This season we’re featuring a Eugene Ballet dancer every week to help you get to know these talented artists bringing our season’s ballets to life. Got something you’ve always wanted to ask a professional dancer? Email your questions to [email protected], and they may be featured in our next Dancer of the Week post!
This week, we’re pleased to introduce you to our newest Company Dancer Alessandro Angelini! Alessandro trained for 11 years at the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education and also danced with Oregon Ballet Theatre. He recently danced the role of Hamlet IV in Hamlet.
What drew you to the Pacific Northwest?
I think originally, I just wanted to experience somewhere other than Oklahoma. I was drawn to Portland, Oregon because of the free-thinking, flourishing arts scene, and the general idea of living in a city that is one of a kind. When I was accepted into the second company of Oregon ballet theatre, this dream became a reality and about 10 minutes after I had stepped off the plane and felt the air outside, I knew I was home. I felt a new wind of motivation and opportunity. Through living in Portland for two years, I fell in love with this part of the country, with nature, the seasons, the people, and so began a love affair with the Pacific Northwest.
What do you enjoy about dance?
There are so many aspects of dance to enjoy.
There’s the point of view of the dancer, through this I enjoy learning and challenging myself with choreography and continuing to build and maintain my technique.
There’s the point of view of the performer, in this view I enjoy putting the finished product on stage and feeling the raw emotion of the dance that not only I am performing, but one that the entire company is a part of, I love feeling everyone’s energy on stage and in the wings.
There’s the point of view of the audience member, watching the dance and ultimately feeling the story through the movements of the dancers to the music, it is so incredible that we as dancers can (hopefully) draw the audience into the ballet to the extent where no matter what external factors an audience member is facing, they can forget all about them for a couple of hours and just feel and experience art.
Finally, there’s the humanitarian point of view, arguably the most important. Dance is the personification and embodiment of human emotion, and being able to see what those emotions were through specific ballets throughout the history of dance is so important. It gives us a sense of what life was like during each time one of these ballets was created. And for the art to be truly human, we must preserve it and adapt it for our modern times, to express what we are experiencing now so that future generations can feel what we were feeling when these dances were made.
Do you have a favorite role that you have danced?
I think my favorite ballet I have danced is the grand pas de deux from satanella. It’s so classical and technically challenging, but also very expressive. It definitely challenged me to grow as a dancer and performer.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
I am looking forward to Romeo and Juliet this season. One of my favorite ballets both in its choreography, and the music that fuels the movements. It has been my dream to be dancing any part in a production of Romeo and Juliet.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about you.
I think a fun fact about me is that I always wished I could be a drummer in an indie rock band. I think that would be the coolest experience. Maybe in a different life!