He impressed us with his simple yet incisive approach during the rehearsals. He is a man who has a life outside dance; this is his true strength. Paris Opera Ballet Étoile Eleonora Abbagnato was talking about the new company director Benjamin Millepied. She was interviewed by the Italian Vanity Fair after Millepied's new ballet for the POB, Daphnis et Chloé, had opened to … [Read more...] about Paris Étoile Abbagnato welcomes Millepied and is glad to see Lefèvre go
Italian dancer Valentino Zucchetti is one of a large number of Italian dancers who go abroad to find work and realise their dreams. Italy has few ballet companies, and La Scala is the only one with an international profile, the others - Rome, Palermo, San Carlo - have few permanent dancers, drafting in extras to do repertoire pieces. Italian dancers are virtually forced to … [Read more...] about From Lombardy to London: Interview with the Royal Ballet’s Valentino Zucchetti
Vasco Rossi is one of the most famous Italian rockers. The singer-songwriter has hit sixty, but continues to sell out stadiums. His most famous song, Vita spericolata (Daredevil Life) sums up his own approach to life, and in true rock style he's regularly finished up in clinics to detox. A strange choice for ballet music? Well, of course, Roland Petit has already used Pink … [Read more...] about The music of Italy’s n°1 rocker returns to La Scala
The new Paris Opera Ballet étoile, Eleonora Abbagnato, is back in Italy for the first of six episodes of a television talent show, Amici, where she will captain a team of young singers and dancers. She also graces the cover of this week's Grazia, alongside her footballer husband Federico Balzaretti, the AS Roma defender. Stefania Rossotti asked the pair some questions. About … [Read more...] about Étoile Eleonora Abbagnato and footballer hubby Federico Balzaretti: It’s complicated!
This week, Eleonora Abbagnato became the first Italian étoile at the Paris Opera Ballet for generations. The only other was Carlotta Zambelli who became one of the company's stars at the end of the 19th century. Quite an achievement for the 34-year-old dancer from Palermo. Valeria Crippa of the Corriere della Sera spoke to her. When I first heard that I was being promoted … [Read more...] about Eleonora Abbagnato talks about becoming Paris’ new étoile
Eleonora Abbagnato has been named "étoile" of the Paris Opera Ballet. Finally, one might add, and indeed the former director of the dance school of the Paris Opera, Claude Bessy, said just that. She was in the theatre with Abbagnato's husband, footballer Federico Balzaretti, fullback at AS Roma, and many other members of the dancer's family, except her one-year-old … [Read more...] about Eleonora Abbagnato is named “étoile” of the Paris Opera Ballet
Brigitte Lefèvre, Director of Ballet at the Paris Opera since 1995, will turn 68 later this year. The Paris Opera Ballet obliges ballerinas to leave at 42 with their pension; like it or not, ètoile or corps member, you're out. Lefèvre carries on, even though she is past the retirement age for French national institutions. Maybe concerned that she would stay at the helm like … [Read more...] about Who’s afraid of Brigitte Lefèvre? Well Eleonora Abbagnato for one! Drama at the Paris Opera Ballet
Italians are great dancers, but they don't get much opportunity to demonstrate that in their homeland. The history of ballet is adorned with Italian talent: Giuseppina Bozzacchi was the first Swanhilda in Coppélia; three dazzling stars, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni (also the first Sylphide) were celebrated by Perrot in his Pas de Quattre; Pierina … [Read more...] about The dance drain: who will save ballet in Italy?
Mariafrancesca Garritano (aka Mary Garret) who denounced anorexia in the La Scala school and company, and was sacked by the Milanese theatre two days ago, hasn't been backed up by all her colleagues. Eleonora Abbagnato, who is also 33 like Garritano, told La Repubblica newspaper, Nothing of what she says is true. I have worked with many theatres up and down Italy and have not … [Read more...] about Sacked Italian ballerina is just an attention seeker, or a victim?
As is the tradition in Italy, beautiful girls - especially "showgirls" - wed footballers. On June 13 Eleonora Abbagnato, Première Danseuse with the Paris Opera Ballet, got married to Palermo player Federico Balzaretti. He's not her first footballer, but he might be her last. She's certainly preserving family ties for her father was the boss of the Palermo team during the … [Read more...] about Première Danseuse Eleonora Abbagnato gets hitched