Giulia Fedeli

October 16, 2018

Dance the Night Away!

What brought you to Baton Rouge and when did you arrive?
I moved to Baton Rouge with my husband when he accepted a job here.  I am originally from Padova, in the northeast of Italy, and my husband is from Texas; we met on a train ride from Rome to Venice 7 years ago. We moved here in June 2018 after living in Houston for a few months following one year living in Shanghai.  We have enjoyed getting acquainted with southern Louisiana culture and all of the great food and music that goes with it.  We are happy to be more stable here now and to have the opportunity to get settled.

What are your thoughts on the dance opportunities in Baton Rouge?
I have been fortunate to be able to teach and perform here already. I have been welcomed by a variety of people from the dance community here in Baton Rouge.  The fact that I have been able to find teaching and performing opportunities so quickly shows how active and enthusiastic the local dance community is, however, the number of performances seems to be fairly limited.  I would love to see more dancers get an opportunity to perform locally and to allow audiences access to a wider variety of dance styles and performance art.

Were you always interested in dancing?
Yes, I always dreamed of pursuing a life in dance.  I started dancing when I was five in my hometown of Padova, Italy and have been fortunate to be able to dance continuously since then.  While in high school, I attended the ballet academy in Milan and when I was 18, I moved to New York to attend the Ailey School. After that, I danced professionally with a New York based dance company and then went on to perform in the US and Europe with an Italian dance company for 6 years. During that time also collaborated with the Luciano Pavarotti Foundation and performed internationally with their opera singers. It has been a wonderful experience to connect two beautiful forms of art and bring together different kinds of audiences.

Who are you influenced by in the world of dance?
The choreographers whose work I have always admired most are Maurice Bejart, Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, and William Forsythe for their unique and innovative creations and contributions to the evolution and progression of dance. The director of the dance company I danced with in Italy, Vittorio Biagi, was a principal at the Paris Opera and then one of the first members of The Ballet du XXe Siècle directed by Maurice Bejart, so it was wonderful for me to have the opportunity to grow and mature under the direction of someone so talented and who had most of his career guided by one of my favorite choreographers.

The dancer I have always admired most is Sylvie Guillem.  To me, she is the epitome of artistic expression through dance to which I have always aspired.  In every performance, she gives something of herself beyond the perfection of movement to breathe life into the piece and give it a soul, which is the ultimate goal as a dancer and artist.  She was such an incredible talent that when she left the Paris Opera Ballet to go to the Royal Ballet in London, the French cultural minister described it as "a national catastrophe."

What do you like about the culture of Baton Rouge?
I love the fact that Baton Rouge and southern Louisiana have one of the strongest cultural identities in the US. It is amazing to be in a place with such a vibrant music scene which is so historically rooted. I also love the fact that there are many traditions that can be found nowhere else.

Do you have any upcoming events?
I am really enjoying spreading my passion for dance by sharing my experience teaching ballet and contemporary dance classes.  Additionally, I am teaching a course in Antigymnastique, a French technique of performing small exercises to reawaken dormant muscles in order to improve posture, reduce pain, and improve self-awareness.

Where can folks go to see you perform?
I will be performing in the Nutcracker with Baton Rouge Ballet Theater at the River Center Arena on December 15th and 16th. I am very excited to be part of this big tradition for the whole city of Baton Rouge!