Roberto Bolle: dancers need a perfect body, a great face, and passion

Roberto Bolle in Fashionisto, Fall 2013For the autumn/fall issue of Fashionisto, has been photographed by Brent Chua for a fashion shoot wearing Prada, Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana.

Bolle is a Principal with the American Ballet Theatre and an Étoile at La Scala. While slipping out of his Prada jacket and pulling on his Armani trousers, he talked about the differences:

In America, it’s different because there are dancers who come here from all over the world, Cuba, Russia, and from Italy… it’s really an international company with the best dancers in the world. In Italy, it’s very different. Dancers go to school in and they want to join the company where most of the dancers are Italian. It’s a good company but it’s not comparable.

I wonder how soon it is before the La Scala management read that!

Roberto Bolle in Fashionisto, Fall 2013
Roberto Bolle in Fashionisto, Fall 2013

is famously enamoured with fashion, but no ballet dancer has done as many fashion spreads as Roberto Bolle.

It’s quite normal to become involved in fashion when you live in Milan. I remember, at 20, I received invitations to see the fashion shows in Milan. I became a friend of Stefano Gabbana, Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani and all the major designers.

Ballet is hard #1:

Dancing is hard work but at the end of the day it’s an expression of emotion. It’s the most beautiful thing for a dancer to express the emotion of their character. You feel the emotion and you give it to the public.

Ballet is hard #2:

Ballet life is very difficult and demanding. You have to possess a lot of qualities. Nowadays a ballet dancer has to have a perfect body, great face, movement and the passion to dance.

Certain famous dancers of the (recent) past wouldn’t have even begun their careers had these rules been in place then! Bolle meanwhile will grace the cover of another few magazines in the build-up to his Roberto Bolle and Friends in New York on 17 September.

Roberto Bolle and Friends is at the New York City Center on 17 September 2013.


  1. Guy-Paul de St Germain says

    I`m a little shocked by his last declaration (“Bal­let is hard #2″)…
    Not everyone is blessed at birth with the body of a Greek statue and a beautiful face like him. That doesn`t mean they will not be dancers. How narrow minded to declare such things. There are everywhere in the world ballet dancers who are not going to walk the runways and befriend all the top designers but as soon as they start dancing people forget their imperfections.
    Sincerely, I`m really disturbed with this quote.
    Maybe he should stop giving interviews if he`s going to make this kind of statements. Stick to dancing Roberto Please!!!

  2. Bastian says

    As regard to his statement titled “Ballet is hard”.

    What can I say? He’s an excellent dancer but modesty doesn’t seem to be his best feature. This is not the first interview where you can see certain amount of vanity in his words.
    I can understand that an artist needs to have a strong ego to perform on stage. Otherwise, exposing yourself in front of the public would be an extremely difficult task. But I think that Roberto’s ego is becoming too strong lately.

    • says

      Mar­cia Hay­dée was indeed a beau­ti­ful ballerina, one of my favourites. But if today’s requirements are these she wouldn’t get off the starting blocks: her face wasn’t made for magazine covers, her body wasn’t perfect for dance either, but when she moved the magic happened… that’s dancing!

  3. Yegor says

    According to Roberto Bolle:ugly people can’t dance,The Scala is a provincial company and if you are born in Milan you already have one foot in the fashion industry….

  4. Gabe B B says

    His comment about physical beauty in ballet hurt because there is truth to it; it might even be completely true. All of you know this. At least most of the men in ballet I’ve heard of who are star dancers have great-looking faces of some kind to go along with a fit body and dancing talent.

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