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This week, ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School welcomed former ABT Principal Dancer Julio Bocca and former ABT Soloist Joaquin de Luz as guest instructors for the Pre-Professional Division. One of the ABT JKO School’s greatest strengths is the commitment of ABT Alumni to return and impart their knowledge and talents to the next generation of dancers. We sat down with the ABT JKO School’s male faculty to hear about their earliest inspirations!
“It is rather difficult to keep the list of those who have inspired me short; however, I would like to name a few in the dance field: Nikolai Rumyantzev, Rudolf Nureyev, Edward Villella, Jean Babile, Martha Graham and Nina Vyroubova. The list would not be complete without composers, painters, singers, sculptors, architects, poets and many other artists who I continue to look up to for my inspiration.”
“The ballet that made me want to be a dancer was Fancy Free. Three years after joining American Ballet Theatre, I got to work with Jerome Robbins, and start a lifetime career dancing his ballets at both ABT and New York City Ballet. As a teacher, I want to inspire my students to develop into well-rounded artists that can accomplish any style of choreography.”
“I was in the first group of boys to dance classical ballet in Colombia. I had no knowledge of ballet. What captivated me the most was the discipline that the dance class offered me. Years later, I saw ABT’s video of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Cynthia Harvey dancing Don Quixote – that’s when I really understood what classical ballet was about. I have always believed that any child with discipline and a good work ethic at school will be prepared for any unknown world.”