Pina Bausch was the high priestess of dance theatre: a gaunt, chain-smoking figurehead whose penetrating vision reached both the heights and the hell of human nature, and turned the unremarkable town of Wuppertal into a place of artistic pilgrimage.
If Fidel Castro is the lifelong patriarch of the Cuban nation, Alicia Alonso is the lifelong matriarch of its national ballet. Like Cuba itself, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, which Alonso founded and still rules, is utterly distinctive: it fields world-class dancers while remaining culturally isolated from the wider ballet world.
Frederick Ashton was an outsider who became an insider. Raised in South America, he moved to the UK in 1919 and went on to embody the "English style" of ballet – lyrical rather than dramatic, preferring nuance over statement – and moved into the highest echelons of English society.