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Julio Bocca: 1967—: Ballet Dancer

Approached Future By Taking On Challenges

As the twentieth century turned into the twenty-first, Bocca too turned onto a new path in his life. Blame it on Broadway. In 1999 Bocca accepted the lead role in Fosse a musical celebrating the works of acclaimed Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse, whose classic works include Cabaret, Chicago, and All That Jazz. Fosse's jazzy style was a far departure from classical ballet, but it was a challenge Bocca undertook with glee. "It's always difficult to face a new technique, especially if it's such a distinctive style as Fosse's" he told Dance Magazine, "but I don't think it's impossible." He added, "I think to master the style will enhance my dancing career." What he didn't know at the time was that Fosse would also enhance his life. "Fosse helped me to be a normal person again," he told Dance Magazine. "We went out drinking after every performance—I've never been able to do that kind of thing before because it was always, like, the next morning I'd have to go to dance class." However it was more than his newfound social life that changed Bocca. Within the expressive joys of Fosse's dances, Bocca re-discovered how good it felt to just dance. In the process he finally felt that he had arrived as a dancer. "I've always worked to become better and better as a dancer, but this year I feel I can say I'm an artist," he told Dance Magazine in 2000. "Fosse was amazing for me," he continued. "I wasn't really happy before. Now, I am—every day—and I enjoy life." Audiences felt his joy too. Dance Magazine wrote, "Bocca's performances in Fosse were full of virtuosity and passion—and it was clear to audiences that he was having a ball."

In a 1991 interview with Americas, Bocca was asked what his dreams for the future were. He responded, "Besides continuing to grow and do new things, I'd like to set up a Colon more like the one of the Theater's heyday. In the far future, I would like to direct, and be a maestro, in Argentina." As 2002 drew to a close, Bocca seemed to be fulfilling each of these dreams. He was still dancing for the ABT in New York, while at the same time launching another worldwide tour for Ballet Argentino. Back in his beloved homeland, he still held a position in the corps de Ballet at Colon Theater. He was also planning to debut Fosse there.

Committed as ever to his desire to bring ballet to the people of Argentina, he had begun a dance school and regularly had his youngest pupils perform for students in Argentina's public schools. Meanwhile he continued to work on his long held dream to restore the Colon Theater to its former glory. At the same time Argentina was undergoing some of its darkest days, with its economy in tatters and its future shaky at best. When asked about this during an interview with The Independent, Bocca said, "I was very proud when my country became free. And if you love it, you have to be there in good times and in bad."



Americas, English Edition, January/February 1991, p. 48.

Back Stage, October 27, 2000, p. 11.

Dance Magazine, March 1987; April 1996; March 2000; October 2000.

Harper's Bazaar, October 2000, p. 258.

Independent, London, England, February 18, 2002, p. 10.

San Francisco Chronicle, October 26, 2000, p. E4.


"Julio Bocca," American Ballet Theater, www.abt.org/dancers/bocca.html (March 25, 2003).

—Candace LaBalle

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Shennen Bersani (1961-) Biography - Personal to Mark Burgess Biography - PersonalJulio Bocca: 1967—: Ballet Dancer Biography - Began Dancing At Four, Soared Onto The International Stage, Danced For Argentina, Approached Future By Taking On Challenges