Ballerina Spotlight: Lauren Bonfiglio, American Ballet Theatre

Lauren Bonfiglio has been a dancer with American Ballet Theatre for seven years, appearing in productions such as Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty. We met her at ABT’s Manhattan studio to chat about her life as a professional ballerina.

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Q: What originally drew you to the ballet?
A: The discipline, music, and acting required in storytelling. 

Q: What are the most and least glamorous parts of being an ABT dancer?
A: The most glamorous part is dressing up in costumes that have crystals and tulle, wearing crowns, putting on makeup—just getting dressed up and becoming a character that you’re not.

The not-so-glamorous part is what our feet look like at the end of the day, but we’re tough so it’s not too bad.

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Q: Do you have a favorite costume?
A: I definitely like the effect of the Wilis costumes in Act II of Gisele. We’re supposed to be ghosts, so the tulle trails and looks ghostly, especially with the lighting onstage.

Q: How many performances do you do in a year?
A: When we’re in New York City, we perform at the Metropolitan Opera House, and our big season there is in the spring. It’s eight weeks long and we’ll do 64 shows, with a new ballet— sometimes two ballets—each week. That’s our marathon season.

Other times of the year we’re touring either internationally or around the country. We’ll bring a ballet or two on tour, visiting all these new cities to bring ballet to new audiences.

Q: Besides New York, what’s your favorite place you’ve ever performed?
A: I loved Paris, that was a fantastic tour. We went to Singapore and Hong Kong, and those were also amazing.

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Q: What is your New York happy place?
A: I love to hear the orchestra tune at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Q: How would you style the Sacchetto Ballet Flats?
A: I definitely go for comfort during the week. I love simple pants, a fun top, and a jean jacket. I think these flats can be styled for night as well with a maxi dress or a jumpsuit.

Q: What’s your favorite dance movie?
A: Definitely Center Stage.

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