Spotlight: Leta Biasucci Has Had Enough of Your Hair Advice
PC Lindsay Thomas
Leta Biasucci is one of those dancers whose presence seems to attract the audience's eye with magnetic force. The Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist's seemingly impossible buoyancy and fiery spark have carved her out a place in a wide spectrum of roles, uninhibited by her small stature and natural inclination towards the soubrette.
We caught up with her for our "Spotlight" series:
What do you think is the most common misconception about dancers?
This notion that dancers eat, breathe and sleep dance. Dance can be all-consuming, but so are a lot of other careers. There is such an inspiring, wide range of interests among my peers.
What other career would you like to try?
I think about life after dance quite a bit, but I am not entirely sure what it holds. For the past six years, I have been chipping away at my bachelor's degree from Seattle University, and I am excited to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!
What was the last dance performance you saw?
Last week I saw Seattle's own Whim W'Him. It was an awesome show!
What's the most-played song on your phone?
I don't know that I have a most-played song on my phone, but Mariah Carey is a favorite in the soloist women's dressing room.
Do you have a pre-performance ritual?
For roles that are accompanied by nerves, I like to find time before a performance to spend visualizing the piece. I close my eyes and imagine how the 'perfect' performance would feel. I find this practice to be meditative and allows for me to feel more excited than nervous.
Not necessarily a ritual, but I have to double-check my performance shoe ribbons and re-sew ones that look like they might possibly come unsewn. Who wants to spend a show worrying about shoes falling off?
What's your favorite book?
I have a difficult time picking favorites of anything! Recently, I have loved All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. I am in the middle of reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. She is a brilliant and hilarious Seattle author.
Where can you be found two hours after a performance ends?
On the couch in my sweats. I am a homebody and need that time to recharge.
Where did you last vacation?
Last spring, my fiancé and I went to Kauai. What a magical place!
What app do you spend the most time on?
Probably Instagram, but I am admittedly much more of a consumer than a contributor (also perhaps an addict?). Huffington Post is a close second.
What's the first item on your bucket list?
I guess it should be to make a bucket list…
What's your go-to crosstraining routine?
When my schedule is pretty busy, I stick to yoga and light free weights. When my schedule isn't too heavy, I, like any good Pacific Northwesterner, love to hike. But after a long week, miles of elevation sounds like the last thing that I want to do! There is really no substitute for dancing to get in dancing shape.
What's the worst advice you've ever received?
"You should straighten your hair more often."
If you could relive one performance, what would it be?
A few years ago, I would have had an easier time answering this question. There are always ballets that you feel like you could dance forever; some that are such tremendous gifts to dance, and that make you sad to see them go. With each passing season, however, I become increasingly aware of how fleeting this unique career is. I try to embrace the present because ultimately, I can't take any of it with me.
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta took their final curtain call on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB
We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.
Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Each dancer handles it in their own way—whether that means cheekily admitting to having an existential crisis, or simply leaving with no regrets about what you did for love.
We will miss these dancers' performances, but can't wait to see what awaits each in their next chapters.
A previous lab cycle. Photo by Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade, Courtesy RRR Creative
Choreographic incubator Broadway Dance Lab has recently been rechristened Dance Lab New York. "I found the nomenclature of 'Broadway' was actually a type of glass ceiling to the organization," says choreographer Josh Prince, who founded the nonprofit in 2012.