After Roberto Bolle's Romeo and Juliet with the American Ballet Theatre in New York, Italy's gossip magazine Chi sent their editor Alsonso Signorini to interview him, and photographer Fabrizio Cestari to snap the dancer in various iconic Big Apple locations.
You are among the few Italians who have made it in America. Was it difficult?
It happened naturally. It began in 2007 when I came here with Alessandra Ferri for her ‘addio' to the stage… I didn't look for it. Then Bruce Weber contacted me for his book after seeing me in the theatre. And it was the same for the Annie Leibovitz cover of Vogue. It all happened by chance.”
Have you paid for this success?
I have had to give up the nearness of my family with whom I'm very close. At Casale Monferato,where I was born, I had a wonderful infancy. That all changed suddenly… I didn't want to go to Milan, away from the nest… I lived in a small room in the tiny apartment of an old lady who didn't like me. I was a solitary child… I quickly grew into a man, which was important for me not only as a person, but for what I do. My life is constructed by discipline. I am disciplined in everything I do. Sometimes I miss distractions, holidays, time with friends. But I can't allow it. We artists are different from the rest: our training, our art, requires total dedication.
I don't pretend that this sometimes causes problems for those close to me. My friends and my family have to be understanding and fully behind me. I must always be comletely concentrated on myself and what I do. Those who are near me must adapt to my rhythms. It can't be otherwise.
I realise that, but I couldn't live differently. At least while I'm still dancing.I don't do it for my ego or for narcisism. It's a fact of life. I've learnt to live happily with myself. At times, in the middle of a crowd, I escape. I like to be alone. It is the key to my life.
Have you ever been tempted by the cinema?
I confess I would love to be an actor, I'd be interested in a good role, even a cameo. Darren Aronofsky asked me to be in Black Swan with Natalie Portman, but I had theatre obligations and so it wasn't possible. I was sorry. But never say never…
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.