Bigonzetti named new ballet director at La Scala

World-famous opera house closes three-month gap.

Milan’s Teatro alla Scala has announced that Mauro Bigonzetti is taking over the role of director of the corps de ballet after the hiatus following the mysterious and precipitate defection by Makhar Vaziev in October.

Breaking the news, La Scala’s superintendent Alexander Pereira said: “By choosing the greatest Italian choreographer of our times, the theatre intends to develop the corps de ballet’s artistic identity, define its place in the international dance field, and at the same time preserve its tradition and flexibility.”

The nomination of a choreographer to the post marks a break with tradition: previous directors of the ballet company – Elisabetta Terabust, Frédéric Olivieri, Makhar Vaziev – have generally been dancers.

Bigonzetti started his career as a dancer in the Teatro dell’Opera of his hometown, Rome. He later moved to join Alterballetto, a major producing and touring dance company founded in 1979 in Reggio Emilia, where he became director from 1997 to 2007.

Deciding to concentrate more on the role of choreographer, Bigonzetti left Alterballetto to produce performances for many of the most important international dance companies, including the English National Ballet, Stuttgarter Ballett, New York City Ballet, Ballet du Capitole in Toulouse, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and in Italy at La Scala, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera and the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples.

He has already started work at La Scala, directing his own choreography for Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella, danced by Roberto Bolle and guest artist Polina Semonova, to open the current winter season.

Photo. Marco Brescia