The legacy of Josefina (1941-2007), one of the jewels of Cuban National Ballet, remains intact in the memory of classical dance lovers, who today celebrate what would have been her 75th birthday.
From an early age Mendez became interested in the art of ballet and studied with Alberto, Fernando and Alicia Alonso, founders of the Cuban National Ballet, a company with which she shone on the European, Asian, and American stages.
During her career she danced important roles in classical ballets among them: ‘Giselle’ ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘La Fille Mal Gardee’, and ‘Grand Pas de Quatre’.
Awarded in 2003 with the National Dance Prize and considered one of the most important figures of the national performing arts, Mendez also excelled as a teacher of several generations of dancers, devoting much of her time as a ballet mistress with the world renown Cuban National Ballet.
Described by critics as the “beautiful queen of tragedy”, Mendez received several national and international awards during her career, but her biggest prize was, no doubt, the applause of her fans.