Italian ballet dancer Paolo Bortoluzzi died twenty years ago today: 15 October 1993.
He died the same year as Rudolf Nureyev, and it was for these two contemporaries that Béjart created his Chant du compagnon errant. Both dancers were born in 1938, two months apart: Nureyev on 17 March, Bortoluzzi on 17 May.
Here, Bortoluzzi dances in La Sylphide with Carla Fracci in rare footage from a 1976 gala.
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.
Thank you for these unknown (by me) facts.
I have to admit when I got the email with the title I was hoping to read something about an Homage performance with amazing guests dancing all his famous roles to celebrate the occasion and Carla Fracci making an appearance.
Why let this go unnoticed?
After all this great dancer put Italy on the map worldwide… his career deserves to be remembered by the young generation just like it was for Nureyev last year by one of these all star casts… such a shame!
You are so right – there has been nothing to celebrate his career during the last 20 years from the theatres where he worked, or from his colleagues – a great shame. He is greatly admired by the dance community in Italy, and dancers who worked with him talk about him fondly, and with admiration; unfortunately, for those of us who didn’t see him dance, there are so few videos of his dancing.
I agree with the fact that he deserves something big to remember his successful carrier.He was such an inspiration! I remember seeing him in Excelsior at La Scala when I was a small girl and feeling so fascinated by his elegant way of dancing. A very reserved and silent dancer, surely a very fine human being.
I remember seeing him in New York with ABT, where he regularly guested and danced with Fracci. He was a most soulful dancer, beautiful to watch. I agree with everyone that the silence around this sad anniversary is troubling. Thank you for the footage and thank you for that gorgeous photo of him with Nureyev. I remember seeing it a long time ago, but it has been a while.