Étoile of the Paris Opera, director of the Corps de ballet of the Opera House in Rome, Eleonora Abbagnato she is also an influencer for thousands of followers. In these Coronavirus times, the dancer is a reference point on social networks, for her loyal audience and for the ballet community, who can follow her quarantine live through her Instagram account: @eleonoraabbagnatoofficial.
The Stories come from Ibiza, where Eleonora and her husband, the ex football player Federico Balzaretti, own a house and where they decided to stay, together with their four children. In addition to telling a family daily life made up of lunches cooked together, schoolwork and exercise for the kids, the dancer makes an appointment for her dance lesson every day at 16.00, live. Hundreds of connections (and enthusiastic comments) are not between professionals and amateurs, but also among those who want to admire Eleonora engaged in a ballet lesson with the French method. «The lesson is important in order not to detach from my work. I also think of all dancers, closed in their own homes, with the fear of contagion and the discomfort of not being able to dance: it is essential that we never miss a physical and mental outburst. Yes, my lessons on Instagram and Facebook are very successful: the dancers are happy to follow me and listen to my advice. I am inspired by the exercises that all the great masters with whom I had the good fortune to work at the Paris Opera taught me. The level is intermediate-advanced, but I invite anyone to my lesson because dance is good for everyone and it’s fun to try. Of course here I have nothing for a canonical lesson, not even the bar, and I try with what I find at home: my tools have become chairs, table, hangers. But the comments make me happy: I am so, generous in the ballroom, with all my dancers ».
Eleonora Abbagnato. Photo James Bort.
The contact with his parents remains fundamental dancers of the Rome Opera, a corps de ballet that Eleonora has been guiding for five years, with excellent results, and that like all the other companies in the world had to abruptly stop lessons, rehearsals, shows. «We find ourselves on the various chats we have created to hear and see each other. Some of them follow my lessons every day, others the lessons of different ballet dancers. I am pleased because it shows how motivated everyone is and how much we love our work, even from home, in such dark times. Our union is also our strength and in this period we have to help each other even more. The dance will never die and I am sure that we will start again, with greater determination and energy, precisely because of the difficulties we have experienced ».
Like other celebrities, Eleonora Abbagnato and her husband are also spending themselves on charity initiatives, amplified in the results by their notoriety and by the link with the world of fashion. “My family and I have made our contribution to OTB Foundation by Renzo Rosso and Arianna Alessi, who has the mission of fighting against social inequalities and contributing to the development of disadvantaged people and areas. It operates in Italy and worldwide with selection criteria that evaluate social impact, sustainability and innovation. My husband and some former Palermo players, on the other hand, are helping families in need in Palermo to shop. “
In this condition it is difficult for anyone to make plans for the future, especially in the world of ballet, where it is impossible to maintain social distancing, for dancers on rehearsal and on stage as well as for the audience seated in the hall. A limit that now unites all countries, as confirmed by our dancer, the career divided between France and Italy: «We ballet directors will have to think about working even more on programming, with new ideas, to gain more public favor Italian. But France is also experiencing a difficult condition: already hit by the strikes of the yellow vests and show business workers, now with the Covid-19 it will be even more difficult to start again ».
Due to the strikes last December Eleonora Abbagnato saw her soirée d’adieux da étoile canceled at the Paris Opera, rescheduled on May 18, and many other projects are now pending. “Yes, unfortunately for my farewell show I’m on stand-by, as well as for this season’s productions and for the new season at the Rome Opera House. I hope that Lucrezia Borgia can make its world premiere as scheduled on September 25 and 27 next Municipal Theater of Bologna: it is a show that I care a lot, also for the collaboration with an important fashion label. Me and the choreographer, Giuliano Peparini, have many ideas for a subsequent tour in France and in the world “.
Optimistic by nature, Eleonora Abbagnato does not resign herself to despair and to all those who follow her she sends a message of hope: «It was not easy to imagine how long we are living, but we must try not to get sick and continue to think positively. Meanwhile, isolation helps us to reflect and makes us understand how much we miss the people we love and what the important things are. I consider myself lucky to have husband, children and even the dog with me. Here we are fine, we are always together, the children are calm, even if we miss the job. I hope that we will all get our freedom back soon, but it will also take a new awareness and respect for the world around us, thinking more about our neighbor. A prayer for all ».
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Top photo: James Bort