NY Hearts Boston

posted by Jennifer Stahl on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014
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Photo by Rosalie O'Connor. Petra Conti and Sabi Varga in Jirí Kylián's Bella Figura

To mark the end of its 50th anniversary season, Boston Ballet is coming to New York’s Lincoln Center for the first time ever. They’ll perform two programs of neoclassical and contemporary works June 25–28, including New York premieres of Alexander Ekman’s Cacti and Jose Martinez’ Resonance. To get the inside scoop, we spoke to the company’s newest principal, Petra Conti, who recently joined Boston Ballet after a celebrated career at La Scala.

Why did you decide to join Boston Ballet?

My husband Eris Nezha and I decided we wanted to see more, to try different work, to see how ballet looks in America. It was a challenge—we had everything at La Scala. But it’s been worth it.

Have you performed at Lincoln Center before?
No, so I’m very excited. It’s such a beautiful, famous place. On my list of the best places I’ve performed, I can put it on top!

What are you most excited about?

It’s just the city and the place where so many famous dancers have performed before. I’m curious about what the audience will be like since they are used to seeing lots of great artists.

What will you be performing?

So far, I know I will dance Bella Figura. I love working on this piece. Every time you dance it, it gives you a different emotion depending on how you feel and how your partner feels. I love Jirí Kylián—I actually worked with him on a new production when I danced in Germany for one year. He was so sensitive to all our movements, all our feelings. He would grab some step from a corps de ballet member and say, “Let’s put it in, I like that.” He was very fatherly—I remember he used to embrace me and say, “Oh, my Petra.” I have so many beautiful things to remember about him. He was very simple, in the best way.

Do you enjoy touring?

Touring is the best part of this job! You get to bring something from your home to somebody else’s home.