La Scala's Director Steps Down After Eight Months

Recently, Europe has seen its fair share of ballet-related drama. From Benjamin Millepied’s sudden departure from Paris Opéra Ballet to the turbulent shift in directors at Staatsballett Berlin, several companies have undergone big changes this year.

Now, after only eight months in the position, La Scala Ballet's artistic director, Mauro Bigonzetti, has announced his resignation. His reason for leaving is a severe back injury that he's had since the summer, though there has already been some speculation that other reasons may be at play as well.

La Scala Ballet dancers in Bigonzetti’s Cinderella. Photo by Marco Brescia and Rudy Amisano courtesy Teatro alla Scala.

Before taking the position at La Scala, Bigonzetti directed the Italian contemporary ballet company Aterballetto, and he has choreographed for prominent companies around the world. To some, his appointment as artistic director was controversial from the start—his more contemporary background seemed an odd fit for La Scala, traditionally a very classical company. During his tenure, there were reports of strain between him and the dancers over repertory choices, and he was notably absent from a recent tour to China and Japan.

A new director hasn't been chosen yet, but Fréderic Olivieri, who currently runs the company's school, will take over as interim director until February 2017. As they go through this transition, we'll be keeping our eyes out to see what's in store for the company next.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

Latest Posts


Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

2020 Stars of the Corps: American Ballet Theatre's Wanyue Qiao

When the curtain opens on Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, there are two women onstage, wearing striped pants and tops, and sneakers. By the end, after almost 40 minutes of high-intensity dancing, they've stripped down to red leotards, their fists lifted victoriously. Wanyue Qiao danced one of these athletic superwomen last year during American Ballet Theatre's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. It was her first major role, after three years in the corps, and she couldn't have been more fierce. "To be honest, I had never done this kind of dance before, and I wasn't sure if it was my style," she says. Tharp encouraged her, and helped her to find her warrior side. "She showed not just her strength, coordination and ability, but courage," says ballet master Susan Jones, who assisted Tharp in the staging.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Butternut Squash Takes Center Stage This Fall—Plus, 2 Easy Recipes

Whether it's cubed and roasted or puréed into a comforting soup, butternut squash takes center stage this fall. The flavorful seasonal favorite is an excellent nutritional choice for dancers. Here's what's packed into one serving:

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks