Aitor Galende with Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet. © Bill Cooper
To celebrate BBC #DancePassion, a week-long festival of dance organised jointly by BBC Arts and One Dance UK, we sat down with First Artist, Aitor Galende to discuss everything from Kinky Boots to Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
What is your earliest memory of dance?
One of my first and favourite memories as a kid is preparing a little show every Christmas dinner and literally dancing my heart out in front of my whole family. What I love the most is how serious and passionate I was about it and that is something that hasn’t changed.
Who or what inspired you to start dancing?
My parents took me to see a show when I was four years old and after I said: ‘Mum, I want to do that.’ so, soon after, I started to attend ballet lessons.
What is your proudest on-stage moment?
Performing alongside my colleagues and friends while creating memories with them.
How would you like to be described as an artist?
I like to think people that watch me perform know how much commitment, love and passion I put into anything I do, no matter how challenging it may be.
What is your favourite dance piece outside the world of ballet?
I love to watch all types of dance routines whether in movies, musical theatre or live concerts.
What was the last dance performance you saw?
Recently I watched the amazing cast of Kinky Boots at Birmingham Hippodrome. And ballet-related - the cinema broadcast of Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which I think is a great opportunity for audiences all over the world to have access to these shows.
Are there any other dance companies that you are a fan of?
I love how diverse most companies are becoming all over the globe – having new choreography created, modern/contemporary/neo-classical work as well as the classics that everyone loves, is great for the dancers.