Lia Cirio, principal dancer with Boston Ballet, was recently in residence at BAE, choreographing a new work on the advanced, Pre-Professional Division students. BAE student, Anthony Hoyos, had the honor of speaking with Lia about her life as a dancer and choreographer.
Anthony Hoyos: As a choreographer, what inspires you?
Lia Cirio: I’m drawn to movement that feels innate and natural, but also has an exotic element. I am particularly inspired by the work of Jorma Elo, who is the resident choreographer of Boston Ballet.
AH: Do you remember your first experience working with a choreographer?
LC: Absolutely. It was at age 14 or 15 at CPYB with the incredibly talented Alan Hineline. I was in the corps de ballet and I remember it being so much fun. I also learned a lot about the importance of staying focused and learning quickly. I was able to take those lessons with me when I joined Boston Ballet and started working with Jorma Elo. His movements are fast and quirky, and I wanted to be sure to grasp not only the steps, but also to embrace his style.
AH: When did you first start choreographing?
LC: I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to choreograph on my fellow Boston Ballet dancers as well as with the Boston Ballet Trainee Program. Though I had to overcome some initial nerves, it was ultimately a fantastic experience.
AH: How has your experience been working at BAE?
LC: I’m thrilled to be working with BAE, and so relieved to find how quickly the dancers pick up movement. We had less than two weeks to create a 10-minute ballet, and together, we made it happen!
AH: What would you like the BAE dancers to take away from the experience of working with you?
LC: I hope that the experience of exploring and learning new movement is an inspiring and enriching experience for the dancers, one that they will always remember. My wish is that through this experience, the dancers’ horizons have expanded, and they can appreciate and love ballet even more.
AH: How do you like New York City?
LC: Boston is quieter, but I love visiting New York, and already feel like an honorary New Yorker!
Photography by Rosalie O'Connor