Listen: Federico Bonelli in Conversation
The Italian Principal Dancer speaks about his career to date and thoughts on narrative ballets.
Royal Ballet Principal Federico Bonelli was recently the subject of an ROH Insights session.
Federico told interviewer Christopher Cook about being taught from an early age by Cuban teachers in his native Italy. “I used to know Carlos Acosta when I was a kid, he was a few years older than me. I used to look at him with my mouth open…I knew he was good, ” he told the live audience.
The Italian Principal also spoke of competing in ballet competitions as a young dancer and early positions at Zurich Ballet and Dutch National Ballet before his move to The Royal Ballet in 2003. He also discussed the challenges of dancing wide repertory including works new to him by Frederick Ashton. Speaking about his first performance of The Sleeping Beauty and replacing Johan Kobborg mid-show, Federico said, “I told [Monica Mason] I had no shoes. She said ‘Don’t worry, I’ll do something’ and so, while I was doing some make-up, I remember Monica with my white shoes and a teabag dying my shoes. I put them on, did a couple of splits and went on and danced with Alina [Cojocaru].”
He also spoke of his thoughts about the tradition of narrative ballets.
Listen to highlights from the event: