Antonino Sutera


Living someone else's lives
But filling them with his own emotions. That’s what makes Antonio Sutera love ballet. And what empties him out too. At every show. The First Soloist at La Scala ballet on his career, its challenges, being a father and (not) travelling light. 

By Alessandro Bizzotto

As a well-appreciated artist in his thirties, Antonino Sutera is the sole dancer of his generation to have reached the rank of First Soloist (“Primo ballerino” in Italian) at La Scala Ballet, in Milan. With him, right now, at the same level there are artists in their early forties or blossoming in their twenties. Sutera, for his part, seems a kind of unique personality on the Milanese scene. Stylistic and technical gifts, growing maturity, no film star behavior. He even answered my questions so politely and accurately that I might have doubted whether he was entirely sincere. If it was not for his crystalline enthusiasm. He talks a lot, but calmly and – I guess – after careful consideration.

In 'Cello Suites' (with Alessandra Vassallo) © Brescia-Amisano

Born in the Italian southern region of Sicily, Antonino Sutera moved to Milan when he was very young, studied ballet at La Scala Ballet School and entered the company's corps de ballet immediately after the diploma.

The most important steps of your career, so far.

I guess my career path started with the Peasant pas de deux in Sylvie Guillem’s “Giselle”. Being chosen by such a star was magic to my young boy’s eyes: I was still in the corps de ballet and I found myself dancing in New York and at the Royal Opera House, in London, in this great classic with one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. I like to reminisce about dancing the jester in Bourmeister’s “Swan Lake” too: after playing that role I got promoted to Soloist, at 23. One of the roles that marked my career, then, is still Mercutio in MacMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet”: I started dancing Mercutio when I was very young, I loved to play this character again and again, each time. And then, of course, Romeo: I got promoted to First Soloist after dancing this role opposite Alina Cojocaru.

In Petit's 'Pink Floyd Ballet' © R. Amisano

Which role is closer to your personality?

I think I put some of myself in every character. But spontaneously I'd answer Mercutio: he is so playful, he can seize every opportunity with both hands, and he smiles in each situation. Even the difficult ones. I am a romantic person, that’s why I love being Albrecht as well: the second act of “Giselle” is so intense, but I like the end of the first act too. When Giselle finds out Albrecht is not who he has pretended to be: Albrecht is used to have everything, but in that moment he finds himself losing the first sincere love of his life. I enjoyed also Sasha Waltz’s Romeo: it was a wonderful challenge to express such strong feelings through a contemporary dance language.

How do you balance resting and training?

I have understood from the beginning that my physique was different from the ones of those of my own age. I’ve always needed to warm up properly and to stretch...

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As Basilio in 'Don Quijote' © Karla Nur

On Stage © Marco Brescia


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