(b Vera Cruz, 13 Nov. 1923)
Mexican dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher, who is widely regarded as the most important figure in Mexican modern dance. She studied folk dance at the National School of Dance in Mexico City, music at the National Conservatory (1936) and ballet and modern dance with Estrella Morales (1938). Between 1940 and 1945 she performed with the Fine Arts Ballet and the Theater of the Arts Ballet and subsequently founded her own modern dance troupe, Ballet Waldeen, in 1946. In 1947 she co-founded the Academy of Mexican Dance, and the following year became the founding director of the National Ballet of Mexico. Initially based in Mexico City the company moved in 1991 to Queretaro, where Bravo also founded the National Center of Contemporary Dance (1991). Bravo continued dancing until 1960, and continued to direct the National Ballet of Mexico until its dissolution in 2006. Her teaching methods owed much to Martha Graham's technique, and to Feldenkrais, with whom she briefly studied. Her choreography, which featured in modern ballet, musical comedy, and drama productions, embraced a wide range of styles and subject matter, much of it with a strong Mexican theme.