Archive Page - 08/16/13 41 years, 2,180 covers and 55,278 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Kaitlyn Smith's Blog: 'I Have Not Gotten On a Scale Yet'
- The Style Top 5: Amal Clooney Brings Her Glam Street Style to NYC, Iggy Azalea Gets Candid About Her Body and More
- Zayn's Best Moments with One Direction
- Spring Cleaning Tips from Interior Designer Nate Berkus
- VIDEO: Fear the Walking Dead: Los Angeles Is Hit with a 'Strange Virus' in First Promo
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- April 18, 1977
- Vol. 7
- No. 15
Having Conquered Blindness and Political Barriers, 'the Languid Spitfire' Returns from Cuba
Alonso was also a fervently patriotic Cuban. In 1948 she founded a ballet troupe in her island homeland and nurtured it until 1956 when she closed down in protest over the Batista dictatorship. When Castro's rebel army entered Havana in January 1959, a tearful Alonso welcomed him with a special performance. For her loyalty to the Cuban leader, Alonso was prohibited from entering the U.S. to dance for 15 years.
Last month, Alonso, now 55, received a special visa for a nostalgic reunion in Chicago with her favorite U.S. company, the American Ballet Theatre. Anti-Castro protesters picketed outside the Lyric Opera of Chicago, but inside the audience was on its feet in tribute. Alonso and her 25-year-old partner, Jorge Esquivel, had wrung every ounce of dramatic power from their pas de deux. Wrote one critic, "She doesn't dance, she burns."
Unknown to most of the public, Alonso's long career has been a triumph over near blindness. In 1942, Alonso underwent the first of four operations for detached retinas. "There was a long time when she could only see light," says daughter Laura, 38, herself a dancer. "When she danced, people had to tell her to stop and go. One performance there was a bright light at the rear of the stage and she turned around and started to dance backwards." After a fifth operation for removal of cataracts, Alonso thought for two years she would never dance again. But in 1974 she resumed her career—against doctors' advice—and began to train under Laura's supervision. "Such trust is the greatest compliment a mother could give a daughter," says Laura.
Now that the ban on travel to Cuba has been lifted, Alonso hopes to bring her 94-member Ballet Nacional de Cuba—lavishly supported by Castro—to the U.S. (Among its members is Alonso's teenage grandson, Ivan.) "Most artists have to have roots," she says. "But the fruit of their art is for everyone to enjoy."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!