Undated photo shows late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro meeting with Cuba's prima ballerina Alicia Alonso in Havana, Cuba. World-renowned prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso died on Thursday at the age of 98, the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) has said in a release. (Photo by Joaquin Hernandez/Xinhua)
HAVANA, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- World-renowned prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso died on Thursday at the age of 98, the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) has said in a release.
Alonso, whose dance company became the BNC and served as its director, passed away due to a cardiovascular disease at Havana's Center for Clinical and Surgical Research, where she had been taken earlier in the day.
She was considered a living legend in the world of ballet, and known for her performances of Giselle and Carmen, as well as her work in promoting the Cuban School of Ballet worldwide.
Born Alicia Martinez, Alonso founded her own dance company in 1948. Following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro increased funding for arts, encouraging Alonso to establish the award-winning BNC.