Real Talk with MARA GALEAZZI

22.01.2016

Mara Galeazzi is a former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London. Now a freelance guest artist, entrepreneur and mother.

Edward Watson and Mara Galeazzi in Wayne McGregor's Chroma at the Royal Opera House © ROH

How did you know it was time to leave the Royal?

Well, first of all, I didn't know I was going to leave. Obviously I got pregnant, and I had my little baby with my husband. He was already working in Oman. I was living on my own with the baby for the first year. I already felt terrible that my family was not together. And I felt it a bit unfair that my daughter is without her father. After pregnancy I started back after 4 months. I felt I was at a high level I had a great 21-year career with the Royal and I thought I don't want people to tell me to leave, so why not leave at the top.

Did you have a clear goal when you were leaving, as far as another job?

At the beginning, I didn't have any goals. Only I thought this is really going to be a change in my life, it was exciting. I asked myself, what would be the best for me to achieve with the knowledge and experience I have. I wanted to be artistic director of a ballet company and
started an arts management course. I did a bit of shadowing with the directors at the Royal. I even applied for a director job, which was a long process, but I felt confident. Even though I was not chosen in the end, it taught me a lot about the demands of the position. At the same time I started to dance again and I realized that I may have not been ready in that moment to be a director. The way I am going now as a freelance will lead me to something, that is how I feel.

Mara Galeazzi in Mayerling © Bill Cooper

What was the hardest thing about leaving the company?

As a dancer you are independent. You work independently, you have to look after your own body and your own technique. But you are surrounded by people that you lived through, for me at least, 21 years. It's like a family. That was hard because I knew I was going to a place where I had no one. And I was afraid of the culture, that I would not be understood as an artist in Oman. There are not many ballet dancers there. Just normal people.

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Interview by Armando Braswell

           

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