When did you start dancing?
When I was 7 at a local dance school, and at 15 I started at the Dance Academy at La Scala.
Why did you start dancing?
It was thanks to my parents.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
What role have you never played but would like to?
Don José in Petit’s Carmen.
What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
Don Quixote and Romeo and Juliet.
Who is your favourite writer?
The one who wrote my favourite book!
Who is your favourite theatre or cinema director?
Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Ridley Scott, James Cameron.
Who is your favourite actor?
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr, Sean Connery, Steve McQueen, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman.
Who is your favourite singer?
Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Prince, U2, Dire Straits.
What is your favourite book?
The Iliad, Romeo and Juliet.
What is your favourite film?
Gran Torino, Mission, White Nights, Shine, Gandhi, The Great Escape, Sherlock Holmes, Apocalypto.
Which is your favourite city?
New York, Rio de Janeiro, London, Verona.
What do you like most about yourself?
My patience and my determination.
What do you dislike about yourself?
My indecisiveness, and that I sweat profusely!
What was your proudest moment?
Just before I was to dance Le jeune homme at la mort in a gala for Roland Petit he praised me in front of the audience.
When and where were you happiest?
Professionally, in Beijing in 2011 for the world première of Marco Polo. Personally, again in Beijing, when I heard that I’d become a father in 2012.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My son and his mother.
What is your greatest fear?
That something terrible happens to my family, something that can’t be put right. And of cowardice: to not express myself to the full, and content myself with a mediocre existence.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be a more eloquent person, with more confidence in myself.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having established a good balance (up to now) between work and family.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is your greatest extravagance?
That I sometimes practice sports that are dangerous for my career as a dancer, like snowboarding, skiing, windsurfing, and driving fast motorbikes!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I wouldn’t know…
On what occasion do you lie?
To protect who I love.
If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
A film actor.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Professionally, my spontaneity on stage; personally, I hope, that my humility comes across.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
To be able to maintain respect and consideration in a friendship, without letting compromise get in the way.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Objectivity and fairness in judging the merits and faults of other colleagues today, while always remembering what they achieved in the past, therefore according them the just respect.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Hector and Gandhi.
Which living person do you most admire?
Those who live striving to stop what is wrong.
What do you most dislike?
Hypocrisy, arrogance, racism and most of all, injustice.
What talent would you most like to have?
To make piles of money!
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
A life (for me and for those I love) without the stress that comes from the lack of health and work, and time to spend with my love ones.
How would you like to die?
Not alone, suddenly, in my sleep, at home, when I’m old but still healthy!!!
What is your motto?
I don’t have one, but I like to think this and live like this: “Live Each Day As If It Was Your Last”!
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.