Dancing with Roberto Bolle

Excellence Magazine interviews Roberto Bolle, the first dancer in the world to become an étoile of The Teatro alla Scala in Milan and a principal dancer of the american ballet theater in New York at the same time

Dance and music are the greatest sources of energy on Earth

Roberto Bolle is the protagonist of a modern fairy tale that combines the best of art and beauty with a feeling of peace.
His life is constantly evolving, always searching for excellence.
It is impossible not to be enchanted by this great dancer during his shows, because his energy manages to captivate even the noninitiate.
Roberto Bolle also gets credit for bringing ballet back to TV with his own show, called “Danza con Me” (Dance with Me), which has been opening Rai1’s yearly schedule for the past three years. The show garnered great acclaim from audiences and critics alike, winning the 2018 Rose D’Or for the best entertainment program in Europe.

roberto bolle
Roberto Bolle – Ondance-© Laura Ferrari

What drives you to always strive to improve, to challenge yourself?
This is one of the most important things I’ve learned from dance, which is, by definition, a constantly evolving form of art. A constant struggle against gravity, a constant aspiration for perfection.

Several years ago, you launched the “Roberto Bolle and Friends” dance Gala, with many international dancers and choreographers. How did you manage to create such a harmonious collaboration?
I always try to develop my Galas with the aim of captivating both dance experts and people who have never seen a ballet before, by keeping a very high quality in terms of both pieces and performers. Thanks to my international experiences and my travels, I can keep myself updated on new choreographies and upcoming talents that I always try to feature in my shows. I also love mixing different genres, to give the public a broader vision of styles and eras, drawing equal inspiration from the 19th century repertoire as well as the contemporary one.

London was your talent scout. What did this city represent for you?
London has always been very important for my growth. That is where I got my first major international role, which was my steppingstone to the rest of the world. I am still very close to this city, and I will return as soon as possible for a great Gala at the Royal Opera House. What impressed you the most during your first time in New York?
Everything. ABT is a different world: during the two months I spent at the Metropolitan, it has proven itself to be a great, well-oiled machine, with an unmatched combination of casts and shows. My first time, with Alessandra Ferri, was a surprising, incredible joy. At the time I was a guest artist, and the New York audience welcomed me with an enthusiasm that moved me. Over the years I have become the company’s principal dancer, but that enthusiasm has never waned.

roberto bolle
Roberto Bolle – Ph. Sergio Goglia

You are the first classical dancer to turn dance into a tool to communicate and to foster peace between people from different backgrounds and social classes. How was the OnDance project born?
This project was first conceived in 2017 and started in 2018. The city of Milan, which is always very open to such initiatives, played an important role. I was inspired by events such as the Salone del Mobile, a real dialogue between the creators and the public.
Despite the social distancing measures, you haven’t stopped working and, instead, you have developed a new avantgarde project through OnDance. What is it about?
We created a beautiful and complex project that I am especially proud of, because I think it succeeded in attracting more people towards the world of dance, as well as helping them through these difficult times. Thanks to OnDance, during the lockdown we offered a packed calendar of free lessons (including every style, from jazz to ballet), meetings, advice – we kept company to so many people, we entertained them, we helped them keep in shape. We held each other close. Some of these activities are still available: they are a permanently opened window on the world of dance, every day.

Can you share your latest dream?
Firstly, I want to say that I would’ve never imagined that I would achieve everything I did – reality has far exceeded all my childhood dreams. Today I have many important projects, all aimed at promoting dance: I would like it to be studied in every school, it should be encouraged, valued, promoted, because it represents a wonderful part of our cultural heritage.

Written by Claudia Spano

cover: photo credit Sergio Goglia

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