First Dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba and
Director of Alihaydee Carreño Ballet School.
Alihaydée Carreño was born in Havana in 1973. She began her dance training at the age of ten at the Havana Provincial Ballet School in 1983 and in 1991 finished her studies at the National School of Art. Among its distinguished teachers were Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso, Ramona de Sáa, Josefina Méndez, Loipa Araújo, Aurora Bosch, Mirtha Plá, Lázaro Carreño, Laura Alonso, Joaquín Banegas, Karemia Moreno, Rosa Elena Álvarez and Cristina Álvarez among others. As a student she won several important awards and prizes:
• First Prize at the National Ballet Festival and at the School of Modern Dance in Havana – 1988.
• Medal and Diploma of Honor for the Best Couple and Special Prize for the Best Young Dancer at the International Dance Festival of Chiclayo, Peru – 1989.
• First Prize for the Best Female Interpretation in the National Dance Competition of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba – 1990.
In 1991, upon graduation, she was awarded the Gold Medal and received a Best Student Award from the National Festival of Ballet and Schools of Modern Dance. In that same year she joined the ranks of the Cuban National Ballet under the artistic-technical direction of Alicia Alonso. In 1993 she was promoted to the Principal Dancer category of this great institution and from 1995 to First Dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba. In 1998, she was handed the Medal for National Culture, for his artistic merits and his great career by the Minister of Cultural Affairs.
Ms. Carreño’s repertoire includes prominent roles and soloists in ballets of the great romantic-classical tradition such as: La Fille Mal Gardée, Giselle, Grand Pas de Quatre, La Sylphide, Napoli, La Vivandière, Flowers of Genzano, Sleeping Beauty, The Silfide and the Scotsman, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Paquita, La Bayadera, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, Flames of Paris, The Death of a Swan, Diana and Actaeon, Grand Pas Classique, Raymonda, Talisman, Esmeralda, Manon; and also Mikhail Fokine’s The Sylphides, Balanchine Pas de Deux Sylvia and Cinderella (versions by Ben Stevenson and Pedro Consuegra).
From the contemporary repertoire, Ms. Carreño has played leading roles in Time out of Memory by Brian McDonald, At Night by Jerome Robbins, Harlequin Millions by Pedro Consuegra, Tablada by Juan Carlos Santamaría, Rara Avis, Muñecos and Tarde en la Siesta by Alberto Méndez. The Lady of the Camellias by John Neumeier, Carmen de Alberto Alonso, Flora by Gustavo Herrera, The Challenge and Percussion Time by Hilda Rivero, and The Comedy and dance and Shakespeare and their Masks by Alicia Alonso.
Performances abroad with the National Ballet of Cuba.
Ms. Carreño has performed in Italy, The United States of America, Spain, France, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Andorra, The People’s Republic of China, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, French Guyana and the Bahamas, among others.
She was invited as a Star to the Municipal Ballet Theater of Santiago de Chile where she danced Giselle, Cinderella, The Nutcracker (Pas de Deux) and Diana and Acteón, (1996). At the 1999 International Star Gala in Oslo, Norway (Opera House), she danced Cinderella and Don Quixote. She was invited by the Washington Ballet where she played Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Septime Webre. (2001).
Mrs. Carreño has had as partenaires some of the leading figures of the Cuban National Ballet such as Osmay Molina, Victor Gili, Oscar Torrado, Liens Chang, Jorge Vega among others, as well as international stars such as the Argentines Julio Bocca, Luis Ortigoza and Leonardo Reale, the Mexican Jaime Vargas, the Spaniards Joaquín de Luz and Ángel Corella and the Cubans Lazaro Carreño, José Manuel Carreño, Carlos Acosta and Rolando Sarabia.
In August 2005, she joined the National Classical Ballet Company of the Dominican Republic as first dancer, where she danced classical, neoclassical and contemporary repertoire. She participated with this company in several international festivals and galas. At the same time she taught at the National Ballet School of the Conservatory of Dance and acted as maître in the Dominican National Ballet Company.
In February 2007 she was invited by the Cuban Classic Ballet of Miami to dance the leading role in Giselle with Osmay Molina at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach.
That same year in Santo Domingo, she danced in “Gala de las Estrellas” with his cousin José
Manuel Carreño, principal dancer of The American Ballet Theater.
In 2009 she was invited by the Camagüey Ballet Company (Cuba) to dance Giselle at the Gran Teatro García Lorca in Havana. That same year she was invited by the Miami Classical Ballet to dance Nutcracker.
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In 2010 she danced at several International Galas in Houston, Los Angeles and Monterrey (Mexico).
In 2011 she was invited to dance at the Miami International Ballet Festival: Pas de Deux de Romeo y Julieta, with Rolando Sarabia. This same year she was invited to dance at The Gala of Stars in Los Angeles.
In 2012 she was invited again to the Miami International Ballet Festival: Manon Pas de Deux with the Dominican dancer Marcos Rodríguez.
The same year she was invited to different Festivals:
• VI International Ballet Festival in Cali, Colombia
• International Ballet Week in San Juan, Puerto Rico
• International Star Gala of the Ballet Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
In 2013 she danced “Pop in Puntas”, by two great Dominican choreographers Carlos Veitía and Isadora Bruno with the Compañía Dominicana. Months later the same production was presented in Miami. In 2013 she was invited to dance at the Miami International Ballet Festival: The death of a swan and The Genzano Flower Festival, with the Cuban dancer Raydel Cáceres.
In 2014 she moved to Miami and decided to stop dancing and dedicated herself to teach at different schools and as an essayist for the students who wanted to prepare for national and international competitions.
In August of 2019 she opened her Alihaydée Carreño Ballet School.
«Alihaydée Carreño performed a more earthy Giselle in Act 1, and an immense and moving spirit in Act II. Without a doubt, she was convincing in giving that feeling of love lost forever, and there was more longing in his eyes than what is expressed in most dancers with all their bodies … It was Carreño who reminds us of Alonso’ Giselle »~ Octavio Roca, San Francisco Chronicle, United States, 1999.
“(…) The extraordinary technical qualities of Alihaydée Carreño and her dramatic strength turned last night’s ballet into something completely different… This experienced dancer knows how to perform the complete version of a ballet and focus attention in all forms possible, subtle and musically dynamic. After Romeo kissed the neck of his Julieta, and seeing the small steps she made, it seemed that she could hear the fluttering of her heart. ~ Sarah Kaufmann. Washington Post. United States, 2001.
«Alihaydée Carreño has naughtiness, seductiveness, and gives the ideal personality to the role of Lissette. [La fille mal gardée] »~ Silvia Gsell, La Nación, Argentina, 1998.
“Alihaydée Carreño was an intrepid dancer. With her strong stage personality, she reached her highest point with Odile (the black swan); her evil gaze and her fast and firm fouettés caught the eyes of the spectators. She was also great like Odette (the white swan), her outstretched arms seemed supernatural (…) “~ Carmen del Val. El País. Spain, 2001
“(…) the Tivoli Theater in Barcelona had a star that shone with its own light and in the end it was the most outstanding feature of the performance: The exalted Odette / Odile by Alihaydée Carreño, a talented dancer who has shown the best pure technique of the Cuban ballet school. Carreño has everything to dazzle: the performative force, as well as an extraordinary technical quality. The contrast raised between her two characters was clear and convincing, in particular her fascinating black swan. Her jumps were perfect and the way she kept them with her twists and turns were impressive, as well as his dominating arms, the highest expression of his dance line (…) “~ Pablo Meléndez-Haddad. A B C. Spain, 2001.
“(…) A different pleasure was offered last night when Alihaydée Carreño demonstrated that she is a brilliant dancer and an irrefutable example of the formidable technical force of Cuban ballet. Mrs. Carreño is also an accomplished actress…” ~ Jean Battey Lewis. The Washington Times. United States, 2001.
“(…) Alihaydée Carreño has an attractive presence and a silky smooth technique” ~ Clive Barnes, New York Post, United States, 1998
“Cinderella (Alihaydée Carreño) had the most difficult part: a relentless and virtuous job at the ends, it was extraordinary that she could dance the final sequence so well… Carreño was a bubbly and attractive Cinderella …” ~ Laura Bleiberg. The Orange County Register, United States, 1998.
“Alihaydée Carreño played Swanilda, an ideal selection in any role, Alihaydée was magnificent in this playful and tempestuous comedy of intrigue and also performed to a large extent the balance and pointe skills tests at the pas de deux wedding …” ~ Lewis Segal. Los Angeles Times. United States, 2001.