Coverart for item
The Resource Alicia Alonso : prima ballerina, by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand ; illustrated by Raúl Colón

Alicia Alonso : prima ballerina, by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand ; illustrated by Raúl Colón

Label
Alicia Alonso : prima ballerina
Title
Alicia Alonso
Title remainder
prima ballerina
Statement of responsibility
by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand ; illustrated by Raúl Colón
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A biography of Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso
Award
Notable Books for a Global Society, 2012.
Review
  • Gr 4 – 8 — An informative, beautifully illustrated introduction to the world-renowned dancer. Alonso's focused life and illustrious career are made even more remarkable by the fact that she lost her peripheral vision at age 19 and had to learn to visualize both the stage set and the dance itself in order to execute spins and lifts, and to choreograph ballets. The book is a chronological compilation of defining moments in the dancer's life. Each one is presented as a titled one-page piece in abbreviated poetic prose; many face full-page textured paintings rendered in ColÃ3n's distinctive mix of watercolor, colored, and lithograph pencils. Alonso's story begins at age five when-wrapped in tulle from her mother's store of sewing materials-she was drawn to dancing. ("Like light, she's barely aware/of the floor beneath her dancing feet.") Cuban born in 1921, she was raised as a child of privilege and studied ballet in order to "learn poise, grace, and good posture," but traveled to New York with her dancing partner, whom she married at age 16; bore a child; and immediately returned to ballet. She danced in the U.S. and, eventually, in Russia and Europe, and formed her own ballet troupe, funded by Fidel Castro. Alonso's life is recapped in detailed endnotes. The sophistication of presentation and content that involves the woman's driving strength to succeed in facing both personal setbacks and negative political influences make this a book for older audiences.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH --Susan Scheps (Reviewed September 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 9, p180)
  • /* Starred Review */ 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. Spiced with the Spanish of her native Cuba and full of poignant detail (her husband-to-be, seeing her dance, decides on the spot to study ballet so he can be her partner), Bernier-Grand's account does not flinch from Alonso's complex relationship with the Cuban government ("Why do you find killings by Castro/ more acceptable than killings by Batista?" picket signs read), nor from the physical punishment that is the reality of dance ("Dry blood has glued her toe shoes to her feet"). ColÃ3n's (Play Ball!) portraits have the dramatic scale of Depression-era murals; they capture Alonso's grace and celebrate her strength, too. There's little frilliness; Alonso's will to live and to dance seems like a force of nature, and the story, which follows her from childhood through her professional career and into retirement, has the scope of an adult work. Ages 10–up. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 11, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 28, p)
  • A biography in poems and pictures of the prima ballerina assoluta of Cuba, who thrilled audiences for decades with her extraordinary technique and beautiful interpretations of Giselle and other classics. Alonso danced flamenco as a child, but because "ballet dancing / tastes better / than chocolate ice cream," she chose it as her lifelong passion. Loss of peripheral vision early in her career and, years later, near total blindness never deterred her. After wooing audiences in New York City and across America, she returned to Cuba in 1959 when Fidel Castro funded her Ballet National de Cuba and remained steadfastly and controversially loyal to him and his government. America closed its doors to her until a triumphant return to New York in 1975 in Swan Lake. Bernier-Grand writes in short, free-verse vignettes that beautifully capture each step in Alonso's personal life and career. 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. ColÃ3n's signature scratchboard illustrations in warm tones of blue, green and gold capture the colors of Cuba, the ethereal stage settings of Alonso's greatest triumphs and her elegance and grandeur. She has been a ballerina, a teacher, a Cuban and a role model for those with handicaps. Truly a noteworthy life, poignantly rendered here. (notes, bibliography) (Picture books/biography. 8-14)(Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2011)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10018599
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • 590L
  • Decoding demand: 90 (very high)
  • Semantic demand: 99 (very high)
  • Syntactic demand: 75 (high)
  • Structure demand: 86 (very high)
Intended audience source
  • Lexile
  • Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 8
Nature of contents
bibliography
Reading level
3.6
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Colón, Raúl
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Alonso, Alicia
  • Alonso, Alicia
  • Ballerinas
  • Ballet dancers
  • Cuba
  • Cuba
Target audience
pre adolescent
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
prima ballerina
Label
Alicia Alonso : prima ballerina, by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand ; illustrated by Raúl Colón
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 60-61)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
882930
Dimensions
28 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
64 pages
Isbn
9780761455622
Lccn
2010018269
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780761455622
Label
Alicia Alonso : prima ballerina, by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand ; illustrated by Raúl Colón
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 60-61)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
882930
Dimensions
28 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
64 pages
Isbn
9780761455622
Lccn
2010018269
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780761455622

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