Mara Galeazzi, principal dancer with London's Royal Ballet, though trained at the La Scala school in Milan, will say goodbye to her performing career on 23 July at a starry gala with colleagues from the Royal Ballet in Verona.
She talked to the Italian Vanity Fair‘s Paola Saltari:
I will carry on with dance, but offstage. I have various projects in mind, especially for charity. In 2007 I formed a foundation called Dancing for the Children, through which I raise money to help gravely ill children in Africa. I will continue to train, though in a gentler way. Now I want to recuperate what I've had to renounce in the past, things in my private life, including holidays and my husband.
Her advice to the up and coming dancers?
Remember to always be honest and have respect for everyone regardless of their position or age – something not always obvious in our job.
In what role does she most identify with?
For certain aspects, Anastasia in the ballet by Kenneth MacMillan: a strong character, unique, positive. It's how I've always been, beginning when I was ten-years-old and I decided to leave my parents to go to Milan.
Alessandra Ferri has now returned to dance after a six years away.
That's true. I wish her the greatest of luck. Who knows, in the future I might also decide to do the same, but now I'm sure: it's time to think about my family.
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.