The Workout

The Workout: Roberto Bolle

Although he's almost as renowned for his physique as for his partnering, the La Scala étoile and American Ballet Theatre principal doesn't believe in going to the gym.

Workout philosophy: “I don't lift weights; I just lift beautiful women."

Pre-class must-do: Planks on his elbows. “I hold the position for a minute, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat that two more times. It stabilizes my abdominals and back before dancing."

Cool-down:
Bolle spends half an hour stretching his whole body, focusing on his quads, which get tight from jumping, and any other muscles he's worked especially hard. “Over time, you learn that the muscles need to be relieved after dancing, or else you'll feel them the next day."

Secret yogi: Bolle goes to a private teacher in Milan once every couple of weeks when he's there. “Yoga's a different way for dancers to feel our bodies. It stretches our muscles at the same time as strengthening them. And it makes us breathe."

Italy vs. United States: “I think Americans are more focused on fitness and how they look. In Italy, people just want to enjoy life."

Water work: Bolle loves swimming in the pool and doing exercises like cabrioles and multiple entrechats underwater. “It's work, but it's fun because there's no gravity. And I like the feeling of the water on my body." He actually prefers the sea, but only goes when on vacation. “I would love to go in the Italian sea, but I am too well-known there to show up in my suit."

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

Keep reading... Show less
The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

Keep reading... Show less
Site Network
Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov has been hired as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

Keep reading... Show less