Interview with Valentino Zucchetti, First Soloist in Royal Ballet London
What does a ballet dancer do when he breaks his foot mid-performance? Accept calamity? Or just carry on regardless?
I was lucky to talk to Valentino about his major injury in his debut of Espada on Don Quixote. Hear more about the swaggering Espada in Carlos Acosta’s celebrated production Don Quixote.
Watch Valentino jumping. He is a very talented, beautiful dancer, a great artist and an upcoming choreographer.
More about Don Quixote at the Royal Opera in London.
Biography of Valentino Zucchetti (by website of the Royal Ballet London)
Italian dancer Valentino Zucchetti is a First Soloist of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and on graduation joined Zürich Ballet. He joined the Company in 2010, promoted to First Artist in 2011, Soloist in 2012 and First Soloist in 2014.
Zucchetti was born in Calcinate and began training locally aged four. Aged 11 he moved to Milan to study at La Scala Ballet School. Aged 16 he was offered a scholarship to study at The Royal Ballet Upper School and while there won the 2006 Genée International Ballet Competition and the 2007 Solo Seal award. In his final year he created a role in Christopher Hampson’s Three Dialogues for the School’s annual matinee. He subsequently joined Zürich Ballet and moved to Norwegian National Ballet in 2009. His repertory in Zürich and Oslo included Gurn (La Sylphide) and Prince (The Nutcracker). Zucchetti’s repertory with The Royal Ballet includes Colas (La Fille mal gardée), Rhapsody, blue boy (Les Patineurs), Lescaut (Manon), Brother Clown (The Winter’s Tale), Gypsy Girl’s Lover (The Two Pigeons), Lensky (Onegin), Espada (Don Quixote), Hilarion (Giselle), Puck (The Dream), Hans-Peter and Prince (The Nutcracker), Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Bronze Idol (La Bayadère), Lead Hungarian Officer (Mayerling), Bluebird (The Sleeping Beauty), Fool (The Prince of the Pagodas) and roles in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Jewels, The Human Seasons, Scènes de ballet, Symphonic Variations, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Within the Golden Hour. He has created roles for Carlos Acosta, Kim Brandstrup, David Dawson, Alastair Marriott, Liam Scarlett, Heinz Spoerli and Christopher Wheeldon, among others.
Zucchetti won the School’s Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award in 2005. He choreographed Sonata for Six for the School’s 2013 matinee and regularly creates pieces for The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works. In 2013 he choreographed Orbital Motion for New English Ballet Theatre.