Cuban ballet co-founder Fernando Alonso dies at 98

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban state media say that Fernando Alonso, co-founder of Cuba’s National Ballet, has died. He was 98.

Alonso was the ex-husband of world-renowned ballerina and fellow National Ballet co-founder Alicia Alonso.

State TV announced his passing Saturday without specifying a cause of death. It says he left an “indelible mark on Cuban culture.”

Fernando Alonso began his career in 1935, and in 1937 traveled with his brother and Alicia Alonso to the United States. In 1940, he and Alicia joined the American Ballet Theatre, where they remained for eight years.

They returned to Havana in 1948 and were part of a group called the Ballet Alicia Alonso. It later became the National Ballet.

In 1975, after divorcing Alicia, Alonso took charge of the ballet of the city of Camaguey.

In 2000 he was awarded Cuba’s National Dance Prize for lifetime achievement.

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