Viengsay Valdés

Viengsay Valdés (foto Nancy Reyes)

Viengsay Valdés

Premier Dancer

Viengsay Valdés was born in Havana. She began her ballet training in the Elementary School of Ballet “Alejo Carpentier” and finished at the National School of Art, receiving important awards, including the Gold medal in the Festival of Dance in Vignale, Italy (1993) and in successive years Mention, First Prize and the Grand Prix of Ballet in youth competitions sponsored by the Cuban Union of Artists and Writers (UNEAC). In July of 1994 she graduated with Golden Diploma from the National School of Art with a degree in Dance and Choreography and the Award as best student. She joined the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1994. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1996 and to Premier Dancer in 2001.
She has been awarded two high distinctions granted by the Cuban Ministry of Culture: the Distinction for National Culture (1999) and the Medal “Alejo Carpentier” (2003), as well as the Prize for her outstanding Female interpretation (2009) granted by the Cuban Union of Artists and Writers (UNEAC). The Medal Laureate Stamp granted by the National Union of Culture (2011) and on several occasions her name has been inscribed in the Book of Honor of the Grand Theater of Havana for her outstanding performances. She won the Popularity prize in a national competition promoted by the Radio Taino station.
According to Dance Europe magazine, Viengsay Valdés occupies the fourth place among women and the sixth overall in the list of the 100 best dancers in the world for the season 2010-2011. She was also selected as the best in the same year by the American Dance Magazine as the most inspiring pairing with the Russian dancer Ivan Vasiliev at the Youth America Grand Prix Gala.
She has performed in numerous countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. Her repertoire includes leading roles in works of the romantic-classical grand tradition as well as in contemporary works by Cuban and foreign choreographers. She is a true representative of the Cuban school of ballet, which combines virtuosity, technique and artistic performance.
She has been Guest Artist to the Royal Danish Ballet, the Oporto Dance Center (Portugal), the Marinskiy Ballet (Russia), to the Washington Ballet (United States), and the National Academy of Donetsk (Ukraine).  She has also participated in numerous World Stars Galas and Festivals such as in Argentina (Rosario and Tucuman), Germany (Dessau, Dortmund and Munich), Denmark (Copenhagen), Canada (Montreal and Hamilton), South Korea (Seul), USA (New York), Spain (Madrid), France (Paris and Cannes), Hungary (Budapest), Italy (Calabria), Japan (Tokyo and Takamatsu), Mexico (Balletissimo-D.F.), Paraguay, Venezuela; Portugal (Lisbon and Oporto), Panama, Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), Czech Republic (Prague), United Kingdom (London and Manchester), Turkey (Istanbul and Ankara), Tunisia, and South Africa (Johannesburg), among others, [2nd. Ballet Contest Gala in Istanbul, Turkey, to the 17th Ballet Stars World in Donetsk, Ukraine (2010); 21st Century Stars Gala  Panamá; Today’s and Tomorrow’s Stars Gala, New York, United States; Gala “Viva Alicia”, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow;
11th International Ballet Festival at the Marinskiy Theatre, St. Petersburg; International Ballet Gala, held at the Montecasino Theatre, Johannesburg (2011);  International Ballet Festival “Rudolf Nureyev”, Kazán, Russian Federation (2012); Stars of the Dance, Dominican Republic (2012); Gala Youth American Grand Prix, Nueva York; Puerto Rican Ballet Concierto (2013); Gala Dance of the Americas, Merida, Mexico (2013 and 2014), Homage Gala IHO Alicia Alonso, Johannesburg, South Africa;  Festival Contemporary Iberica,  Queretaro, Mexico (2013); 3rd. Ballet Gala, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Gala 20th Anniversary of the Oporto Dance Center,  Portugal, and the Charity Gala (Benéfica), Oviedo,  Spain (2014)].

Reviews:
«Viengsay Valdés gave light to her performance of the Sylvia pas de deux, effortlessly and without striving for effect.  This is a quality inherent to the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Her balances in arabesque, her exquisite port de bras and the confidence of her school were brilliant. »
Silvia Gsell. La Nación, Argentina, 1998.

«Viengsay Valdés as Myrtha was an example of classic glacial coldness and beautiful line: a glory to admire.»
Victoria Looseleaf. La Opinión. United States, 1999

«Ms. Valdés, small, powerful and able to bring the house down with sustained balances on one foot as well as multiple pirouettes, took the audience into her embrace.»
Anna Kisselgoff. The New York Times, United States, 2001

«Viengsay Valdés is the name which will be common knowledge during this Cuban season. At least that is what predicts her first performance in the evening premiere of Swan Lake. Valdés was already among the best dancers. With physical features as an antique ballerina, expressive from heart to head, with astonishing technical and theatrical confidence, she was impressive as a diva.»
Julia Martín. El Mundo. Madrid, Spain, 2002

«Viengsay Valdés was exquisite in the excerpts (The Magic of the Dance) of Giselle and expressive, gentle, and taking possession of the stage in Swan Lake.»
Julio Bravo. ABC. Spain, 2002

«…Ms. Valdés remains a charmer, and her virtuosity is unquestioned.»
Anna Kisselgoff. The New York Times. United States, 2003

«”Viengsay Valdés is a charming and moving Giselle that goes from deceived innocence until harrowing tragedy, and later to the ghastly compassion with sweet grace, deploying all the time a magnificent technique.»
Clement Crisp. Financial Times. England, 2005

«Viengsay Valdés is the owner of an incredible technical mastery that caused the applauses of the audience with her spectacular balances.»
Luciene de Oliveira. Lucky Assesorie de Prensa. Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2006.

In Don Quixote: «Her balances are endless and triumphant sustained; her turns are so quick that you lose the moment in which they start.»
Sarah Crompton. The Daily Telegraph. England, 2006.

«In a special way Viengsay Valdés is outstanding, a sublime dancer with a beautiful port de bras movement and some heart attack balances that dazzled in the Odette role, subtle and marvelously ethereal, and that of Odile, where she deployed a great seduction capacity to attract Prince Siegfried.»
Montse G. Otzet.  El periódico de Cataluña. Barcelona, Spain, 2008.

«Special mention deserves the performance by Viengsay, for which there are no words: her powerful and seductive performance in her double role as Odette and Odile deserves the adjectives of splendid, moving, sublime and perverse.»
Carmen del Val. El País. Barcelona, Spain, 2008.

«The performance wouldn’t have been the same without Valdes’s infectious high spirits and truly splendid technique.»
Sarah Kaufman. The Washington Post. Washington, United States, 2009

In Don Quixote: «Valdés is an excellent technical dancer […] …a spirited Kitri in the first act, a softly enticing Dulcinea in the second, before getting down to business and turning in a medal-winning level grand pas de deux»
Alexandra Tomalonis. Dance View Times. Washington, United States, 2009

«She displayed the power and play-to-the-audience tactics for which the Cuban company is famous [Ballet Nacional de Cuba] and brought down the house in the last act with extended -and outstanding- miracles of balance.»
Jean Battey Lewis. Washington Times. Washington, United States, 2009.

In Swan Lake: «Viengsay Valdés masters the double leading role with a line composition that she allows to flow with total security and some licenses in the action, mainly as Odile, where she crowns the spectacular with authentic theatrical licentiousness, with goddess’s weapons.»
Julia Martin. El Mundo. Madrid, Spain, 2009

«Viengsay Valdés, who is considered one of the great Kitris of this time, and believe me, this is the way it is.»
Jill Sykes. The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia, 2010

«The incredibly long balances of Viengsay Valdés – interpreted to impress and she got it – what was really moving. […] She is a special dancer, of those that can be imposed on an audience of two thousand people with a simple movement of lashes […] In a resolutely series of vertiginous fouettes, she turns everything blurred. When she carries out a balance, time stops.»
Sarah Kaufman. The Washington Post. United States, 2011.

In Don Quixote: «In particular, premier dancer Viengsay Valdés as Kitri combined great stage presence with outstanding skill.  It´s not surprise that she is rated the sixth best dancer in the world […] Viengsay Valdés electrified the audience with her performance.»
Kevin Griffin. The Vancouver Sun.  Canada, 2012.

«Viengsay Valdés, adorned as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the ballet Nutcracker, showed all her arsenal, that way of dancing, in which technique, interpretation and passion, turn into the art of movement.»
Toni Piñera. Granma, Havana, Cuba, 2013

 

Don Quijote [Viengsay Valdés] Foto Jacques Moatti