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 rawards, including the Gold medal in the Festival of Dance in Vignale, Italy (1993) and in succesive years Mention, First Prize and the Grand Prix of Ballet in the youth competition sponsored by the Cuban Union of Artists and Writers (UNEAC). In July of 1994 Ms. Valdes graduated from the National School of Art with a degree in Dance and Choreography and the Award as best student. She immediately joined Ballet Nacional . She was promoted Principal Dancer in 1996 and to Premier Dancer in 2001.

She has been awarded two high awards granted by the Cuban Ministry of Culture : the Medal Distinction of e Culture (1999) and the distinguished 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 the Culture (2011) and on several ccasions her name has been inscribed in the Book of Honor of the Grand Theatre Havane for her outstanding performances. She won the prize of the most popularity in a national competition promoted by Radio station Taino.

With the Cuban company, she has performed in important theatres of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Afrika. 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, tecnique and artistic performance.

She has been a Guest Artist in several companies such as the Royal Danish Ballet where she danced the role of Kitri (Don Quixote), the Oporto Dance Center (Portugal), the Maryyiinsky Ballet (Russia), to The Washington Ballet (United States), the National Academy of Donetsk (Ukrani€). She performanced “Giselle” with the Ankara Ballet of Turkey and in 2011 she was invited as guest for the leading rol in Carmen’s Suite for closing the XI International Festival of Ballet Mariinsky in St. Petersburg and in the YAGP Gala 2011 in New York City Center.

She has worked with the Company of Audiovisual of the Cuban Institute of Art and Film Industry (ICAIC) in the realization of two Videos.

She has received excellent reviews in the national and specialized press, at home and abroad.

According to the magazin Dance Europe Viengsay 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. Also she was 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 Youth America Gran Prix Gala: “Sheer fireworks in Don Q”.

She has also participated in numerous Galas and Festivals such as in Argentina (Rosario and Tucuman), Germany (Dessau, Dortmund and Munich), Denmark (Copenhagen), Canada (Montreal and Hamilton), South Korea (Seúl), 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 Port wine), Panama, Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), R.Checa (Prague), United Kingdom (London and Manchester), Turkey (Istambul and Ankara), Tunisia, South Africa (Johanesburgo), among others.

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

«The female star of the evening was Viengsay Valdés (Swanilda) who displayed breathtaking poise and rock solid assurance in multiple turns and balance on pointes, always ending with perfect assurance.»
Philip Anson. On the Aisle, 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 Don Quixote: «The audience thanked even with heel stamps the multiple and precise turns by Viengsay Valdés. They were amazed by her endless balances in the pas de deux of the third act, always ending with a wide and boastful smile that caused new acclamations.»
Laura Domingo Agüero. Culture-Actualité. France, 2007.

«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 Kitri character, performed by premier dancer Viengsay Valdés is really exceptional.»
Andrea Ottonelo. Corriente Mercantile, Genoa, Italy, 2009.

«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. Danceviewtimes. 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