When I first learned the news that Federico Bonelli, known as a Principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, was appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Northern Ballet, I was remembering his interview for a dance magazine (although I can’t remember which one or when). There, he was talking about his dream after retiring from dancing: becoming the Artistic Director of a ballet company. Despite feeling sad about his departure from the Royal Ballet, I was so excited that his dream came true, which doesn’t always happen to everyone.
Since his assignment with the Northern Ballet was to start from May, I expected that his farewell performance at the Royal Ballet would be ‘A Month in the Country’ scheduled in April, in which he was to dance with Laura Morera. I hoped to see their last dance together, since they developed special partnership throughout their professional careers.
After all, he had to leave the Royal Ballet earlier to prepare for his new chapter - his farewell performance therefore happened much earlier on 5th March in ‘Swan Lake’, which had already been sold out. As I unfortunately couldn’t see it, I’d like to virtually revisit some of his past performances to reminisce about his elegance and artistry that will be greatly missed.
While he matured his artistry, he kept his juvenile looks and youthfulness in any productions he was cast. As much as he was a noble, elegant, sophisticated dancer himself, he was also impressive as a dancing partner, whoever he danced with.
Sleeping Beauty (with Alina Cojocaru)
Romeo and Juliet (with Lauren Cuthbertson)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (with Sarah Lamb)
Swan Lake (with Akane Takada)
(From this link below, you can see a scene of Black Swan with Federico and Akane)
To me personally, his most memorable highlight at the Royal Ballet was his role creation of Victor Frankenstein in ‘Frankenstein’ by Liam Scarlett in 2016. His profound emotional expression as well as exquisite storytelling skills through dancing was one of the strong factors which made the production special and unforgettable:
Frankenstein (choreography by Liam Scarlett)
While the London ballet scene will greatly miss him, I wish him, his family and the company of the Northern Ballet all the best in the exciting new beginning.