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Carlos Acosta brings a touch of Cuba to the Royal Opera stage

Carlos Acosta brings a touch of Cuba to the Royal Opera stage

Carlos AcostaRoyal Ballet Principal Carlos Acosta will bring Cubanía, a programme of Cuban dance inspired by his homeland, to the Royal Opera House in July. The mixed programme contains world premieres and award-winning contemporary dance which will be accompanied by a live onstage Cuban house band. Cubanía is devised by Acosta and he will perform during the evening.

Uniting dancers and choreographers…

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Q&A

Adam Bull in Harald Lander's Etudes - photo Jeff Busby

Adam Bull in Harald Lander’s Etudes – photo Jeff Busby

When did you start dancing?
At 8 years old.

Why did you start dancing?
I was encouraged to dance by my Grade 1 primary school teacher. She saw something within me which I didn’t even know existed. I thank her for where I am today.

Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
I loved the old dance musicals of a bygone era: Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire… charisma for days.

Which dancer do you most admire?
My friends and colleagues who I work with inspire me on a daily basis.

What’s your favourite role?
Prince Siegfried in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake… Closely followed by Des Grieux and Onegin.

What role have you never played but would like to?
Armand in Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias.

What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
Balanchine’s Serenade to name just one. Different dancers can bring something unique to every ballet, so it depends on the dancer.

Who is your favourite choreographer?
MacMillan, Balanchine, Murphy.

Who is your favourite writer?
Rohinton Mistry, Yann Martel, Ian McEwan, Tim Winton.

Who is your favourite director?
Wes Anderson, PJ Hogan.

Who is your favourite actor?
Cate Blanchett.

Who is your favourite singer?
Matt Corby, Beyoncé.

What is your favourite book?
A Fine Balance.

What is your favourite film?
Life is Beautiful, Muriel’s Wedding.

Which is your favourite city?
Melbourne.. best coffee in the world! Manly beach in Sydney.

Adam Bull crossing the Southern ocean to the Antarctic continent. First sighting of an iceberg!

Adam Bull crossing the Southern ocean to the Antarctic continent. First sighting of an iceberg!

What do you like most about yourself?
The ability to laugh at myself.

What do you dislike about yourself?
My inability to share something I like.

What was your proudest moment?
When I know my family are in the audience.

When and where were you happiest?
Having a coffee overlooking the ocean at Manly beach after having had a swim with the sun peering through the clouds.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My partner and family.

What is your greatest fear?
Failure.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To pick up exercises at the barre; I’m easily distracted!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having a successful career in a profession which I adore.

What is your most treasured possession?
My Audi.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Adventure travel: Antarctica was the pinnacle; a lifelong dream fulfilled.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
That wealth gives you happiness.

On what occasion do you lie?
I always try to be true to myself and lead by example.

Adam Bull as Siegfried in Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake - photo Jeff Busby

Adam Bull as Siegfried in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake – photo Jeff Busby

If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
A travel reporter.

What is your most marked characteristic?
My height – 6’4″ – and curly hair.

What quality do you most value in a friend?
Loyalty and laughter.

What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Trust and generosity.

Which historical figure do you most admire?
Sir Douglas Mawson, the Australian Antarctic Explorer.

Which living person do you most admire?
Everyone has qualities to admire and learn from.

What do you most dislike?
Arrogance and greed.

What talent would you most like to have?
To sing and play the piano.

How would you like to die?
Without pain.

What’s your motto?
“Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Adam Bull – a biography

Adam Bull was born in 1981 and began training at Dance World 301 with Brian Nolan before joining The Australian Ballet School. In 2000, he represented Australia in the Paris International Ballet Competition, before graduating from The Australian Ballet School with honours in 2001.

Adam joined The Australian Ballet in 2002, going on to dance principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Jiří Kylián, Sir Kenneth Macmillan, Graeme Murphy, Christopher Wheeldon, Stephen Baynes, Stanton Welch, Nicolo Fonte and Wayne McGregor. After just six months as a senior artist, Adam was promoted to the highest rank of principal in June 2008, capping off a string of critically acclaimed lead performances.

Performances in principal lead roles in the company’s tours to Paris, London, Manchester, Japan and New York have been career highlights.

“Tender and self-deprecating … a true danseur noble”

The Observer, UK

Adam Bull answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Dancers’ Edition Q&A When did you start dancing? At 8 years old. Why did you start dancing? I was encouraged to dance by my Grade 1 primary school teacher.

Carla Fracci’s autobiography: Step After Step

Carla Fracci’s autobiography: Step After Step

Carla Fracci Passo dopo passoBased on a long series of conversations with Enrico Rotelli, Passo dopo passo (Step After Step) is Carla Fracci telling her story in her own words. From a simple childhood during the war to the triumphs with the American Ballet Theatre and beyond: it is a fascinating journey.

Rotelli has divided the autobiography into short chapters – Rudy, London Festival Ballet, Swanhilda – which gives the book…

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Lina Sastri - the master of Neapolitan song

Lina Sastri – the master of Neapolitan song

Lina Sastri in LinapolinaFor those who think of Neapolitan song as singing at full throttle O sole mio, the artistry of Lina Sastri will come as a surprise.

Sastri, a Neapolitan DOC, is also an actress… a formidable one. She won the Best Actress David di Donatello Award (the Italian Oscars) for her role in Nanni Loy’s Mi manda Picone, and again for Giuseppe Bertolucci’s Segreti segreti; one year she was even nominated…

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Rufus Wainwright is raising money to record his opera Prima Donna

Rufus Wainwright is raising money to record his opera Prima Donna

Rusfua Wainright PledgeMusicRufus Wainwright has gone to PledgeMusic to raise money to fund a studio recording of his opera Prima Donna.

PledgeMusic? For those who have just caught up with Kickstarter, which was launched in April 2009, it’s time to turn your attention to PledgeMusic which débuted in August of the same year. It is “the most creative and interactive way for you to be part of your favorite artists’ journey…

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Hallberg and Zakharova: a sublime couple in Nureyev’s Swan Lake in Milan

Hallberg and Zakharova: a sublime couple in Nureyev’s Swan Lake in Milan

David Hallberg's dreaming prince in Swan Lake at La Scala

David Hallberg’s dreaming prince in Swan Lake at La Scala

David Hallberg’s reception at La Scala was rapturous. He is making his house début in Milan as well as tackling Rudolf Nureyev’s tricky choreography for Swan Lake for the first time. Loud cries of ‘bravo’ greeted the end of his first act solo, and the applause for him, and his partner Svetlana Zakharova, was ecstatic throughout the…

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Rossella Brescia and the company of Amarcord on the Spanish Steps

Rossella Brescia and the company of Amarcord on the Spanish Steps

Tourists on Rome’s Spanish Steps were taken by surprise yesterday afternoon when a company of dancers descended on them dressed as characters from Federico Fellini’s Amarcord.

Italian ballet dancer and all-round entertainer Rossella Brescia, with the entire company of dancers from Danzitalia in their 1930s garb, along with choreographer Luciano Cannito and designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno, arrived dancing down the mythical marble steps to the delight of children and adults alike.

Cannito’s Amarcord was created in 1995 for Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and was subsequently presented at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and the Metropolitan in New York. In 2012 it was revised by the choreographer for an Italian tour with the company Danzitalia which he runs with dance producer Daniele Cipriani. The Rome dates mark the end of two years on the road.

Tomorrow, 17 April, Amarcord opens at the Teatro Olimpico which marks the beginning of the 4th International Festival of Dance organised by the Accademia Filarmonica Romana and the Teatro Olimpico.

Amarcord runs until 20 April, and tickets can be purchased through the site of the Teatro Olimpico.

Photographs by Ripari Young Group

Fellinian ballet flash mob descend on Rome’s Spanish Steps Tourists on Rome’s Spanish Steps were taken by surprise yesterday afternoon when a company of dancers descended on them dressed as characters from Federico Fellini’s…

La Scala Ballet School’s director for 32 years on “Teaching Dance”

La Scala Ballet School’s director for 32 years on “Teaching Dance”

Anna Maria Prina and students of the La Scala Ballet School in 1992 with Robert De Warren

Anna Maria Prina and Robert De Warren with students of the La Scala Ballet School in 1992:  on the left Marta Romagna and Roberto Bolle; to the right Mara Galeazzi and Mick Zeni

Italian

 versione italiana

Anna Maria Prina was the director of the La Scala Theatre Ballet Schoolfor thiry-two years, producing artists such as Mara Galeazzi, Massimo Murru, Roberto Bolle, Mick Zeni, Renata Caldarini, Alessio…

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La Scala’s new boss, Alexander Pereira, clears his name

La Scala’s new boss, Alexander Pereira, clears his name

PereiraItalian opera buffs, Milan’s Mayor and La Repubblica newspaper were angry and amazed when news from Austria revealed that the Salzburg Festival’s current director, Alexander Pereira, was selling seven of its productions to La Scala, where Pereira will take over in October of this year. That is, he was selling his productions to himself. A conflict of interests?

La Repubblicaasked one of their top…

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