Hi everyone! Raffa again! I am here today to write a blog about my latest experience.
On August 21 and 22 I traveled to Buenos Aires to represent the trocks at the “V Gala Internacional de Ballet de Buenos Aires”. I will try to transfer into writing all the emotions I felt during those fabulous 5 days I spent in Buenos Aires, though I am not sure I will be able to. Let me start from the beginning and see what I can do…
If you are a chef, I think you like to cook with the expectations of the result of the meal you are preparing. Even if it is a difficult dish and you have to really follow the recipe step by step with precision, you enjoy every moment of the job already savoring the result. For me is almost the same every time I look forward to a new performance, a new Ballet, another tour.
When I got the news I was chosen to participate in this wonderful Gala I was so happy. This meant, alas, spending less time with my family in Italy than previously planned and it meant flying from Italy to New York and then, only a few days later, flying New York to Buenos Aires. But with so many Great expectations for the upcoming events both those long haul flights seemed very short..
I landed in Buenos Aires on a Tuesday morning. The first big surprise was to meet ABT Principal Dancer Cory Stearns in line through immigration and find out we were to share the transfer from the airport to the hotel. And that is how I met Cory Stearns: chitchatting in line, in the car, sharing experiences. He recently danced in another gala in Napa Valley: indeed, he recently met another Trockadero Dancer, Joshua.
In his post , California Livin’, Joshua talked about him too. In Napa, Cory danced with Beatriz Stix-Brunell of the Royal Ballet in London. In Buenos Aires he danced with ABT Argentinian Ballerina Luciana Paris of ABT. I met Luciana a few times before when I was waiting for other friends dancers at ABT, at the MET Stage Door after their performances. I was not sure she would remember me, but when I finally saw her the next day she greeted me like an old friend. She is really lovely. The three of us together had to be ready on Wednesday, early in the morning, to shoot our clips for the Gala Opening Video.
A glamorous introduction featuring all the artists participating in the gala wearing elegant Hugo Boss clothes and dancing around in the setting of the wonderful Duhau Palace Park Hyatt Hotel. That same day I went to take ballet class at the Teatro Colon. Just as I expected this theater is a real Crown Jewel.
Recently renovated it hasn’t lost the feeling of an old time Opera House (a part for the Airport-like Security to gain access to it). I took class in a huge ballet Studio (complete with an orchestra pit, very convenient for the Rehearsals) and I could step on this glorious stage and have a look at the magnificent horseshoe-shaped Auditorium.
It is all decorated in Gold and Burgundy, has 2,487 seats (slightly more than the Royal Opera House in London) and with acoustics that are considered to be so good as to place it in the top five performance venues in the world. It is also ranked the third best opera house in the world by National Geographic. The gala was not taking place there though, but in the nearby Teatro Coliseo, another very important historical venue in Buenos Aires.
On Thursday, together with other dancers from the International Gala, I danced at La Rural in a Benefit Performance. Cory and Luciana were not there, but I met Ana Sophia Scheller (Prima Ballerina of New York City Ballet), Nikolai Gorodiskii (Soloist of Pennsylvania Ballet) Friedemann Vogel and Maria Eichwald (Principal dancers of Stuttgart Ballet). The venue was not the nicest nor the easiest to perform in, but to see such international artists just simply accept the conditions and do their best in a humble, elegant way was incredible.
During the next two days all of us spent a lot of times together. Breakfast at the hotel, classes and rehearsals, a little bit of sightseeing together (indeed: we even had a little time to visit Buenos Aires!) and of course performing for the gala.
With a program that mixed classical ballet most known titles (such as Corsaire, the Nutcracker, and yours truly in The Dying Swan), together with Modern Works (Ballet 101 by Eric Gauthier, Sechs Tänze by Jiří Kylián), and of course something of a typical Argentinian Flavor: Estaciones Porteñas with music by Astor Piazzolla, the gala was a great success.
In her introduction in the souvenir program, Liana Vinacur, Executive Producer of the Gala writes:’ Dear friends, let’s enjoy this gala in the hope that it turns out to be legendary. Thanks to all of you for being part of this Gala tonight and welcome once more to this enchanting dream’
For sure it was! For all of us it has been a real pleasure and the audience was enthusiast.
Two sold out performances in the Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires, among dancers of the highest caliber, treated like a star by the organizers of the event and all the people that worked hard to make it happen… a real dancer’s dream come true.