Giulia Frosi - born in Cremona, a beautiful town in northern Italy. Giulia began her training at La Scala Ballet School at 11 years old and studied there for five years. She continued her training at The Royal Ballet Upper School (London) and joined Dresden Semperoper Ballet in 2015 and has just started her third season with the company.
Photo by Erik Gross
If you could describe what type of dancer you are with just three words, what would they be?
I would say I am a passionate, determined and curious dancer.
What has been one of your favourite experiences on stage so far?
If I’d have to pick just one favourite memory, it would be dancing the Chanson pas de deux on the Royal Opera House stage in London at the graduation performance in my last year at The Royal Ballet School. It was a magical moment, this mesmerising pas de deux was created by Derek Dean in 1982 on Alesssandra Ferri and David Wall and had never been revived since then. The delicate music by Joseph Canteloube with the live soprano singer brought the experience to another level, it was almost like the singing was coming out from my heart. I get goosebumps just thinking of that otherworldly moment on stage shared with my partner Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød.
What is your personal strength as a dancer?
I feel my personal strength would be my artistry and I have been told I have a strong stage presence.
Is there a specific choreographer that inspires you?
Recently I have been learning the role of Manon and it has been a huge discovery of the genius Kenneth MacMillan. He has made me fall in love with the role, I admire how you get to tell a story and dive into the character through his intelligent movements. I am also a big fan of many of his works such as Mayerling, Concerto, Elite Syncopations and obviously Romeo and Juliet. Other, more current choreographers that inspire me are Jiri Kylian and David Dawson, I feel I always achieve something special physically and emotionally when I dance their works.
Do you have a favourite theatre to perform in?
I don't have an ultimate theatre yet, though I love the Royal Opera House in London, it is beautiful and immense. I am now also very fond of the Semperoper in Dresden, however I believe every theatre has its very own uniqueness!
Photo by Erik Gross
How would you describe the difference between a rehearsal and a show?
In rehearsals dancers have to focus on achieving what the choreographer or the ballet master is asking for. It's a continuous process of learning and perfecting. It's the time where the dancer can work on improving and discovering within the piece so when it gets to the stage he or she is as prepared as possible. Another important aspect of rehearsals is coordinating with the dancers all together, such as in ensemble work. It takes patience and hard work but at the end it's very satisfying to work unified and to create something very visually special.
The stage can be a completely unique world. I love being on stage even though I have to admit I usually get nervous before a performance. There is something particular about performing, something special about opening your heart to who is watching and helping the audience feel something. The lights, the costumes, the orchestra playing, the fact that there aren't any mirrors or people that can correct you. It’s an interesting place and gives me a sense of freedom which I love. Being on stage is where you have to show what you’ve worked on but most importantly it’s the moment where you stop solely executing and you become an artist.
Is being a professional ballet dancer anything like you imagined it to be when you were training?
When I was training I thought school was going to teach me everything I needed to know about professional life, but actually oneself never stops learning. I think there is so much to absorb once you enter into the professional world. As a professional you get to meet many people that inspire you and help you think ‘outside the box’.
Do you focus on specific exercise along side your daily training, rehearsals and performances?
Depending on how my daily schedule is I work differently on my body but in the mornings I enjoy doing my own easy stretch and body awakening routine which consists of simple Pilate type exercises. During the day, if I have a long break I work on my alignment or strengthening and at the weekend if I am not too tired from the week I like to go swimming, it makes me feel really good.
Are you conscientious about nutrition and how you fuel your body?
I think nutrition plays a huge role on an athletes wellbeing. I’ve learnt a lot about the importance of nutrition in the past few years and how it keeps me healthy and strong everyday. I became vegetarian a couple of years ago and the usual misconception is it’s impossible to perform intensive activity without eating meat but I honesty feel much healthier now without the consumption of it. I am also half Italian half Spanish so i’ve been nurtured with a tradition of the importance of sitting and having a good meal with people.
Photo by Bill Cooper
How do you go about relaxing and taking time away from your active lifestyle?
The dancers life can get very intense. Somedays I end up being in my work bubble for the whole day and it can be hard to let go of the frustration and stress. One way I like to relax is to spend time with friends over a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. I love to read when I manage to clear my mind and I also like to watch movies, especially when the body feels broken and the sofa becomes the saviour.
How do you imagine life after dance?
Life after dance is surely not an easy subject, especially for dancers who have wanted to be a dancer since they were very young and couldn’t imagine life without it. I often ask myself what I would like to do after my career, but I am not a big planner and I don't have a clear idea yet. I feel life has always allowed me to fall into things quite naturally, so I try to make the most of the present to build something strong for the future. In a few years I would like to start some online University courses but apart from that I don't know what awaits for me out there. I guess I will find out with time, meanwhile I will keep cultivating my passions and interests so I will be as ready as possible for the life change.