Ballet Masterclasses with Cristina Saso
Cristina Saso is an accomplished ballerina who has worked with the Rome Opera House, Theatre of San Carlo and Tulsa Ballet
She has an extensive repertoire which includes performing in classical ballet productions such as The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Cinderella, The Nutcracker and many others.
An Interview with Cristina Translated from Italian via Google Translate
Swedish mother, Roman father but of Sicilian origin. "A nice mixture!" .... With a smile on her lips, the contagious joy and charm of a woman who perpetually puts her heart before anything else, Cristina Saso presents herself like that. Lady Capuleti in Romeo and Julietand the Queen Mother in Swan Lake - both in the choreographic version of Patrice Bart - are the last roles she played as a protagonist. Despite the title of 'addition' of the corps de ballet of the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma her career has ranged far and wide with many satisfactions without neglecting her private life: a husband and a four year old son. Intelligent, enthusiastic, passionate, when she speaks it's a river in flood and, just a few minutes from the opening of the curtain, no kind of anxiety prevents her from talking amiably about her journey, her history.
How did the dance come into her life?
I went to see a ballet at the Opera di Roma with my mother who is passionate about art and music, I fell in love with the dance and asked her if I could join a school. Dance has a discipline, that, unlike sport, hides another fascinating world behind the bar exercises. After a period at the Balletto di Roma, I took part in the "Isola di Capri" contest where I arrived third. In the committee there was Carla Fracci, who told me: "I think you should study well, you have the aptitudes to undertake this job." At fourteen I convinced my mother to go to study abroad, first in Monaco by Marika Besobrasova with a scholarship, then in Munich to the Heinz Bosl Stiftung Academy, conquered by a style different from that of the Paris Opera that has never attracted me too much. Then the hard years came, I felt confused. I have always lacked a guide in my career, even though many have focused on me at the time of going on stage, in the distribution of roles. Even today I am 'added' even if I have played major roles, I owe a lot to Carla Fracci who always gave me space, under his direction I danced a lot, mainly in neoclassical productions.
What do you watch in a dancer?
Only and exclusively the stage presence. I never judge a dancer in the rehearsal room but I watch her on stage, I do not care how much she turns, how much she raises her legs, how many skills she has, I am interested in quality and cleanliness. In my opinion the dance is 'between' steps, I mean that it is in the gesture, in a walk, the ends must be coordinated, not necessarily need a nice instep. This choice has characterized my work, perhaps to the detriment of the technique, I have become a bit 'too perfectionist. I prefer a dancer who does less technically but with great attention to detail to a dancer excelled in virtuosity that leaves out all the rest.
What is talent?
First of all either you have or do not have. In my opinion it is the ability to give feelings, something that is missing today. There is so much in the technical skill but the artist must excite the audience, must make him dream especially today that there is a crazy individualism, we are all dried up .. The spectator can not run five laps sitting in the audience but can live a ' emotion watching the show. Those of my generation began to study dance, then we lost the value of expressiveness. Technique is not everything.Unfortunately today we choose this work to get noticed.
What do you like and what does not support the dance world?
I like the stage, the music, the merging with the gesture; I can not stand the absence of soul in the dance of these times, we are few to look into our eyes and understand that the dance is not a bunch of steps, in that case we talk about artistic gymnastics and in fact the best gymnasts are good hundred times more than the dancers of great technique, but dance is art. Summarizing, I like art, I do not like it not to be given more value, that it is no longer necessary. Instead it is terribly.
Is it ambitious?
I've never been, let alone now that the age is incumbent ... and even competitive, unfortunately there are times when you have to be even if it is not part of your nature.
What moves her?
The strong feelings, the playful aspects of life do not involve me too much.
What has changed in the dance world, do you think?
Everything, first we danced to express ourselves, to communicate, now to show off, to excel. We should rediscover the pleasure of telling a story, and interpreting it by communicating emotions, this is dance.
What are her role models, if she has any?
Marcia Haydée, Carla Fracci, Margareth Illmann, Larissa Lezhnina.
What is dance for her?
Give an image, a gesture to the music, speak without being able to do so through the body but above all the arms. Dance is a moment of eternity, a space in time when everything stops. It is not to demonstrate, but to be and for this there is only talent, artistic and musical. The technical one is there, but it comes later. The history of dance has shown us the existence of dancers who have thrilled us with a walk. I would advise young people to take care of the details, to focus on the quality of movement, on the extremities: arms, feet and head. In a dance body is the first thing you notice and to dance solo roles and first dancer it is necessary to have this care.