On 7 July 2021, we have had an excellent meeting with Royal Ballet First Soloist Valentino Zucchetti, soon after the premieres of his Anemoi in the Company’s Sleeping Beauty programme and of his Playfully So for the 2nd Year Royal Ballet Upper School students.
Valentino spoke about his development as a choreographer, from his first piece for the Ursula Moreton competition in 2005, through his many pieces for the Royal Ballet’s Draft Works, his involvement with New English Ballet Theatre, through to his collaborations with Alice Pennefather for short dance films involving dancers from the Company. He then spoke in detail about Anemoi, his first work for the Main Stage, which was an expansion of his Scherzo created for World Ballet Day.
He talked about the collaborations with designer Jean-Marc Puissant and music director Koen Kessels and the challenges of mounting the piece at a time when many of his chosen young dancers had to isolate due to covid. Valentino has chosen to use a very traditional classical vocabulary, while trying to make it conceptually new as a way to bring that language into today, as so many other choreographers have chosen to move away from this vocabulary.
Valentino then spoke briefly about his career as a dancer in Zurich, Oslo and London and the highlights of his time in the Royal, including as Puck, Lensky, Lescaut and Mercutio. Valentino gave us a fascinating and entertaining evening.