When did you start dancing?
When I was 5 years old.
Why did you start dancing?
I saw a ballet class and enjoyed watching it, so I said to my mother, “That’s what I want to do!”
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Which dancer do you most admire?
What’s your favourite role?
Prince Rudolph in Mayerling.
What role have you never played but would like to?
The man in Le Jeune homme et la mort, but this year, in November, I will finally dance that role.
What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
Mayerling and Manon.
Who is your favourite choreographer?
Sir Kenneth MacMillan.
Who is your favourite writer?
Who is your favourite director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite singer?
Argentinian singer, Susana Rinaldi.
What is your favourite book?
The Letters of Oscar Wilde.
What is your favourite film?
The Secret in Their Eyes (‘El secreto de sus ojos’, 2009 film from Argentina)
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
What do you dislike about yourself?
I can be too much of a perfectionist.
What was your proudest moment?
It was just last week when I received an Honorary Citizenship from the Chilean government.
When and where were you happiest?
When I’m on stage.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What is your greatest fear?
I try not to think about fears.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To have more time for myself and for travelling.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
What is your most treasured possession?
All I have in my life right now: family, my two dogs, my friends.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I don’t have one.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I demand a lot from myself.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
What talent would you most like to have?
To be able to sing.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness does not exist.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep.
What is your motto?
Be honest in life.
Luis Ortigoza – a biography
Luis Ortigoza was born in Argentina, and studied classical ballet with Maestro Mario Galizzi and at the Ballet School of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
In 1988 he joined the Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and later that same year he was hired by the Ballet de Santiago in Chile, being promoted to Principal Dancer in 1990, after winning the Silver Medal in the IV International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.
He has danced in Galas and International Festivals in countries such as Argentina, Paraguay, Germany, Brazil, Cuba, USA, Spain, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Uruguay, Mexico, China and Russia, sharing the stage with renowned stars.
His repertoire includes ballets by Marcia Haydée, John Cranko, Sir Keneth MacMillan, Maurice Béjart, Georges Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Rudolf Nureyev. He has worked with Natalia Makarova, Glen Tetley, Iván Nagy, Ronald Hynd and Loipa Araujo among others.
He was nominated twice for the prestigious Benois de la Danse Award for his Drosselmeyer and Prince in Nureyev’s Nutcracker and for Don José in Marcia Haydée’s Carmen.
He was distinguished with the 1992 Critics Award (Chile), the APES Award nine times (Chile), 1999 KONEX Diploma (Argentina) as one of the five best ballet dancers of the decade, the 2006 CLARIN Award (Argentina) as best dancer for his role of Des Grieux in MacMillan’s Manon.
In 2007 the Argentinian Embassy in Chile awarded him for his Artistic Career and Achievements, and also he won the 2007 ELENA SMIROVA Medal (Argentina), and in 2009 the KONEX PLATINIUM as the best dancer from last decade.
In 2007 created his own version of La Bayadère for the Ballet de Santiago, which received great critical success from both the public and press. In 2008 choreographed the Sylvia Pas de Deux for the 150 year celebrations of the Municipal Theatre. In 2010 Luis created his own version of the Paquita Grand Pas Classique for The Gala Bicentenario 2010.
Under Marcia Haydée’s Artistic Direction of the Ballet de Santiago he became a member of the company’s staff as Assistant Director, and in the 2007 ballet season he got promoted to the Premier Danseur Etoile category.
In 2013 he was presented with the 2013 Critics Award (Chile) for his role as Prince Rudolph in Mayerling. In 2014 his La Bayadère scored a success at the Municipal Ballet Theater Rio de Janeiro.
In 2014 the Chilean Congress granted him Honorary Citizenship of the country and the Medal of Merit for his contribution to the development of culture in Chile.
Luis Ortigoza in video
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.