The Bolle and Friends tour is in full swing, and one of the stops is Istanbul where Roberto Bolle was photographed last month. He talked to Giancarlo Dotto for Italy's Gioia magazine:
Would you have given Natalie Portman the Oscar for Black Swan?
I would have, yes, until I found out that she was not doing the more complicated steps. She said that she'd been working hard for nine months before filming, and that she'd studied dance as a child. However, it was her head on another's body. Therefore I would have taken her Oscar away. As an actress she can be wonderful, but to take credit for something you didn't do…
The director of the film, Darren Aronofsky, hit hard with some disturbing images.
I was disturbed by the transformation scenes because you can't tell whether it's real or imagined. I didn't like the ballet world associated with these excesses. Many viewers could think that this madness, the extreme rivalry, food problems, the obsession with the body, make up our world. It's not like that. To dance at a high level you can't be mentally or physically disturbed.
Is it possible to be an artist without a certain amount of mental disorder?
I'm the proof!
I'm sure that you must get many maniacs trying to discover your dark side.
True. It's a type of fixation…
I won't even try… But Nureyev had a dark side, and how!
He had a certain craziness. But the quality of an artist is not in the craziness, but in the sensitivity.
How much do you train a day?
More than six hours when preparing for a show. When I'm doing a ballet not less than three hours.
Do you live by yourself in Milan?
Yes. When I get home in the evening, I usually throw myself on the bed more dead than alive. If I'm not too tired I look at the email, go on to Facebook…
You have a Facebook profile?
I have two. One professional, the other personal, under a disguise. I have 17 friends.
… What did you give up to become Roberto Bolle?
From 15 until I was 25 it was only study and work. No time for me, to do things with my friends. I've always done very little socially. Now it's my choice, before it wasn't.
And the 17 Facebook friends?
They're not all intimate friends. One I don't even know. I made a wrong click and found myself with a stranger on board! He doesn't even know that it's me.
… There is a morbid fascination to know whether you are gay or not.
The ‘Artist' is a social animal like everyone else? Maybe the Artist, with a capital A, is a person who can be allowed to be above certain things. His life is tied in with his work. I feel free to not satisfy this curiosity, and I don't reply to gossip.
The gay movement sustains the opposite. A public figure should reveal their diversity.
I don't think that's right. Certain invasions of privacy are just violent. That's all.
The most beautiful woman on the planet?
Alessandra Ambrosio. A super top-model, gorgeous.
And man, apart from Roberto Bolle?
Certainly not George Clooney. Nureyev was beautiful when he was young. Mikhail Baryshnikov a lot less, he was too short. Johnny Depp is very good looking.
Will I be your 18th friend on Facebook?
I'll see when I've read the article!
Photo: Maki Galimberti
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.