Cristiano Principato, Italian dancer at the Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is a charming witty real-life prince, see by yourself how many times I burst out laughing at his answers.
Cristiano will share with us almost everything: from his first steps into dancing to joining a professional company, from his preference when it comes to classical ballet or contemporary to his passion and incredible talent as a choreographer, from the challenges to the perks of being a dancer and so much more.
Watch the interview
How it started
“Lots of traveling on the train”
Every dancer’s beginning of the journey is special in its own way. For Cristiano, it all started dancing around in his living room and progressed to the very disciplined and serious academy environment, that he always wanted to experience, of La Scala ballet school in Milan from where he graduated.
“It was this big plan of just being 12 dancers”
After graduating from La Scala ballet school, Cristiano received five company contracts straight away and picked Amsterdam as his favorite. What made him take the decision? Discover as well what he likes the most in the city.
Unexpectedly in Varna
“Who knows how it goes…”
In July 2018, Cristiano participated to the Varna International Ballet Competition to accompany Jessica Xuan. None of this was planned for Cristiano, shortly before the start of the competition he was not even thinking of dancing as a competitor. What made him decide to take the challenge? What did he value in this experience?
“Don’t try to impress people for something that you’re not”
In the end, a dancer, as an artist, tries to convey a story, emotions, feelings to the public through his dance on stage. Not everyone is really clear on this actually works, there are a lot of elements to take into consideration. Cristiano is quite clear on how he makes it happen, he has a sense of safeguarding the quality of his dancing that is always a priority to him and that requires a lot of self awareness.
Being a choreographer
“I don’t know why, but I love to be the boss”
Cristiano discovered his passion and talent for choreographing at a very early age. Choreography then accompanied him throughout his life up to getting the exquisite opportunity to participate in the choreographic workshops with the Dutch National Ballet. Another occasion for Core de Ballet to travel to Amsterdam.
Being stuck in the elevator with…
“I just want to meet her”
So, if you could be stuck in the elevator with anyone in the world, who would that be? What an interesting question! The answer is even more surprising. A hint: it’s not a dancer, but has qualities that Cristiano values the most in a dancer.
The biggest challenge
“The moment it’s all gone and you want to give up”
What is Cristiano’s biggest challenge dancewise? Well, we can agree that this life is a challenge in its whole, but there is always that one thing that stands out for each and every dancer. How does Cristiano deal with and overcome it?
Being cast in…
“So you have to think about something that gives you goosebumps”
Cristiano was one of the few Corps de ballet to be cast in “Requiem”, by David Dawson. We asked him how receiving this news made him feel and how working on this very demanding creation was. An opportunity to discuss how he approaches traditional ballet repertoire compared to more abstract productions.
Ballet or Abstract
“There’s more room to make it still work”
Ballet or Abstract? Some of us have a strong preference towards one or the other, for others there’s no reason to choose. What is more interesting to hear about is what makes us like either style. Cristiano’s answer is quite representative of his taste in life and his personality.
Being a dancer
“Most of my life is adjusted around the fact that I am a dancer”
What does being a dancer mean? It’s obviously not an easy question to answer, but it is always good to remember who we are and why. So how does Cristiano defines himself as a dancer? How does he manage this highly demanding career?
Best Part of Being a Dancer
“There’s so much more behind”
We tend to often emphasize the sacrifices required by a dancer’s life without giving much importance to the perks and highlights. Cristiano here steps back a little to look at the big picture and shares with us some of the amazing experiences and feelings dancing brings as well. Cristiano discusses two things in particular (and it’s not flexibility….).
Free time and dreams
“I’m not one of a kind”
It is hard to have some free time, if any, when dancing takes up most of your day from 10am to 10pm. Cristiano has one very specific favorite activity, and a close second best. Combining them together, we also found the perfect location for a dance company, according to him. Do you agree with him?
Health and Fitness advice
“I mean, I eat one every day!”
Even if he does not realize it, Cristiano has a wonderfully sculpted body: the result of years and years of work and dedication. We asked him his secret and received one of the most genuine and realistic answers.
To my younger self
“Sometimes we give up when we’re so close to making something”
Looking back at the past and opening the possibility to give advice to your younger self is an eye-opening experience. An opportunity to realize how much we grew, how much we’ve learned and how much we can still improve. It’s one of Core de Ballet’s favorite questions. Cristiano’s answer is meaningful and inspiring, especially to young dancers in training.
“There’s so much drama and I love drama”
There is little more personal and specific than a dancer’s dream role. A lot of different aspects are taken into consideration: generally the meaning and the story behind the character itself, the choreography and music. Cristiano is extremely clear on his dream role.
Cristiano Principato is an Italian professional dancer at the Dutch National Ballet from 2014 until 2019 and currently dancing at Estonian National Ballet.
Profile Photo: Sarali @sarali.art