The vigorous celebrations of Pasqua and Pasquetta in Italy -- Easter and the Monday after Easter -- are as much a part of the season of renewal as...
People have always danced. Dancing is a way to get loose, have fun, and express oneself. But for some, dancing is more than that; it’s a passion and a mission.
Italy’s most famous and talented ballet dancer is Roberto Bolle, Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theater in New York and established Guest Artist at the Royal Ballet and La Scala Theater Ballet in Europe.
Born in Casale Monferrato, in Piedmont region, Roberto Bolle entered the Ballet School of La Scala Theater in Milan at the age of 12 and was soon noticed by Rudolf Nureyev. The legendary Soviet-born dancer was staging his production of Nutcracker, and chose Roberto to perform Tadzio in Death in Venice. This episode marked the beginning of Bolle’s amazing career worldwide.
In 1996, his appearance as Romeo earned him the promotion to Principal Dancer at La Scala Theater, followed by his participation in many international productions. Among them was a special version of Swan Lake designed by the English National Ballet Director, Derek Deane, and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London in the presence of the royal family. The young Italian artist also danced in Aida, staged in Cairo for the first time in 50 years, with the suggestive Giza pyramids in the background.
As his popularity continued to grow, Roberto Bolle was invited to perform in some of the world’s most prestigious locations, like the Covent Garden Opera House in London, the Bol’šoj Theater in Moscow, the Opéra in Paris, and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. In 2002, he danced in Buckingham Palace on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee, and in 2004 in St. Peter’s square in the presence of Pope John Paul II.
Since 2008, his famous summer tour, “Roberto Bolle & Friends”, has become a highly anticipated event for dance lovers and the curious beyond Italy’s borders, taking place in unusual locations such as the Arena in Verona, where it marked a return of ballet after almost 20 years and was attended by tens of thousands of people.
Last year, the Gala was also held in New York City as part of the celebrations “2013 – Year of Italian Culture in the United States.” The 2014 edition is enjoying huge success, hosted July through December by some of the Italy’s most exclusive venues, including the Arena in Verona, the Terme di Caracalla in Rome, and the Gran Teatro in Torre del Lago. The event brings together international first-class étoiles, including ABT stars Julie Kent and Polina Semionova, and presents a repertoire of the most beautiful ballets of the 19th and 20th century, from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet to Čajkovskij’s Swan Lake to a choreography based on Frank Sinatra’s music.
Roberto Bolle’s significant contribution to promote Italian art and culture all over the world was acknowledged by the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, who bestowed on him the honor of “Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” in the year 2012. Roberto is also Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, raising money for education and health programs in Sudan, Africa.