Viviana Durante Q&A: Ballet

Our chat with the extraordinary ballerina

We recently caught up with legendary ballet dancer Viviana Durante to chat about her remarkable career and the incomparable beauty of ballet. Viviana has danced for the world's most prestigious companies all across the world and is the consultant and foreword writer on our book Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story.


Fast facts first: can you describe your work in five words?

Dancer, artist, actress, director, and producer.


Where is your favorite place on Earth?



If not a ballet dancer, you would be:

A scientist.


Tradition or innovation?



What has been your most memorable single performance, and why did it stand out to you?

When I stepped into the role of Odette/Odile at the last minute in Swan Lake. The principal dancer hurt herself and Antony Dowell asked me to take over. I was only nineteen years old and I had never rehearsed the role before. I’ll never forget it!


Which ballet has had the greatest influence on your life and career, and why?

Manon, because you need to be an artist as well as a dancer in order to dance the role. And she becomes a better person at the end.


What’s something that might surprise ballet lovers, about life inside ballet?

That dancers are actually intelligent individuals.


What is the biggest difference between coaching and performing?

In coaching you’re not the center but the performer is.


Your dream collaboration would be with:

Baz Luhrmann.


What excites you the most about the future of ballet?

The merging of different genres.


What will fans of ballet adore about this book?

Its beauty; it’s stunning to look at.