We welcome Julia Ibáñez and Lucas López at our headquarters
This week we launched theMentoring Project, in which two main dancers from the Company have shared their day-to-day life and their professional experience with two students from the RCPD Mariemma (Mariemma Royal Proffesional Dance School) who are in their final years of training. We wanted to interview them so they could tell us how the experience was like. Lucas López, a 5th grade professional dance student, has had the opportunity to learn from Alessandro Riga, the leading figure of the Company. Julia Ibáñez, a classical ballet student in the 6th grade of professional dance training, has had the opportunity to learn with Cristina Casa, principal dancer of the Company.
Alessandro, Cristina, throughout your career you have been able to learn from other artists who have contributed in your growth as dancers. How do you face the challenge of teaching two young dancers?
ALESSANDRO. I don’t feel as his teacher, but as his fellow. I’ve taught him how is it to work in a proffessional dance company, how are the rehearsals like and how is our day-to-day routine in here.
CRISTINA. It’s a really nice opportunity. A dancer grows with each of his or hers proffesors’ and ballet master’s contributions throughout her or his career. Fortunately I’ve had many of those figures beside me. Seeing myself now on the other side helping Julia is something very special and it comforts me a lot. I try to teach her some details about the professional difficulty of our world.
Lucas, Julia, you are at a point in your training in which is very valuable to learn from professionals. How is it for you to be able to train with this project?
LUCAS. Is a very enriching experience. Above all because it enables us to get to know the atmosphere inside the Company. I can feel a big team spirit atmosphere, everybody is ready to help each other. Besides, their proffessionalism is spectacular. I am used to seeing them on social media, and now is astounding to be able to have them around and live this experience with them.
JULIA. It’s a great opportunity for me. I can know first-hand what it is like to be a professional dancer, the environment within a company and learn great things to pass on to other generations. I would love to get out of here learning lots of new things. I am enjoying myself a lot.
We all remember a teacher who has become our role model over time. Alessandro, Cristina, what values would you like to transmit to Lucas and Julia?
ALESSANDRO. I think it’s really important what Lucas highlighted. When you enter a company, the support of your colleagues is essential. The processes at school are more focused on the individual and this details about companionship is not appreciated. Here we work for a common objective, by doing a great quality work. I think it is very enriching that he experiences this great change.
CRISTINA. The most beautiful things for me are the small details, not so much the correct way of turning or raising the leg, but the transitions from one movement to the next. They are subtle things that make a more interesting dancer. Also, as Julia says, I would like her to leave the CND knowing what our professional life is like, since it is very different from our educational one.
And Lucas, Julia, what would you like to learn from Alessandro and Cristina?
LUCAS. I would like to leave having a general idea of what it is like to be part of a company, since I will try to join one soon. I like the idea of learning to work as a team, being part of a dance corps.
JULIA. I would like to learn a little bit of everything I see from Cristina and other dancers and teachers. Understand how I feel in this area and become more independent.
Alessandro, Cristina, as the leading figure and main dancer of the Company, what would you say to Lucas and Julia that is essential to succeed?
ALESSANDRO. These days I have seen a lot of talent in him. For this reason, what I advise him is to keep working towards a good professional career.
CRISTINA. I think the most important thing is to be persistent. In this profession you have to have great physical qualities but the mind is really important too. The one who succeeds the most is not the quickest, but the constant and tenacious one.
Lucas, Julia, what does it mean for you to be able to work with the leading figure and one of the main dancers of the Company?
LUCAS. It is a pleasure and I feel lucky to have this opportunity to spend a few days with a dance leader such as Alessandro Riga. Everything that I am learning with him will serve me a lot in the future, both on a technical and mental/attitude level.
JULIA. It is something really special and interesting for me. Every day I get more excited in here. It is very nice to see the way they live in this profession and their vocation. Sharing this time next to a renowed dancer such as Cristina Casa has been a privilege.
ALESSANDRO RIGA – LEAD PRINCIPAL DANCER CND
CRISTINA CASA – PRINCIPAL DANCER CND
LUCAS LÓPEZ – RCPD MARIEMMA STUDENT
JULIA IBÁÑEZ – RCPD MARIEMMA STUDENT
Interview by: Natalia del Buey