Dancing with a broken foot – is it even possible?

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.

Manon 05/10/14, Copyright 2014 ROH. Photographed by Alice Pennefather

More about Don Quixote at the Royal Opera in London.

Read my short review

https://balletloversblog.com/2019/03/06/carlos-acostas-don-quixote/

Biography of Valentino Zucchetti (by website of the Royal Ballet London)

Valentino zucchetti in Scènes de ballet, The Royal ballet ©
ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2014

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 ExactitudeTarantellaJewelsThe Human SeasonsScènes de balletSymphonic VariationsDGV: 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.

My favourite Drosselmeyers……

are without question Li Cunxin and Dominik Slavkovský.

qb-nutcracker-web-images-1300x600-3_hero_gallery
Li Cunxin with Queensland Ballet photo by David Kelly

Magic happened when Ballet Star Li Cunxin, was lured out of 18 years retirement for a special performance of the NUTCRACKER with the Queensland Ballet. Taking to the stage in Brisbane for one night only, the 56 year old dancer delivered a mesmerizing performance. While Drosselmeyer is predominately a character role, Li incorporated his own choreography – adding pirouettes and jumps to the performance. His twists and turns hinted at his past brilliance.

Weiterlesen „My favourite Drosselmeyers……“

How pointe shoes are made

The secret inside of pointe shoes    

No, they are not made out of wood, and there is no steel in the flat tip! The tip is made of densely packed layers of fabric, cardboard and/or paper hardened by glue. Being extremely sturdy makes it possible to balance the entire weight of the ballerina’s body on a small platform. The rest of the shoe consist of materials such as leather, cotton and satin. The right and the left shoe are identical.

Weiterlesen „How pointe shoes are made“

What’s the word for a male „ballerina“?

Ballerino – sounds funny or not? 

Ballerino doesn’t sound perfect to me. It seems difficult to find the perfect name, but I googled it and found various terms for male ballet dancers around the globe. In Italy a male dancer is called a ballerino. In France, it’s Danseur. In the English speaking world, boys or men who dance classical ballet are usually referred to as male ballet dancers or just dancers. Weiterlesen „What’s the word for a male „ballerina“?“

The Quantum Ballerina

Congratulations to Merritt Moore for Making FORBES „30 under30“

WOW! What an achievement. Not only has Merritt Moore made it onto the Forbes list this year, but she is also the one and only active ballerina with a PhD in quantum physics from Oxford University!

Merritt shared her secrets as a physicist on pointe – “I really do think it’s made me a better dancer to have done physics and a better physicist to have done dance. You need the creative brain in the lab to think of new ideas, and you need the analytic brain in the dance studio to figure out your center of mass.”

I was lucky to get an interview with her. So enjoy these five questions for the Quantum Ballerina!

Weiterlesen „The Quantum Ballerina“

Back to the barre, Tara!

Premier of Dance Academy: The Movie on 6. April 2017

I can’t wait to watch this movie – though being over 20, I probably shouldn’t be this passionate for an Australian teen drama about love, relationships and careers. But there are two understandable reasons: I love Sydney, so I enjoy the setting and scenery of Walsh Bay, Harbour Bridge and the beaches. Secondly, I adore the dance scenes which feature all the highlights of classical ballet and comtemporary dance.

Weiterlesen „Back to the barre, Tara!“

Who are the 5 richest Ballet Dancers?

The 5 Richest Ballet Dancers in the world*

The world of ballet is full of dancers who dream of making a living from their passion for the art form. But in truth, professional ballet dancing is a cut-throat industry where less than perfection is rarely tolerated. The odds of actually “making it” in the ballet industry with a major dance company such as the New York City Ballet or the Bolshoi Ballet are very slim.

When a dancer first joins a company, they form part of a group called the Corps de Ballet. The industry is notoriously underpaid, with the majority of dancers working long hours for very little financial reward. Payscale cites the average ballet dancer’s salary as a tiny $15,080 – $26,419. Midlevel dancers, often soloists, could earn as much as $50,000-$58,000 a year.

Weiterlesen „Who are the 5 richest Ballet Dancers?“