An interview with Giordano Bozza
What it takes to be a ballet dancer…
We met Giordano Bozza in Thessaloniki at Pas Par Tu Centre, during the Classical Ballet/Repertoire/Pas de Deux seminar. During August 2023 we will have the honor of his second visit at Pas Par Tu Centre, since he is going to lead the ballet classes of the “5th International Ballet & Contemporary Summer Workshop”.
Interview: Karolina Pappou
Ballet may give an effortless illusion to the viewer that is being transcended in another reality. For a dancer like Giordano Bozza performing looks like the running of water in the river… it comes out so naturally! Watching him dancing, you feel like he is inhaling music - instead of oxygen - and exhaling divine energy that spreads out like magic. His passion and talent for ballet make him fly on the stage like an angel!
How did you become a dancer? Tell us about your ‘journey’ to dance?
I start to dance at the age of 8, mainly, in my room, listening to the great Michael Jackson and trying to imitate him. I was always dreaming about making a back flip from gymnastics. At that time, my mum proposed me to try to attend a ballet class, even if I was following football courses and I was pretty good at it. So, for one year I did manage to follow both. However, then at the end was time to make a decision and unexpectedly above all, I decided to start following the ballet path. Viva Roma, Viva Giordano, Viva Ballet.
When did you decide to make dance your professional career?
The decision had to been taken at a very - very young age, as I was being accepted at the Hamburg Ballet School at the age of 13. So, I had to leave home - Roma, family all - and moving to Germany, quite alone. We had boarding school, so we were always being controlled. Also, my family had to pay a quite big amount of money every month. This was a heavy thing for my dad, as he was only a guardian of academic school and I have more 3 siblings, back at home. So, when I decided to move at Hamburg , I took full responsibility of my life and I became a professional dancer.
What inspires you to be a dancer?
People inspiring me with their dreams, passions, energy, feelings… Most of all, in the last two years my fiancé is such an inspiration for me. I look up at her all the time. Ruika is an amazing artist and an amazing woman too. Also, my family is inspiration as they are so proud of what I am doing. So, dancing for them is inspiring. Music inspires me, life experiences… I could tell many things that inspire me… So, I don’t have a unique thing of inspiration.
What is your greatest strength as a dancer?
I believe that I’m very stubborn as a dancer, so that can be a strength, but also a weakness too. However, I always find a way to balance them.
Tell us about the biggest challenge you have faced as a dancer in your career?
The biggest challenge I always have is my height. Unfortunately, is something that many dancers have to deal with. I always had to prove more or make that more effort to try to “hide” the height problem.
Do you consider your life up to now to be a portfolio of personal choices that lead you to succeed in being the 1st Dancer or did everything happened thanks to your divine synchronicity;
In ballet world the male dancer requires to be at certain height, most of time so. But, at the end of the day I believe that people forget about. There are so many great dancers of old and new generation like Michael Baryshnikov, Herman Cornejo, Daniil Simkin… I could tell more. So yes… open your eyes guys. NOTHING IN LIFE is given for free. In ballet world you must sacrifice everything from very young age, be passionate and most of all to have discipline. This will lead you to what you want to accomplish in this profession, without extra help of anyone or divine energy. You know about the "dancing plague" epidemic of 1518 in France. Can people die... from dancing, or die for dancing?
People can die for dancing, we can remember that… Mr. Nureyev had to ask political help when he wanted to escape from the Old Soviet Union at his time and he almost got killed in the process. The same was for Mr. Baryshnikov or many other dancers, after or before them.
In some part of the world choreographers or dancers must be careful of what they create or dance and where they bring their works, because still now not everything is allowed in dance world.
What do you think someone should discover within themselves in order to overcome the psychological obstacles they encounter?
I believe that you should say to yourself that the journey is going to be long , painful, hard with a lot of ups and downs. But you must keep going no matter what, no matter who, no matter in what situation, because at the end is all in your hands. After you realize that you can just go for it. What advice do you give to the up-and-coming dancers you mentor now?
Be passionate, learn everything you can about art, don’t let people change you or underestimate you, have your opinion, don’t let other people - directors etc. - use you or manipulate you, listen to your teachers and work hard in silence with them. Your success will make rumors after. Be respectful for this art and have DISCIPLINE with consistency. Be humble.
Who are the top dancers that you admire and why?
There are many dancers I admire for their way of dancing, their spirit, their technique etc. So, I can say the legends of course: Mr. Nureyev, mr. Baryshnikov. Moreover, I have to say that after watching videos of Rolando Sarabia and Carlos Acosta, I start to fall in love with dance.
How would you describe what dance gives you? What is dance after all for you?
The studio is home, theatre is home, the floor is my bed, the clothes for ballet is my skin, the ballet class is my daily food as it is the rehearsal, the creation and performing. All these mean that I am having an amazing time with all the people I love… So, dance is life!
During the Classical Ballet/Repertoire/Pas de Deux seminar that you are teaching together with Antoni Korouti, how do you enhance the training of your students?
We had to decide before coming what would have been the schedule of the class and what kind of level we wanted to keep. Also, to have some good time together with hard work. The learning process is very important , so we basically fixed some important points that we wanted to leave them and others trying to keep them and give them during the classes. The participants answered very well and gave all their best! I was very happy to be in Thessaloniki and thanks to PAS PAR TU CENTER for making this happened!
Giordano Bozza, a native from Taranto, Italy who grew up in Rome. He started ballet at the age of ten at the Dansepartout Dance School under the direction of Luc Bouy and Gaetano Petrosino. In 2009 he won the Anita Bucchi award from the National Theatre of Rome and a scholarship from the Royal Ballet School in London.
Giordano studied at John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet School and later at the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden. He has been a former soloist at the Moravian- Silesian Ballet in the Czech Republic, performing leading roles in the classical and modern repertoire.
In 2016 he was a candidate for the Thalia award as “Best Male Dancer” for his performance in the role of Puck from ” A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed and choreographed by Youri Vamos. In 2017 he performed at the Arena di Verona as well as being part of Carla Fracci’s dance projects. In 2018 he joined the Greek National Opera Ballet and also performed in numerous galas in Albania, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, and more. In 2021 he joined the State Ballet Of Georgia where he is a soloist.