Julio Bocca with Alessandra Ferri in Manon.


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Final Performance Set for June 22, 2006

2/6/2006 - After a 20-year career as Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Julio Bocca has announced he will retire from the Company. He will dance his final performance in the role of Des Grieux in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon on Thursday evening, June 22, 2006 at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Julio Bocca began his dance training with his mother at the age of four. He studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón where his teachers included Gloria Kazda, Jose Pares, Ninel Jultyeva, Karemina Moreno and Luis Aguilar, improving his technique later on with Maggie Black, Lidia Segni and Wilhelm Burmann. His professional career began in 1982 when he joined the Ballet del Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro as a principal dancer, as well as the Fundación Teresa Carreño de Venezuela.

In May 1985, Bocca won the Gold Medal at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Moscow and toured the former U.S.S.R., appearing with the ballet company in Novosibirsk, where he danced the Prince in The Nutcracker and Basilio in Don Quixote, and with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet, again dancing in Don Quixote.

Bocca joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in 1986. His roles with the Company include the title role in Apollo, Solor in La Bayadère, the pas de deux from Roland Petit’s Carmen, a Stepsister in Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Basilio in Don Quixote, Albrecht in Giselle, Des Grieux in Manon, Danilo in The Merry Widow, the pas de deux from Onegin, Act III, the pas de deux Other Dances, the title role in Petrouchka, Abderakhman in Raymonda, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James in La Sylphide, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, the fourth variation in Variations for Four and leading roles in Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Études and Theme and Variations. Bocca created the leading role in Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling.

His awards and nominations include: María Ruanova ¨Primus Inter Pares” (1986), ¨Gino Tanni Award to the Arts¨ (1990), ¨Personality of the Year¨ (1990) granted in France, ¨Benois De La Danse¨ (1991), ¨Martin Fierro¨ for the best performance in a music show in Argentina (1991), ¨King David Award¨ from the Argentine House of Jerusalem¨ (1996), and ¨Barocco¨ award sponsored by the Italian network RAI, among others. Bocca is also a Cultural Ambassador of the Mercosur Cities and member of the International Dance Council, CID-UNESCO.

In 1990, Bocca founded Ballet Argentino, a company of dancers showcasing the artistry of Argentina. Celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, Ballet Argentino has toured the globe continuously. In addition, he has been a guest artist of the Covent Garden London, Paris Opera House, La Scala Milan and the Royal Danish Ballet, among other distinguished companies.

In 2000, Bocca made his Broadway debut in Fosse, and, in 2001, he formed “BoccaTango en el Maipo,” with musicians, singers and dancers, choreographed by Ana María Stekelman. Bocca will continue performing with Ballet Argentino through December 2007.