Dansportalen

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

A nice grand-jete from the performance in Rome. Photo BETM Italia

A nice grand-jete from the performance in Rome. Photo BETM Italia

His passion is to dance

ROME, ITALY: 14 year old Alessandro Frola is performing the leading role of the Italian version of Billy Elliot. After six month playing at Teatro Sistina with Alessandro as the only one in the role as Billy, just a few weeks ago he got a double to share the role with him.

Dansportalen was curious to know more about him. And we got a portrait of a young actor who's passion is to dance!

Alessandro as Billy in the Italian version. Photo Eventi Made in Italy

Alessandro as Billy in the Italian version. Photo Eventi Made in Italy


When you were in Barcelona, you were interviewed by Spanish television.

You were asked “Why are you dancing?” And you answered, “Because when I dance I am happy”.

“Yes, and it doesn’t matter if I am on the stage or not – I like dancing so much." 

You have done a lot since you took your first steps at three in your parents' school in Parma. At eight you danced in your first competition and were named Best Male Dancer.

What variations did you dance?

“Because I was too young to dance repertoire, I danced a choreography by my mother. I was really excited because it was my first competition."

In 2012 you competed in the European semi-finals of Youth America Grand Prix. What did you dance?

"I danced Harlequinade and the pas de deux from Graduation Ball."

Alessandro Frola. Photo private

Alessandro Frola. Photo private

And you also won a scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York. How was your time in NY?

"It was an amazing experience. The Summer School was great. I studied with important teachers and I met a lot of American ballet dancers like Marcelo Gomez." 

In 2013 Alessandro again competed in the Youth America Grand Prix and won an award for his performance in the Giselle pas de deux, danced with partner Martina Mantovani. They were invited to perform the duet again at the Gala in Cordoba.

Why did you chose that pas de deux?

“I like that ballet very much and when I get older I want to dance Albrecht's variation.”

2013 was a lucky year for Alessandro. He won the first prize in a competition in Alassio, Italy and he was invited to perform at the Danzainfiera in Florence.

What did you dance in Alassio?

"In Alassio I danced Harlequinade and in Florence a pas-de-deux with Ivana Bueno, a Mexican dancer. We had a guest ballet teacher visiting our school from Cuba, Adria Velazquez and she rehearsed us. She was very good, she also taught Carlos Acosta and Rolando Sarabia." 

Last year Alessandro won several national competitions including the Grand Prix “Ciudad de Barcelona”. The sculptor, Richard Macdonald, made a statue of him and donated it to the city in his honour.

Alessandro in Barcelona with the statue. Photo private

Alessandro in Barcelona with the statue. Photo private

How did this make you feel?

"I was really surprised. I was already happy to have won the Grand Prix but when the competition director told me that my statue had been donated to the city of Barcelona, I felt really honoured.”

Alessandro won the Talent Award at the Grand Prix Giuliana Penzi 2014 dancing Carnival in Venice and a contemporary solo by Lorenzo Eccher. This year he won third prize in Tanzolymp Berlin and was awarded scholarships for both the English Nation Ballet School in London and the State Ballet School Berlin.

Have you taken up the scholarships?

"No, because I started rehearsals for Billy Eliot in February and now I am on tour. But I can choose when I go so I think I will wait until I have finished with Billy."

In February 2015 Alessandro was invited to dance the pas-de-deux of “La Fille mal Gardée” at the ‘Gaudeamus Gala’ in Maribor, Slovenia. It is a prestigious event with many of the best European schools invited.

Tell us more about that?

“It has been really exciting to dance with a lot of very good dancers and there I met the famous Russian dancer, Elena Pankova. After the show she came to congratulate with me saying that the most impressive thing was to see how happy I was on the stage." 

Christian Roberto and Alessandro in the boxing scene. Photo Eventi Made in Italy

Christian Roberto and Alessandro in the boxing scene. Photo Eventi Made in Italy


Alessandro is now playing Billy in the Italian version of Billy Elliot the musical.

How did you get the roll of Billy in the show?

"I did two auditions. The first one in December and the call back in January."

In this show you must do a lot of things, like singing, dancing, tap dance, acrobatics etc. Where did you train for this?

"I study music and drama in my school but I have never done tap. I just learned the choreography for the call back. In February we had a month of training in all the disciplines before starting the rehearsals in March."

Alessandro and Christian in Rome after the show. Photo Cristian Hillbom

Alessandro and Christian in Rome after the show. Photo Cristian Hillbom


You have no double so you do Billy in all the shows?

"Yes, at the moment the other Billy is not ready yet and I am doing all the performances.”

(A week after the interview Christian Roberto did his first performance as Billy.)

'Expressing Yourself' is always a show stopper. Photo Eventi Made in Italy

'Expressing Yourself' is always a show stopper. Photo Eventi Made in Italy


Have you seen the show in London?

"Yes, I have seen the show before on DVD. Last year at the cinema I saw the show from the Victoria Palace Theatre and last summer I went to the West End and saw the show live!"

What do you like most in the show?

"My favourite piece is the pas de deux to the music from Swan Lake."

How are Christian Roberto and Arcangelo to work with?

"I enjoy working with them a lot, especially with Christian. We are good friends, he also came to my school last summer to have some classes."

How long will you be in the show?

"After Rome we go on to Venice and tour until February 2016."

Alessandro with corps de filles. Photo Eventi Made in Italy

Alessandro with corps de filles. Photo Eventi Made in Italy


Do you see yourself as a dancer in the future?

"Yes, definitely. I will be a classical dancer."

Francesco Gabriele Frola, First Soloist at the National Ballet of Canada. Photo: Instagram

Which company is it your dream to join?

"I would like to join the National Ballet of Canada where my brother is first soloist."

And your favourite ballet?

"My favourite ballet is Swan Lake." 

And finally, what do you do when you are off the stage?

“I don't have a lot of spare time and not only because of Billy Elliot. I also do competitions and ballet performances so I have to do a lot of training and rehearsals. But when I have time, I like to go to the cinema and have a pizza with my friends." 

Cristian Hillbom
24 nov 2015

Contributed by

Federica Fresa, Rome

Maggie Foyer, London


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