Fashion Muse: Principal Dancer Roberto Bolle

On September 17, international dancer, Roberto Bolle will be in New York for the premiere of "Roberto Bolle and Friends Gala" a showcase for which Bolle is both creative director and star. Sponsored by Acqua Di Parma the evening will be filled with modern and contemporary performances from international dancers. Off stage Bolle has appeared on countless fashion editorials around the world and was the subject for the book An Athlete In Tights by Bruce Weber. Bolle took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me and answer a few questions about his upcoming event and his life off stage.

Fantastic Man Ph: Andreas Larsson

What can we expect to see at the Roberto Bolle And Friends Gala?

It’s going to be of course a gala event so it’ll showcase very high quality dancing. The gala will include principle dancers from different parts of Europe. Many of them I’ve had in my gala in Italy and around Europe. It’s the first time I’ll present my show here in NYC and I’m very excited to do it in this special occasion- The Year of Italian Culture in America. There will be of course some pieces linked to the Italian tradition of the Ballet, great examples of the Grand Italian Ballet, like the most famous in the world, Excelsior. The show will showcase solos and pas de deux that have never been performed here in New York. 

Name some of your travel essentials?

My luggage is full of all I need for ballet, of course. I can't travel with a few things because I always need something to wear for a fashion or gala event or to attend a performance. I have to wear something very fashionable but I actually like to dress very casual and comfortable. I also need things to prepare for my performances- makeup and hair products and small equipment to stretch and warm up. Sometimes I bring bathing suits because I swim at the pool where I stay. Something very important is my Iphone charger and my computer; I’m constantly answering emails and lots of calls.

What do you wear when you're not working?

Sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt, basically what I’m wearing today. It’s the most comfortable outfit. Sometimes I wear a shirt but not really that often. The easiest and most comfortable for me is what I like best when I’m off stage and not working.

What has been one of your most memorable photo shoots?

If you ask me for one...I would say in Miami with Bruce Weber. We’ve done quite a few there and around the world. I have to say, I had a great time and it was quite special to work with him. Bruce and I have built our relationship with time because we’ve done the book and spent about 2 years taking photos around the world. Its been a process and we’ve gotten to know each other quite well so it was a great time to work with him.

I’m quite lucky, in my career I’ve been able to work and be photographed by major photographers. I don’t think many ballet dancers have had this chance. To work with such great photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, and Bruce Weber they are really huge names and also artists. It has been really special to do things like these outside of the world of ballet. 

What are some things someone who's new to the world of ballet should know before viewing the showcase?

A gala performance doesn’t really require any previous knowledge. You can get impressed by the level of the dance and quality of the artist, they are all very different. We all get together and choose different pieces for the program some modern some classical and some more contemporary pieces that represent different styles and different moods. It will be quite easy to understand because of the beauty and the quality. It will be easy to find a piece you like the most and to appreciate what you see.

It’s not like when you go see one evening a full length ballet and you have to prepare yourself knowing the period it was created and the story of the ballet. Sometimes you don’t get the whole idea because you might not know the pantomime. In the gala performance it is much easier you’ll be able to just go and enjoy the show.

Ph: Luciano Romano
For more information on this one night event go here or at the box office at 131 West 55 Street or call City Tix at 212-581-1212.

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