Eris Nezha is considered one of the most promising young talents of the Teatro alla Scala ballet in Milan. Graduated in 2002, he has already danced Des Grieux in Manon and Solor in the Bayadère, Frédéri in Petit Arlesenne and the prince in Cinderella. Last month a new debut arrived for him: the role of Albrecht in the famous Giselle.
MILANO - Born in Tirana, Albania, Eris Nezha is at home in Italy. From the 1998 he studied in Milan, at the Teatro alla Scala school, and today he is a regular part of the dance troupe. Recognized by the Milanese public as one of the best levers in the new generation of dancers, he returned last month to take Piermarini's stage in a new main role: that of Albrecht, the protagonist of a great classic like Giselle.
We meet him in the theater, a few hours before the start of a show.
The beginning and studies at the Albanian Dance Academy ...
I was ten when I started studying dance. Almost by accident ... For four years I studied in Tirana. Then they moved to Milan, at fifteen, after losing almost a year due to political problems in my country. I immediately showed up at La Scala school, but I wasn't accepted: I was out of shape. I turned to the Carcano Theater. I studied there for a year, I recovered and I presented myself again at La Scala. I was admitted and continued my studies here, to graduate at nineteen or twenty. And I immediately joined the dance troupe.
When did the first important roles come?
For the first two or three years I danced in ballet, facing only a few solo roles. The first major role came in the 2005: I played Manon in the lead role Des Grieux. It really changed my career, from there the great roles followed one after the other. I debuted with the company at the Regio di Torino, not immediately in Scala. Des Grieux's role is incredibly demanding, not only from a technical point of view, but also from an expressive one. More than a year earlier I had told Frédéric Olivieri, who was then directing the dance troupe, that I dreamed of playing Manon and that it was one of my favorite ballets. As soon as he could, Olivieri risked and gave me the part of the protagonist.
Other roles that have marked your career?
There are several. Solor in the Bayadère, for example ... Many roles came out of the Scala, which I left for two years working as a guest in several theaters and traveling a lot, only to return to Milan in February of the 2008. In Rome I danced Cinderella and La gitana. And this fall I faced Giselle ...
CWhere has the debut gone in this new role?
It went better than I expected! Even though I was scared of Giselle ... Already at the time of graduation many people told me that I had the right face to play Albrecht, the protagonist of the ballet; and even after graduation I heard him repeat: "You have to dance Albrecht". It is a very heavy role, especially in the second act, but I wasn't worried only from a technical point of view ... I knew what I was going through. Albrecht is very complicated from an artistic point of view: it is difficult to interpret, he is not a traditional prince. But I'm satisfied, even the criticisms were more positive than I expected! Each artist, then, has a different Albrecht, he interprets their character and reasoning in a different way ...
How did you interpret it? Benjamin Pech of the Paris Opera, for example, always tells me that Albrecht should be interpreted with the greatest possible simplicity, without excesses of interpretation ...
It's so true. I had experienced some variation of Albrecht in the past, looking for different interpretations to interpret the character. This year, when I studied the complete role, I was invited above all not to act, but to be natural. Also from the artistic point of view the interpretation of the role improves when you don't insist on acting.
Do you think acting on stage is different from acting in front of a camera?
Sometimes it helps to act as if there were a camera near you, as if the public could easily grasp the nuances of the interpretation. Unfortunately, it is not like this: the public is distant and above all has a precise position; there is always the risk that you do not notice a gesture or an expression. For this reason in theater it is less part of the naturalness of cinema, we need to think about what we give ... give emphasis to gestures, or change the orientation of the body, moving in a different way than the concrete reality; turn to the side when you should look back, for example, not to turn your back on the public. Experience also teaches a lot; with maturity you know when or how much you can let go without making mistakes. A more relaxed way of interpreting can still be very effective and be appreciated more by the public.
What kind of spectator are you at the theater?
To me they are very rigid, I do not tolerate any technical errors. If I see other colleagues of mine dancing, instead, I'm not even looking at the technique: it's just a tool for expressing oneself, for telling a story. Looking from the audience, in any case, is also very useful at a professional level. I am a dancer who takes great care of the technique being prepared; I do it for not having to worry about it on stage. And one of my first mistakes, at the beginning, was just worrying about the technique and then hearing myself say that the attitude was wrong, that it didn't seem like you were dancing for the audience. Often a dancer considers a role as an exam, but we must always remember that the public can better appreciate a technique that is not razor sharp, but more "ballad", more aware. For this reason, today, I insist on putting my technique to the test, especially in trials, to have complete control over the body; then, on stage, I don't think about it anymore.
Were there artists, when you were a student, that you considered models?
Among the greatest, especially Mikhail Baryshnikov. On a technical level he made history, but in him I always saw a great artist. He came to crazy virtuosity, but it was as if he didn't care about the technique; he always managed to express himself, to use so-called technicality to speak to his audience. firstname.lastname@example.org
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