The Bournonville school was formed by Danish ballet master August Bournonville in the mid 1800s. Essentially, to view the Bournonville method performed is to step back into the past; it's a preservation of 19th century French classical dance, which has for the most part disappeared from use. It is performed with an understated grace exemplified by lowered eyes, arms primarily at first position (or "preperatoire"), and quick footwork.
"After that, we'll have the National Ballet of Cuba, under the artistic direction of Alicia Alonso, who was born of the Legends of the Dance world. The fact that this woman is still traveling with the company is a special treat for our audiences," Morr said. "When you think about the legacy that this company has created for their tiny little country, and how she has kept them in the foreground of the arts world today, it's really a miracle."
Since founding the company with her husband in 1948, Alonso, one of the world's greatest ballerinas, has blended the formal training and romanticism of the European schools with Latin flair. Her company's dancers earn about $30 a month of income, which in Cuba is comparable with the country's top doctors and professionals.