Tonight Verona's famous Arena is sold out. All 15,000 seats will be full to watch Roberto Bolle and his ‘friends' dance in the open air. It is a magical place.
Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore (the equivalent of the Financial Times, and the same colour) spoke to him. Unfortunately half of these interviews are always taken up with the same questions, but as we know that dancers don't eat a five-course meal before a show, and need to do regular physical exercise, let's skip on.
Are the emotions always there?
They were there when I did the end of term shows, and they're still there today. Now there's less fear and more understanding: I've been on many stages, so now I have the confidence that you can only have after years of experience. But the emotion is always present: if I lost that the public would know and it wouldn't make sense to continue dancing.
In 2008 there was the first “Roberto Bolle and Friends” often in places where dance is seldom seen, and you've been followed by an audience of thousands… Now the Arena of Verona.
I am particularly excited to dance in the Arena. This year I have at my side some very special guests, like Alina Cjocaru and Johan Kobborg, both Principals at the Royal Ballet in London; then an Etoile from the Mariinsky Ballet, Alina Somova; Alexander Jones, who is a Principal at the Stuttgart Ballet; Dinu Tamazlacaru with Maria Kochetkova are here for the Tchaikovsky pas de deux, then there will be solos, and also modern and contemporary choreographers, so that even dance newbies can drawn toward this art form and experience its different genres and possibilities from the outset.
In this period, in addition to the Gala, there is also a summer tour “Roberto Bolle: Twentieth Century Triptych” with choreography by Balanchine, Kylián and Petit.
This year I want to make a break with the past: I want to provoke more than usual, I want to bring joy to the audience, but also give a strong contrast of emotions. For better or for worse, I want to continue telling passionate stories of love, conflict, misunderstandings and justice, in dance form.
Photo by Lucy Keating (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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.