I met her in the hallway getting ready for the photo shoot; she is radiant, has a sweet smile and treads softly. Her name is Laura Massetti. She was born in Città di Castello 19 years ago, but now lives in Florence where she is a dancer for the Junior Balletto di Toscana – one of the best Italian companies for classical and contemporary dancers in Europe.
foto: Emanuele Vanni - servizio: Mokacomunicazione / Lucia Fiorucci
She told me that it’s exciting to work with the company as it offers great opportunities to perform on stages around the world, but mostly because it feels like a big family. Despite the discipline, the training and the pursuit of perfection, the environment is calm and friendly.
Her journey with the “Balletto di Toscana” began at thirteen when she auditioned for the school. She then did a brief stint at the prestigious John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart where she was noted for her skills and talent. Today she trains daily with dedication, starting at 9am.
Laura is determined and strong, even in her gestures and movements. Her arm and leg muscles are clearly visible, and express her tenacity and physical strength. She is ethereal but also deeply earthly. Because of these opposing qualities she has been chosen by Eugenio Scigliano to be the lead in his Giselle, which will be in the most prestigious theatres in Italy and Cannes. She’s really excited and honoured that a choreographer and dancer of such calibre as Scigliano has entrusted her with such an important role, which has been performed by some of the greatest dancers, past and present. Two years ago, the director of the company, Cristina Bozzolini, also offered her the opportunity to dance at La Fenice in Venice; an unexpected opportunity and a responsibility that she took on with enthusiasm.
The most amazing thing is that she unwillingly started dancing six years, but was noted by a local dance teacher, (and school friend’s mum). “She had talent,” said to her mother. She didn’t really care much, she had short hair and much preferred to be outdoors. Today, however, she can’t imagine her life without dance. She hopes to perform overseas, where there are more opportunities especially for contemporary and modern dancers, to whom she feels more akin. Her dream is to dance with commitment and seriousness, but always keeping her feet firmly on the ground.
in collaboration with:
makeup: Anna Club Estetica
hair: Riflesso Hair Studio
For the photo shoot with Laura Massetti we were inspired by ”Ballerina Project”. Like a dream becoming reality the Ballerina Project is an ongoing series of photographs created by photographer: Dane Shitagi. Constructed over the span of 15 years the Ballerina Project is not your typical “dance photography” but an etching of a ballerinas heart and emotions.
Every aspect of the Ballerina Project is carefully crafted and cultivated. The majority of ballerinas who have posed for the project are currently or have danced for companies such as American Ballet Theater, Australian Ballet, Boston Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dresden Semperopera Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet West, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Staatsballet Berlin and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Other ballerinas are in schools such as School of American Ballet and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. The crafts of dance and photography are truly upheld on both ends of the creation of the Ballerina Project.
The earlier years of the project was photographed on traditional film and cameras. Only as of the late Spring 2012 the project has begun to incorporate digital photography.
Currently the Ballerina Project has one of the largest networks of followers in the world for ballet related pages on Instagram and Facebook. In the press the project has been written about in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, NBC Today Show, Esquire and countless blogs. The project has also been featured in advertisements for both Fujifilm and Sony Erricson.
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