Tonight, and for the next two evenings, in almost two hundred cinemas across Italy, Roberto Bolle will be filling the screen.
Roberto Bolle: L'arte della Danza (Roberto Bolle: the art of dance) is written and directed by Francesca Pedroni and follows Bolle backstage during three dates on a Roberto Bolle & Friends tour: the Arena in Verona, the Teatro Grande at Pompeii, and the Caracalla Baths in Rome.
Bolle has done more than any other Italian ‘ballerino' before him to popularize classical dance by bringing it to Italian television screens during popular Saturday night shows, (fawning) documentaries, and his jumps and turns have been used to advertise products from mineral water to an electricity supplier.
Dance is a fire I have inside me. It formed me and gave me an identity. Who I am now I owe to dance.
21, 22 and 23 November are the three days when his many fans and dance lovers – not always the same thing – will be able to discover more about Roberto Bolle as the camera roams around the dressing rooms and follows the étoile and his ten dancing colleagues: Nicoletta Manni (Teatro alla Scala), Melissa Hamilton, Eric Underwood and Matthew Golding (The Royal Ballet), Jiři e Otto Bubeníček (Dresden's Semperoper Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet), Anna Tsygankova (Dutch National Ballet), Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada (San Francisco Ballet) and Alexandre Riabko (Hamburg Ballet).
Francesca Pedroni says,
I've known and followed Roberto Bolle since his earliest successes at La Scala. The twenty-year-old charmed everyone when he danced his first Romeo, a role which led him to become a principal dancer at the theatre at a very early age.
He has a natural elegance, is princelike, a perfect danseur noble, with textbook beauty and perfect classical and neoclassical lines, though this hasn't limited him, on the contrary, it has pushed him into playing the roles of tormented characters such as Onegin or Don José too. And he's come out of it all victorious.
We've seen him grow, become an etoile at La Scala, and become an extraordinary pop star capable of presenting the great choreographers of the past and present to a new audience. Everything he does goes viral. Accompanying Roberto Bolle on tour was a magnificent adventure.
Roberto Bolle: L'arte della Danza
21, 22, 23 November at a cinema near you!
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.