1975-1986 / The beginning
Roberto Bolle discovered his passion for dance when he was very young. He began studying in Piedmont, his region of origin, until the age of 12 when he entered the Ballet School of La Scala Theatre in Milan.
1990 / Meeting Rudolf Nureyev
The last time that Nureyev appeared at La Scala Theatre to stage his production of Nutcracker, he who was considered at the time to be a legend, noticed Roberto in the studio. He asked the deeply moved fifteen-year-old boy to do some exercises at the bar. After some days Nureyev chose him to perform Tadzio in Death in Venice. This meeting was to influence Roberto’s destiny forever.
1995-1996 / Romeo and Juliet cor. MacMillan, La Scala Theatre, Milan
Only twenties Roberto debuts in the starring role of Romeo. In this role, in July of the following year, he will be promoted Principal Dancer by Elizabeth Terabust, beginning an outstanding international career.
1997 / Swan Lake, Royal Albert Hall, London
Roberto performed Sigfried for the first time with the international star Altinai Asylmuratova at the most impressive English concert hall in a huge new production by Derek Deane, which included 70 swans, acrobats and jugglers. For the first time the young Italian artist, just twenty-two, met some members of the Royal Family such as Princess Margaret and the beautiful and unforgettable Lady Diana.
1998 / The Times and Aida, Giza Plateau, Cairo
On St. Valentine’s Day The Times devoted a front-page article to Roberto which further added to his enormous international popularity. In the same year Roberto danced in Aida in Cairo which was the first time in 50 years that this production had been performed there. The Keope and the Kefren pyramids set the stage and were an exceptional background to Aida.
1999 / UNICEF and The Nutcracker, Covent Garden Royal Opera House, London
After three years of restoration, the Royal Opera house opened the season and celebrated its reopening with The Nutcracker. Roberto was invited to dance at the prestigious theatre for the first time with Darcey Bussell. Since this performance, the exceptional partnership with Darcey has continued and they have danced in many classical and contemporary ballets together. He was elected as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador .
2002 / Queen Elisabeth’s Golden Jubilee, Buckingham Palace, London
The United Kingdom and the entire British Commonwealth celebrated Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth’s Golden Jubilee. The highlight of the celebration was held on Saturday 1st June and was a great event at the Royal Palace. Roberto, the only Italian artist invited, performed the Black Swan pas de deux with Zenaida Yanowsky in the fabulous setting of the throne room at Buckingham Palace.
2003-2004 / Mariinsky, Bolshoi, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera House
International Star, in these years Roberto was invited to dance in the most prestigious theatres in the world: Mariinsky – Bol’šoj –Opéra – Metropolitan Opera House. Theaters where only the most famous étoiles have ever performed.
2004 / Young People’s Day, St. Peter’s square, Rome
On April 1st Pope John Paul II met youngsters at St. Peter’s Square. Roberto danced a solo to Mozart’s Ave Verum choreographed by Renato Zanella, in the square.
2006 / Winter Olympic Games and UNICEF
For the first time in 50 years The Winter Olympic Games were held in Piedmont where Roberto was born. During the exciting opening ceremony which was broadcast live worldwide, Roberto – who depicted a futurist hero – burst into the Stadium full of energy. On this huge and unusual stage he danced a long solo in a striking setting which represented Italian art from Futurism to Future. As UNICEF Ambassador he visited Sudan to raise funds and awareness for children whose lives have been affected by violence.
2007 / Alessandra Ferri Farewell
In June 2007, Roberto Bolle was the first Italian dancer to be invited to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. His performances in Manon and Romeo and Juliet were highly praised. His partner, Alessandra Ferri, was at the top of her career and performed her farewell performance at the MET. The 30 minutes of applause, a standing ovation and enthusiastic newspaper reviews declared the next chapter in Roberto’s international success.
2008 / Roberto Bolle and Friends
In 2008, after 8 years of enormous successes gathered all over Italy and abroad, the by-then famous “Bolle and Friends” Gala began looking for locations that would normally be considered highly unusual for the typical ballet requirements. Locations, at this point, had become as important and peculiar to the “Bolle and Friends” appointment as the repertoire performed on stage. Just to mention a few places where the gala took place: the Coliseum in Rome, Duomo Square in Milan, Plebiscito Square in Naples and San Marco square in Venice. Well beyond Italian borders, the gala reached audiences in Athens, (Greece), Instanbul (Turkey), Beijing (China), Tokyo (Japan) and finally New York City, (United States).
2009 / American ballet theatre, young global leader for Davos and Bruce Weber
For the 2009 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, he performed as a Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre: it was the first time that a male Italian dancer had joined the Company as a Principal. The World Economic Forum awarded Roberto Bolle Young Global Leader 2009. An Athlete In Tights is a photography book realized by Bruce Weber that celebrates his three-years collaboration with Roberto Bolle. In this book, which is largely pictorial, Bruce Weber has captured the convergence of artistic and physicality in Roberto.
2010 / Robert Wilson, Peter Greenway and UNICEF
Robert Wilson, the famous choreographer, performer, painter, sculptor, video artist, and sound and lighting designer created Perchance to Dream, a series of 30 video portraits featuring Roberto Bolle, presented in New York in December In 2012 some of them were projected on giant screens placed in Times Square, New York. Roberto Bolle met also Peter Greenway , who wanted him to represent the Italian art at Shanghai Expo 2010. His virtual images of Roberto Bolle dominated the Italian Pavillon. As UNICEF Ambassador, he went for the second time to Africa.
2012 / Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito Della Repubblica Italiana and Arena di Verona
In November 2012 he was appointed Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana by Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic, for his support to the Italian culture. In July the Gala Roberto Bolle and Friends took place at the Arena of Verona. It was the first time after more than 19 years a ballet had been performed in such an amazing location. About 10 thousand people attended the Gala.
2013 / New York City Center
Roberto Bolle and Friends Gala took place on September 17th 2013 at New York City Center. This special Evening was the highlight event of the project: 2013 – The Year of Italian Culture in the United States.
2014 / Paris, Medal of UNESCO and Rethink Energy
In 2014 he was awarded the Unesco Medal, conferred in Paris, for the universal cultural value of his artistic work, “in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of the ideas of Unesco through dance as a living cultural expression and as a vector for dialogue”. Always in 2014 Bolle has been chosen as the star of the new ENI campaign “Rethink Energy” for which he made an incredible spot directed by Fabrizio Ferri.
2015 / Viaggio nella Bellezza and Milan 2015
In April of 2015 was released by Rizzoli, the book “Voyage into beauty” with images of Luciano Romano and Fabrizio Ferri of him in some of the symbols of the Italian artistic heritage, such as the ruins of Pompei, Piazza San Marco in Agrigento, the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla, where the harmony of gestures and the balance between the dancer and the places evoke a profound reflection on art and the exceptional nature of our heritage. Always in 2015 Roberto Bolle approaches for the first time to the cinema as a director participating in choral project “Milan 2015”, a documentary film divided into six episodes with as many directors. The film was successfully presented at the Venice Film Festival.