Cuba has high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America, though 67th in the world, it ranks in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF. Historians believe the name Cuba comes from the Taíno language, however "its exact derivation unknown"; the exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as'where fertile land is abundant', or'great place'. Fringe theory writers who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by three distinct tribes of indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Taíno, the Guanahatabey and the Ciboney people; the ancestors of the Ciboney migrated from the mainland of South America, with the earliest sites dated to 5,000 BP. The Taíno arrived from Hispanola sometime in the 3rd century A. D; when Columbus arrived they were the dominant culture in Cuba, having an estimated population of 150,000. The Taíno were farmers, while the Ciboney were farmers as well as hunter-gatherers. After first landing on an island called Guanahani, Bahamas, on 12 October 1492, Christopher Columbus commanded his three ships: La Pinta, La Niña and the Santa María, to land on Cuba's northeastern coast on 28 October 1492. Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa. Other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which became the capital.
The native Taíno were forced to work under the encomienda system, which resembled a feudal system in Medieval Europe. Within a century the indigenous people were wiped out due to multiple factors Eurasian infectious diseases, to which they had no natural resistance, aggravated by harsh conditions of the repressive colonial subjugation. In 1529, a measles outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of those few natives who had survived smallpox. On 18 May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto departed from Havana at the head of some 600 followers into a vast expedition through the Southeastern United States, starting at La Florida, in search of gold, treasure and power. On 1 September 1548, Dr. Gonzalo Perez de Angulo was appointed governor of Cuba, he arrived in Santiago, Cuba on 4 November 1549 and declared the liberty of all natives. He became Cuba's first permanent governor to reside in Havana instead of Santiago, he built Havana's first church made of maso
Alicia Alonso is a Cuban prima ballerina assoluta and choreographer whose company became the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1955. She is best known for the ballet version of Carmen. From the age of nineteen, Alonso was afflicted with an eye condition and became blind, her partners always had to be in the exact place she expected them to be, she used lights in different parts of the stage to guide herself. Alonso began dancing there as a child. In June 1931 she began studying ballet at Sociedad Pro-Arte Musical in Havana with Nikolai Yavorsky, she was youngest of two sisters, the other named Blanca María Martínez del Hoyo, born in 1918 and two brothers. She performed publicly for the first time on 29 December 1931, aged 10, her first serious debut was in Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty at the Teatro Auditorium on 26 October 1932. Early in her career in Cuba, she danced under the name of Alicia Martínez. Rapid progress in her lessons came to an abrupt halt in 1937, when the teenager fell in love with a fellow ballet student, Fernando Alonso, whom she married at age 16.
After her marriage, she changed her surname to Alonso. The new couple moved to New York City. There they found a home with relatives near Riverside Drive, she gave birth to a daughter, Laura, in 1938, but continued her training at the School of American Ballet. In 1938, she made her debut in the U. S. performing in the musical comedies Great Lady and Stars In Your Eyes. She arranged to travel to London to study with Vera Volkova. Meanwhile, her husband had joined the newly formed Mordkin Ballet Company in New York. After seeing the doctor for worsening vision problems, Alonso was diagnosed in 1941 with a detached retina and she had surgery to correct the problem; this surgery consisted of removing the eyeball, injecting it with an antibiotic and putting it back in. She was ordered to lie motionless in bed for 3 months so her eyes could heal. Unable to comply Alonso practiced with her feet alone and stretching to, as she put it, "keep my feet alive"; when the bandages came off, she was dismayed to find that the operation had not been successful.
The doctors performed a second surgery, but its failure caused them to conclude that the dancer would never have peripheral vision. She consented to a third procedure in Havana, but this time was ordered to lie motionless in bed for an entire year, she was not permitted to chew food too hard, laugh or cry, or move her head. Her husband sat with her every day, using their fingers to teach her the great dancing roles of classical ballet, she recalled of that period, "I danced in my mind. Blinded, flat on my back, I taught myself to dance Giselle."Finally, she was allowed to leave her bed, although dancing was still out of the question. Instead, she walked with her dogs and, against doctor's orders, went to the ballet studio down the street every day to begin practicing again. Just as her hope was returning, Alonso was injured when a hurricane shattered a door in her home, spraying glass splinters onto her head and face. Amazingly, her eyes were not injured; when her doctor saw this, he cleared Alonso to begin dancing, figuring if she could survive an explosion of glass, dancing could do no harm.
Alonso traveled back to New York City in 1943 to begin rebuilding her skills. However, before she had settled, out of the blue she was asked to dance Giselle to replace the Ballet Theatre's injured prima ballerina Alicia Markova. Alonso accepted and gave such a performance that the critics declared her a star, she was promoted to principal dancer of the company in 1946 and danced the role of Giselle until 1948 performing in Swan Lake, Antony Tudor's Undertow, Balanchine's Theme and Variations, in such world premieres as deMille's dramatic ballet Fall River Legend, in which she starred as the Accused. By this time in her career, she had developed a reputation as an intensely dramatic dancer, as well as an ultra-pure technician and a supremely skilled interpreter of classical and romantic repertories; the Ballet Theatre's Igor Youskevitch and her other partners became expert at helping Alonso conceal her handicap. To compensate for only partial sight in one eye and no peripheral vision, the ballerina trained her partners to be where she needed them without exception.
She had the set designers install strong spotlights in different colors to serve as guides for her movements. She knew, for instance, that if she stepped into the glow of the spotlights near the front of the stage, she was getting too close to the orchestra pit. There was a thin wire stretched across the edge of the stage at waist height as another marker for her, but in general she danced within the encircling arms of her partners and was led by them from point to point. Audiences were never the wiser as they watched her dance. Alonso's desire to develop ballet in Cuba led her to return to Havana in 1948 to found her own company, the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company, which she maintained with little financial support, this company became Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Fernando was general director of the company, at that time composed of Ballet Theater dancers temporarily out of work due to a reorganization in the New York company. Fernando's brother Alberto, a choreographer, served as artistic director for the company The company debuted in the capital and departed for a tour of South America.
While Alicia was happy with the success of the company, she
Cubans or Cuban people, are the inhabitants, citizens of Cuba and people born in Cuba. Cuba is home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds; as a result, some Cubans do not treat their nationality as an ethnicity but as a citizenship with various ethnicities and national origins comprising the "Cuban people." The majority of Cubans descend from Spaniards. Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture held in common by most Cubans is referred to as mainstream Cuban culture, a Western culture derived from the traditions of Western European migrants, beginning with the early Spanish settlers, along with other Europeans arriving but in much smaller numbers, such as the English and Italians. There is a West African cultural component, somewhat influential, with many Afro-Cubans being of Jamaican or other Afro-Caribbean origin. Results are as follows: The population of Cuba was 11,167,325 inhabitants in 2012; the largest urban populations of Cubans in Cuba are to be found in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey, Holguín, Guantánamo, Santa Clara.
According to Cuba's Oficina Nacional de Estadisticas ONE 2012 Census, the population was 11,167,325 including: 5,570,825 men and 5,596,500 women. In the 2012 Census 64.1% or 7,160,399 self-identified as white. Based on genetic testing the average European and Native American ancestry found in those self-reporting to be “blanco ” 86% were "European", 6.7% had some "African" ancestry and 7.8% had "Native" or Other Ancestry. The majority of the European ancestry comes from Spain. During the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th century large waves of Canary Islanders, Galicians and Catalans emigrated from Spain to Cuba. Other European nationalities which immigrated include: English, Russians, Portuguese, Italians, French and Irish. Central and Eastern European influence was during the Cold War years and immigration from the British Isles was in Pinar del Rio Province and Havana. There is a small remnant of a Jewish community. There is significant ethnic influx from diverse Levantine peoples Lebanese and Syrians.
Afro-Cubans composed 9.3% of the population in 2012. Just over 1 million Cubans described themselves as Black, while 2.9 million considered themselves to be "mulatto" or "mestizo". Thus a significant proportion of those living on the island affirm some sub-Saharan African ancestry; the matter is further complicated by the fact that a fair number of people still locate their origins in specific African ethnic groups or regions the Akan, Yoruba and Congo, but Arará, Carabalí, Fula and others. Based on genetic testing the average European and Native American ancestry in those self-reporting to those self-reporting to be “negro ” were 29%, 65.5%, 5.5%. Although Afro-Cubans can be found throughout Cuba, Eastern Cuba has a higher concentration of blacks than other parts of the island, Havana has the largest population of blacks of any city in Cuba. Many African immigrants have been coming to Cuba from Angola. Immigrants from Jamaica and Haiti have been settling in Cuba, most of whom settle in the eastern part of the island, due to its proximity to their home countries, further contributing to the high percentage of blacks on that side of the island.
Cubans of East Asian origins made up 1.02% of the population. They are of Chinese, Japanese or Korean origins; the Chinese population in Cuba is descended from indentured laborers who arrived in the 19th century to build railroads and work in mines. After the Industrial Revolution, many of these laborers stayed in Cuba because they could not afford return passage to China. Of the Taínos the number of people claiming descent have not been formally recorded. Most, live on the eastern part of the island. Additionally, many North American Indians living in Spanish missions in Georgia and Florida were evacuated to Spanish Cuba along with the fleeing Spanish settlers following the loss of Spanish Florida; as a result, descendants of the Calusa, Tequesta and other now-extinct indigenous peoples of Florida are now assimilated into the mainstream Cuban population. The total population in the official 1953 Census was 5,829,029 people. Intermarriage between diverse groups is so general. Cuba's birth rate is one of the lowest in the Western Hemisphere.
Its overall population has increased continuously from around 7 million in 1961 to over 11 million now, but the rate of increase has stopped in the last few decades, has turned to a decrease, with the Cuban government in 2006 reporting the first drop in the population since the Mariel boatlift. Immigration and emigration have had noticeable effects on the demographic profile of Cuba during the 20th century. Between 1900 and 1930, close to a million Spaniards arrived from Spain. Since 1959, over a million Cubans have left the island to Miami, where a vocal, well-educated and economically successful exile community exists. An autosomal study from 2014 has found out the genetic ancestry in Cuba to be 72% European, 20% African and 8% Native American. Results of the study are of Cubans in Cuba, not of the Cuban exile community in Miami or other parts of the United States, who may have different genetic profiles. Cuban genealogy has become a rising interest for Cubans in the last 15 years. A 1995 study done on the population of Pinar del Río, found that
Matanzas is the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas. Known for its poets and Afro-Cuban folklore, it is located on the northern shore of the island of Cuba, on the Bay of Matanzas, 90 kilometres east of the capital Havana and 32 kilometres west of the resort town of Varadero. Matanzas is called the City of Bridges, for the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers that traverse the city. For this reason it was referred to as the "Venice of Cuba." It was called "La Atenas de Cuba" for its poets. Matanzas is known as the birthplace of rumba. Matanzas was founded in 1693 as San Carlos y San Severino de Matanzas; this followed a royal decree issued on September 25, 1690, which decreed that the bay and port of Matanzas be settled by 30 families from the Canary Islands. Matanzas was one of the regions that saw intensive development of sugar plantations during the colonial era. Many African slaves were imported to support the sugar industry during the first half of the nineteenth century. For example, in 1792 there were 1900 slaves in Matanzas 30% of its population.
In 1817, the slave population of Matanzas had grown to 10,773, comprising nearly 50% of the overall population. By 1841, 53,331 slaves made up 62.7% of the population of Matanzas. Census figures for 1859 put the Matanzas slave population at 104,519. Matanzas was the site of several slave insurrections and plots, including the infamous Escalera conspiracy. Due to the high number of both slaves and free Afro-Cubans in Matanzas, the retention of African traditions is strong there. In 1898, Matanzas became the location of the first action in the Spanish–American War; the city was bombarded by American Navy vessels on April 25, 1898, just after the beginning of the war. The name Matanzas means "massacre" and refers to a putative slaughter at the port of the same name, in which 30 Spanish soldiers tried to cross one of the rivers to attack an aboriginal camp on the far shore; the Spanish soldiers had no boats, so they enlisted the help of native fishermen. However, once they reached the middle of the river, the fishermen flipped the boats, due to the Spanish soldiers' heavy metal armor, most of them drowned.
Only two women—one said to be the beautiful María de Estrada—survived, the result of being "taken" by a Cacique. De Estrada is said to have escaped the "power of the Cacique" and married Pedro Sánchez Farfán in the city of Trinidad; the city is located on the north shore of the island of Cuba, on all three sides of the Bay of Matanzas. The bay cuts deep in the island, three rivers flow in the bay inside city limits. To the south-east, the landscape rises into a hill called Pan de Matanzas, divided from the Atlantic coast by the Yumuri Valley and a coastal ridge; the city of Matanzas is divided into three neighborhoods: Versalles and Pueblo Nuevo. The municipality is divided into the barrios of Bachicha, Bailén, Bellamar, Camarioca, Cárcel, Ceiba Mocha, Colón, Corral Nuevo, Guanábana, Ojo de Agua, San Luis, San Severino, Simpson y Monserrate and Yumurí; the Aqueduct of Matanzas, today a national monument, was built in 1870 and is still providing the City with Water from the spring Manantial de Bello.
An ingenious construction built 1912 till 1912 by Fernando Heydrich and Company. TransportationMatanzas is served by Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, 15 km east of the city; the city has two railway stations. The main station is on the main line from Havana to Santiago de Cuba; the electrified Hershey train operates by a different route to Havana from a separate station in the barrio of Versalles. Matanzas is served by Viazul and Astro buses; the Via Blanca highway connects the city with Varadero in the east. EducationThe University of Matanzas is the province's high learning education institution. Pharmaceutical Museum - established in 1882 Museo Historico Provincial de Matanzas - Provincial History Museum Sauto Theater - Teatro Sauto - Opened in 1863, the theatre hosts plays, opera and symphonic concerts, it is a National Monument of Cuba. Catedral San Carlos De Borromeo nearby Bellamar caves a National Monument of Cuba. Boating on the Canimar River Matanzas bridges Casino Español - Now being restored.
Matanzas High School Necropolis de San Carlos Borromeo Quinta de Bellamar, heritage house and church In 2004, the municipality of Matanzas had a population of 143,706. With a total area of 317 km2, it has a population density of 453.3/km2. Eufemio Abreu, Negro league baseball player Bernardo Benes, exiled Cuban born lawyer and civic leader in Miami Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons - Afro-Cuba Artist-photography, audiovisual media, sculpture, born in Matanzas in 1959 José Cardenal - MLB player for the San Francisco Giants, California Angels, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, the Kansas City Royals Jesus Cabrera - Leading Cuban Pathologist was born in Matanzas in 1929 Leo Cárdenas - Former major league baseball player and 5-time All-Star was born in Matanzas in 1938 Rafael Cruz - Born in Matanzas in 1939. S. Senator Ted Cruz Luis García - Undefeated Light Heavyweight boxer, idle since 2011. Carlos Lamar - Olympic fencer was born in Matanzas in 1908 Héctor Lombard - Mixed martial artist, born in Matanzas in 1978 Humberto López y Guerra - Film director, born in Matanzas in 1945 Sonora Matancera, Popular
Chinese Cubans are Cubans of full or mixed Chinese ancestry who were born in or have immigrated to Cuba. They are part of the ethnic Chinese diaspora. Chinese immigration to Cuba started in 1857 when Chinese contract workers were brought to work in the sugar fields, bringing the religion of Buddhism with them. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers were brought in from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during the following decades to replace and/or work alongside African slaves. After completing eight-year contracts or otherwise obtaining their freedom, some Chinese immigrants settled permanently in Cuba, although most longed for repatriation to their homeland. Havana's Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns in Latin America; some 5,000 immigrants from the U. S. came to Cuba during the late 19th century to escape the discrimination present at the time. Another, albeit smaller wave of Chinese immigrants arrived during the 20th century, some as supporters of the communist cause during the Cuban revolution and others as dissidents escaping the authorities in China.
There were no women among the nearly male Chinese coolie population that migrated to Cuba. In Cuba some Indian, mulatto and white women engaged in carnal relations or marriages with Chinese men, with marriages of mulatto and white women being reported by the Cuba Commission Report.120,000 Cantonese'coolies' entered Cuba under contract for 8 years. Most of these men did not marry, but Hung Hui cites there was a frequency of sexual activity between black women and these Asian immigrants. According to Osberg the free Chinese practice of buying slave women and freeing them expressly for marriage was utilized at length. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Chinese men engaged in sexual activity with black Cuban women, from such relations many children were born. In the 1920s, an additional 30,000 Cantonese and small groups of Japanese arrived. CIA World Factbook. Cuba. 2008. May 15, 2008. Claimed 114,240 Chinese-Cuban coolies with only 300 pure Chinese. In the study of genetic origin and asymmetry in maternal and paternal human lineages in Cuba, thirty-five Y-chromosome SNPs were typed in the 132 male individuals of the Cuban sample.
The study does not include any people with some Chinese ancestry. All the samples were black Cubans. Two out of 132 male sample belong to East Asian Haplogroup O2, found in significant frequencies among Cantonese people is found in 1.5% of Cuban population. In the 1920s, an additional 30,000 Chinese arrived. In 1980, 4000 Chinese lived there. Two thousand Chinese, consisting of Cantonese and Hakkas, fought with the rebels in Cuba's Ten Years' War. A monument in Havana honours the Cuban Chinese who fell in the war, on, inscribed: "There was not one Cuban Chinese deserter, not one Cuban Chinese traitor."Chinese Cubans, including some Chinese-Americans from California, joined the Spanish–American War in 1898 to achieve independence from Spain, but a few Chinese, who were loyal to Spain, left Cuba and went to Spain. Racial acceptance and assimilation would come much later; when the new revolutionary government led by Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, the economic and political situation changed.
Many Chinese grocery store owners, having had their properties expropriated by the new government, left Cuba. Most of these settled in the United States nearby Florida, where they and their U. S.-born children are called Chinese-Americans or Cuban Americans of Chinese descent, while a few fled to the nearby Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries and to the U. S. territory of Puerto Rico, where they are called Chinese-Puerto Ricans, Cuban-Puerto Ricans of Chinese descent or Cuban-Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese refugees to United States include people whose ancestors came to Cuba 10 years before the Cuban Revolution and those from the United States; as a result of this exodus, the number of pure Chinese dropped in Havana’s Barrio Chino. The places to which they migrated had a unique Chinese culture and a popularity of Chinese Cuban restaurants; the Chinese Cubans fought in the Cuban war of independence on the side of those seeking independence from Spain. A memorial consisting of a broken column memorializes Chinese participation in the war of independence at the corners of L and Linea in Havana.
While many fled, some Chinese stayed after the start of Fidel Castro's rule in 1961. Younger generations are working in a wider variety of jobs than the previous generation. Many are entering show-business as song composers, actresses and models; the Barrio Chino de La Habana is no longer among the largest Chinatowns in Latin America. Most Chinese Cubans live outside Barrio Chino. Several community groups Chinatown Promotional Group, worked to revive Barrio Chino and the faded Chinese culture. Chinese Language and Arts School opened in 1993 and has grown since helping Chinese Cubans to strengthen their knowledge of the Chinese language. Today, Chinese Cubans tend to speak Mandarin, Hakka, a mixture of Chinese and Spanish, in addition to Spanish and English, they promoted small businesses, like beauty parlors, mechanical shops and small groceries, provided to them to create a view of Barrio Chino. Havana’s Barrio Chino experienced building
A principal dancer is a dancer at the highest rank within a professional dance company a ballet company. A principal may be female; the position is similar to that of soloist. Principal dancers can be hired into a dance company or can be a company dancer, a corps de ballet dancer that gets promoted from within the company; that process can take multiple performance seasons or years to achieve based on skill level and company interest. It is a coveted position in the most prominent position a dancer can receive; the term is used in ballet but can be used in other forms as well, such as modern dance. They are the star of the ballet; the term senior principal dancer is sometimes used as well. The French derived terms prima ballerina or premier danseur have been used to denote similar levels of prominence in non Anglo-Saxon companies. In the Paris Opera Ballet, principal dancers receive the title of Danseur Étoile; the traditional dance company hierarchy is designed as follows: Senior principal dancers or principal dancers Senior soloists Junior soloists Coryphées Corps de ballet Character Artists Stella Abrera Isabella Boylston Misty Copeland Sarah Lane Gillian Murphy Hee Seo Christine Shevchenko Roberto Bolle Herman Cornejo David Hallberg Daniil Simkin Cory Stearns Devon Teuscher James Whiteside PeiJu Chien-Pott Xin Ying Lloyd Knight Ben Schultz There have only been a handful of principal dancers of major ballet companies that aren't white.
Misty Copland made history in 2015 by being the first African american principal dancer in the 75 year history of the American Ballet Theater Company. Dancers of color have always been in the corps de ballet or the highest ranking achieved to be a soloist within a specific show. By this being the norm, it is harder and harder to see accurate representation or needed diversity within these major influential companies within the dance world
English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, England. Along with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great Britain. English National Ballet is one of the foremost touring companies in Europe, performing in theatres throughout the UK as well as conducting international tours and performing at special events; the Company employs 67 dancers and a symphony orchestra, there is an associate school, English National Ballet School, independent from the ballet company. The Company performs seasons at the London Coliseum and has been noted for specially staged performances at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2014 English National Ballet became an Associate Company of Sadler's Wells; the Patron of English National Ballet is HRH The Duke of York. English National Ballet was founded in 1950 by the British dance couple, Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin.
Markova and Dolin were leading stars of the Ballets Russes, one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century. After the death of its director Serge Diaghilev in 1929, the Company was disbanded and in 1931, one of its dancers, Ninette de Valois, founded the Vic-Wells Ballet Company in London, with Markova and Dolin as Principal dancers, Markova becoming Prima Ballerina in 1933. Markova and Dolin left the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1935 to tour as the Markova-Dolin Company and following the success of their performances, they decided to form their own company with the sole purpose being to tour both nationally and internationally, taking ballet to audiences that had not had the opportunity to see the art form. London Festival Ballet was founded in 1950 with the financial backing of the Polish impresario Julian Braunsweg; the name was inspired by the imminent Festival of Britain, however the Company would be renamed to today's English National Ballet. Dolin was the Company's first Artistic Director and established the Company as a touring group both nationally in the UK and Internationally, touring abroad for the first time in 1951.
Dolin introduced a number of educational programs in the early years, designed to make ballet accessible to new audiences. Dolin remained as Artistic Director until 1962, succeeded by John Gilpin, principal dancer with the Company from 1950 to 1960 and 1962 to 1971; the Company grew in size and status, undertaking extensive national and international tours, presenting a new generation of dancers—all while facing bankruptcy. Braunsweg left in 1965 and Donald Albery took over until 1968, stabilising the budget with safer programming. Former Royal Ballet dancer Beryl Grey directed the Company from 1968 to 1979, raising technical standards and inviting prominent guest stars and choreographers including Leonide Massine and Rudolf Nureyev, who picked ballerina Eva Evdokimova to be his first Princess Aurora in his production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1975. Evdokimova in turn became the prima ballerina of the Company under Grey's leadership and continued to reign under successive directors John Field and Peter Schaufuss.
It was Evdokimova who suggested to change the name to English National Ballet to reflect the Company's role as Britain's only classical ballet company dedicated to touring ballets nationwide at an affordable price for audiences. The name change was implemented in 1989. Ivan Nagy, Derek Deane and Matz Skoog directed the Company before Wayne Eagling, former head of Dutch National Ballet, took over in 2006. In April 2012, following the February sudden announcement of resignation by Eagling, principal dancer for The Royal Ballet Tamara Rojo was announced to become his successor at the end of the 2012 season, in August of that year. Artistic Directors: Sir Anton Dolin, 1950–1962 John Gilpin, 1962–1968 Dame Beryl Grey, 1968–1979 John Field, 1979–1984 Peter Schaufuss, 1984–1990 Ivan Nagy, 1990–1993 Derek Deane, 1993–2001 Matz Skoog, 2001–2006 Wayne Eagling, 2006–2012 Tamara Rojo, 2012– The Company's dancers are listed on the official website with photographs and linked biographies. Osiel Gouneo Brooklyn Mack Michael Coleman Jane Haworth Official website Postings Strictly Gershwin at the Royal Albert Hall YouTube: English Ballet Company: Swan Lake