Alicia Alonso by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Prima Ballerina

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Alicia Alonso’s artistic achievements are remarkable, considering that she became partially blind and lost her peripheral vision at age nineteen. From childhood, she exhibited a passion for dancing, studying first in Cuba and later in New York City, where she became an overnight sensation in Giselle and was promoted to principal dancer in Ballet Theater. Returning to Cuba in 1948, she founded her own company, which eventually folded due to lack of funding. In 1959 the Cuban government gave her enough money to establish a new dance school, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, which Alonso directs to this day. In elegant free verse and stunning artwork rendered in watercolor, colored pencils, and lithograph pencils on watercolor paper, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and Raúl Colón capture the seminal events in Alonso’s life. The back matter includes a biography, Alonso’s ballets, choreography, and awards, a glossary, sources, notes, and websites.

About Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

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Carmen T. Bernier-Grand is a national award winning author of eleven books for children and young adults. She teaches writing at the Whidbey Island MFA, a program of Northwest Literary Arts, at Writers in the Schools, a program of Oregon Literary Arts, and at Wordstock.In 2008, The Oregon Library Association's Children's Division gave her the Evelyn Lampman Award for her significant contribution to the children of Oregon in the field of children's literature. Bernier-Grand was born in Puerto Rico but lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her bilingual dog, Lily.
Published January 5, 2012 by Two Lions. 67 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books.

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Particularly touching is the poem "Dancing Fingers," which describes Alonso dancing Giselle with her fingers as she lies in bed with bandaged eyes after surgery.

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina

Publishers Weekly

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Bernier-Grand's (Diego: Bigger than Life) free-verse picture-book biography follows one of 20th-century ballet's most gifted—and steeliest—ballerinas, tracing her climb to the rank of prima ballerina assoluta and her battle to continue dancing as she loses her sight.

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina

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