The entrance steeped in light, illuminates the whole alley, as if, once the door crossed, we found ourselves in a parallel world.
It is the world of grace, discipline and passion.
A world of beauty, which, in order to exist, needs to mask pain and sacrifice.
Rebecca Alfani welcomes me with a huge smile and with that elegance that only a few women have. She is the one who turned this world into a home and a career.
Do not make the mistake of calling her a ballerina!
“I’m not a ballerina!” she said to me.
Rebecca Alfani is the artistic director and one of the ballet teachers of the sports association Alfa Ballet.
She opens the rehearsal room exclusively to show me; the girls of the training course are gorgeous and graceful.
They twirl on their pointe shoes effortlessly, as if pain and strain did not exist, as if that was the natural consequence of their existence.
To the sound of A thousand years by Christina Perri, the teacher and ballerina Stefania Paci pulls the strings of the rehearsals: strictness and sweetness at the same time.
The time to ask questions has come and, with a heavy heart, I need to leave the fascinating atmosphere wrapped in music and chiffon to have a chat with Rebecca.
How did Alfa Ballet come to life?
Alfa Ballet is the last dance school Gianni Santucci and I have directed in 39 years, since we started doing this job. He is an artistic director and a choreographer with a terrific curriculum.
The school was born from an idea of innovation; we provide advanced training for young talents who want to get close to the world of theatre and performances. There are several teachers, all graduated and high level; Stefania Paci for example, graduated in the school of Mara Fusco, the school of San Carlo di Napoli.
As far as I am concerned, I have always attended training courses, I have been choreographer of the Italian national rhythmic gymnastics team, up until the Seoul Olympic Games. I have a degree in movement sciences and from there, I attended many refresher courses, the latter of which was at the Scala di Milano.
Dance recitals are the most beautiful and emotional moment, which show a whole year of hard work. Where do you get the main idea to create a performance? How do you develop it?
My colleagues and I, there is six of us, we create by starting from a common idea: a performance including kids (from 4 years old), as well as professional courses, dedicated to those girls who aspire to start a career in the dancing world.
There is always an idea of a performance, not a dance recital or dances disconnected from one another, but everything is aimed to create a unanimous event, a thread that can involve everyone.
Can you give us a hint on the next performance you are planning?
This year we have had the idea of an old attic, with two actors interpreting two old people who reminisce about their youth; every object that comes out of those old chests – a dress or a fan – will be used to retrace their story.
Usually, our ballet and theatre performances merge together with singing and music.
What would to tell to a young girl who wants to become a professional ballerina?
If she wants, we will guide her through this beautiful experience, which is as difficult and tiring as much as it is constructive and emotional.
It is not easy to get into a dance company, whether it being a ballet company or a modern dance one.
A ballerina has to move, to go abroad and to get used to a tiring life away from home.
Maybe I wouldn’t recommend it! – She says laughing
What do you consider to be the most important qualities in a ballerina?
Most definitely, ballerinas need to have very specific physical characteristics: slim and strong body at the same time, long legs, long neck, small chest, tapered muscles.
Unfortunately, there are a few body standards to follow when you join a professional dance company; however, this does not concert amateur ballerinas.
So bring it on!
Dance is an amazing sport; it eases the body and the soul.
Translated by Giuliana Vargetto