Guest Blogger - Boston Ballet Principal Lia Cirio - World Ballet Competition Gala

Lia in Slice to Sharp by Jorma Elo (photo: Gene Schiavone)
Please let me introduce you to my friend, Lia Cirio. Lia is a Principal dancer with Boston Ballet who also works as a freelance dancer when she isn't commanding the stage at the Boston Opera House. Although I had known Lia through other friends for years, we officially met while freelancing back in September for the Guggenheim's Work's & Process program with Avi Scher & Dancers. Lia has graciously written a post for us about one of her recent freelancing jobs. Continue reading below to hear about Lia's experience as a part-time freelance dancer:

Lia & Paul at the World Ballet Competition gala

My most recent "gig" was performing at the World Ballet Competition gala in Orlando, Fl. This is the second time I have performed in this gala. Last year, my brother, Jeffrey, asked me to go with him. We performed the Le Corsaire pas de deux, along with a Viktor Plotnikov piece (Jeffrey had been a competitor in 2009, where he met Vasile Petrutiu, director of the World Ballet Competition). This year, Jeff was unable to attend, so I took Paul Craig who is also a member of Boston Ballet. We performed the Coppelia wedding pas and a piece by Viktor Plotnikov.

Summer layoff can be a strange time for dancers. Some dancers just like to have down time and others like to stay extremely busy. I probably tend toward the latter, the busy one. Galas can give dancers something to do in their down time, like provide a paycheck, opportunities to perform something they may not get to with their home company, and last but not least, a chance to travel. In addition, it's a lot of fun meeting other dancers and seeing old friends. After all, the ballet world is very small. 

This time around was not quite as stressful, as I had already danced the Coppelia wedding pas in a couple of other galas. It's also so much fun to see what Viktor Plotnikov will come up with. The partnering in his ballets is always a challenge, but in the end fulfilling. I enjoy working with him and feel that I grow each time I am in one of his pieces.

Dancing in Orlando is something I'm a little bit familiar with because I have danced there several times already. I have friends in Orlando Ballet and I love the Orlando audience. Everyone is always so welcoming and excited about ballet. This year I got to see some people I knew, like Rolando Sarabia, Joan Boada, Jonathan Jordan, and Maki Onuki. I finally got to meet someone I have been wanting to for awhile - the beautiful Maria Kotchetkova. I was so thrilled to find out that she follows me on Twitter and Instagram...haha! 
Lia enjoying Disney World
I felt as though my performances went well. We ended the night with a barbecue for all of the "stars" at Vasile's home, hanging out and sharing stories.  Hearing what other dancers go through is healthy and knowing we share the same issues is comforting. 

As if all of this was not enough of a reward, dancing in Orlando brings one extra benefit.  A dear friend of Orlando Ballet and huge supporter of the arts, Wally Harper, was able to offer us some free passes to Disney World. A few of us ended our trip visiting one of the most magical places on earth:)

That was the first stop of my summer. Now, I'm onto some teaching, coaching, learning a new pas for a gala in August, and rehearsing Don Quixote for a gala in July. Definitely a busy one!
Lia w/ Sabi Varga in Tsukiyo by Helen Pickett (Photo: Gene Schiavone)
Follow Lia on twitter or Instagram: @MsLiaC


  1. thanks for posting.

  2. You bet! I was so happy Lia wanted to share her experience with my readers!

  3. What I enjoyed even more than the significant but unexplained choreography, never failed to surprise.

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