Sep 232013

Petra Conti and Eris NezhaThe boat may not be sink­ing, but this sea­son finds four mem­bers of the bal­let com­pany at Milan’s La Scala mov­ing else­where, and two, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Kob­borg and Cojocaru, made it a last minute announcement.

Soloist Francesca Podini has left for Jean-Christophe Maillot’s com­pany in Monte Carlo. She is a dan­cer with a unique physique and prob­ably will find more oppor­tun­it­ies with this com­pany. Sofia Rosolini, a beau­ti­ful dan­cer who had the audi­ence flip­ping through their pro­grammes to dis­cover her name after a dazzling appear­ance in Rubies a couple of sea­sons ago, has been snapped up by the Paris Opera Bal­let. Like so many dan­cers at , she has little chance to dance on stage, as they have far fewer per­form­ances in com­par­ison with other major com­pan­ies. The decision to leave involves abandon­ing a fixed post and pen­sion,  to be able to have the pos­sib­il­ity to dance while still in peak form. Rosolini was, sur­pris­ingly, on a sea­sonal con­tract, and maybe the decision was easier for her to make. Cer­tainly not so for prin­cipal dan­cers and , who were mar­ried at the end of August, and leave a job-for-life and prin­cipal roles in one of the most beau­ti­ful theatres in the world.

They are both head­ing off to Boston Bal­let; a late decision which has left com­pany dir­ector, , fum­ing. The real­ity of their situ­ation how­ever, is that with only six to eight per­form­ances of each bal­let, and with guest dan­cers like , , , and oth­ers, it might leave Conti and Nezha with the pos­sib­il­ity of only one or two per­form­ances of a role. La Scala’s 2013–2014 sea­son has six bal­let pro­grammes… do the math!

Of the seven Gis­elles at La Scala in April, Zakhar­ova and Bolle got three, Conti and Nezha got two. Aurélie Dupont and Hervé Mor­eau danced Sasha Waltz’s Roméo et Juli­ette three times, Conti and Nezha twice. If you con­sider that Boston per­forms Nutcracker more than forty times dur­ing Decem­ber alone, and other titles have between nine and twelve per­form­ances, it is easy to see the attrac­tion. You’re only young once.

So bal­let ping-pong con­tin­ues with stars boun­cing  around from com­pany to com­pany like never before. If the lesser known names are uproot­ing too, then maybe we’re see­ing the begin­ning of bal­let glob­al­isa­tion which may change the art­form as we know it. Pre­cise com­pany styles, which even now are becom­ing blurred, may be a thing of the past.


Photo: La Scala Prin­cipals Eris Nezha and Petra Conti on their wed­ding day.

  One Response to “Ballet globalisation continues as La Scala dancers abandon ship”

  1. All I can say is good for them! All fab­ulous dan­cers who deserve to be, and should be, dan­cing on stage and although it is a huge pity for reg­u­lar La Scala vis­it­ors, not one of us can blame them. It is a massive loss for the com­pany and just high­lights how ridicu­lously rare per­form­ances of one of the world’s greatest bal­let com­pan­ies are. In the mean­time, until the powers that be wake up and Italy lifts it head out of a reces­sion, we will just have to trek the globe in order to see some of our best dan­cers dance.…

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