When did you start dancing?
I started dancing right around the age of nine.
Why did you start dancing?
My sister, Lia, was a student at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Our family had moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, so that she could study there. I had always enjoyed sports — soccer and karate especially — and I happened to see a men's class. I asked my parents if I could take a class and the rest is history.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
At first, it was my sister because I saw how hard she was working to achieve her dream. It soon became Fernando Bujones. He became my ballet inspiration.
Which dancer do you most admire?
I still admire Fernando, although he is gone too soon from the ballet world. His dancing would still be relevant today. There are many amazing dancers out there today, but I would have to say Semyon Chudin is someone whose dancing I truly admire.
What's your favourite role?
That's a tough one. I love dancing Solor in La Bayadère, Basilio in Don Quixote, and both Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. But I have enjoyed so many roles and ballets, it is really difficult to choose a favourite.
What role have you never played but would like to?
Believe it or not, I have not danced Albrecht, and would certainly love to do so. However, I would really love to dance more of Kylián's work. I had the opportunity to dance in a few of his pieces at Boston Ballet, but would love to work with him.
What's your favourite ballet to watch?
Any Kylián work, especially Gods & Dogs.
Who is your favourite choreographer?
Another tough one. It is hard to choose just one, but I would say Kylián. I would also like the opportunity to work with Crystal Pite — I find her work fascinating.
Who is your favourite writer?
I have always enjoyed C. S. Lewis.
Who is your favourite theatre or cinema director?
I love film. Who to choose? I like Alfred Hitchcock, Guillermo Del Toro, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese, among others.
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite singer?
I also love music, so this is difficult — Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, and right now, Josh Edwards from Blanco White.
What is your favourite book?
Growing up it was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, but right now it's Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have not always been much of a reader, but I could not put this book down. I am hoping to put more practice into reading.
What is your favourite film?
Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet, The Goonies, Sandlot, and numerous others.
Which is your favourite city?
I have too many favourite cities, as well: Copenhagen, Paris, Hong Kong, and London, of course. However, New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia will always be my homes.
What do you like most about yourself?
My heritage. I also think I'm a pretty easy person to get along with and I consider myself a hard worker.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I dislike that I can sometimes be too critical on myself, or not believe in myself and my abilities that I have been given.
What was your proudest moment?
Receiving a bronze medal at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, at the age of 15 from Bruce Marks; being awarded a Princess Grace Award by Prince Albert of Monaco; seeing my first main stage choreographic creation (fremd) being performed at the Boston Opera House; seeing Cirio Collective come to fruition.
When and where were you happiest?
I do not believe in looking in the past, and I try to be happy wherever I am.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What is your greatest fear?
Not being the man God intended me to be.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My height. I wish I was a little bit taller.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
What is your most treasured possession?
Faith and family.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Clothes and shoes.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
None are overrated, they are virtues for a reason.
On what occasion do you lie?
I try never to lie, but I'm not perfect.
If you hadn't been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
A photographer or something in the fashion industry.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Physical – my cleft lip scar.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
Respect and honesty.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Respect and honesty.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Which living person do you most admire?
Each member of my family – they are each unique and amazing in their own way.
What do you most dislike?
Dishonesty, disrespect, and zucchini.
What talent would you most like to have?
To fly any sort of aircraft; if teleportation was considered a talent, I would choose that.
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
A good cup of coffee on a lazy Saturday morning, on a beach house porch looking out to the ocean. Sounds pretty darn good to me.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep or doing something I love.
What is your motto?
Go In! My close friends will know what I mean.
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet; Boston Ballet School; Orlando Ballet School
Boston Ballet (2009) promoted to Principal, 2012; joined ABT in 2015, promoted to Principal, 2016; Performed with English National Ballet in 2017 as Guest Artist, joined as Lead Principal in 2018
English National Ballet
Guest Artist (2017); roles included: Hilarion, Akram Khan's Giselle; Messenger of Death, MacMillan's Song of the Earth; James, La Sylphide; Romeo, Nureyev's Romeo & Juliet and the Nephew/Prince, Eagling's Nutcracker. Recent appearances have included both Des Grieux and Lescaut in MacMillan's Manon and Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake.
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.