Freelance teacher and coach
Former Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
Jury President, Prix de Lausanne 2016
Member of the jury, Prix de Lausanne 2019
Classical Teacher, Prix de Lausanne 2023 - 2024
I came to the Prix the Lausanne many times and I also had the chance to be President of the jury. It is an opportunity for me to help the dancers and to give my point of view about dance and about the way I would love to see a dancer perform.
It is important for this competition to continue to grow up and change because it represents such a huge opportunity for many students around the world. I thank the organisation for inviting me and also for organising a preselection in South America. It is a way to continue to learn and a chance to meet other jury members, Directors, teachers as well as seeing the new generation of dancers. I enjoy being there. I really appreciate it and hope it will continue for many more editions.
We asked Julio Bocca a few questions in 2016. In that time, he came in Lausanne as President of the jury…
What’s your favourite role?
For me it was to be on the stage, but if I have to choose one or two, it will be Romeo and Don Quijote.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Make the ballet very popular in Argentina and have the chance to dance all over the world and with the best dancers… and give my heart all the time.
Can you tell a funny or embarrassing anecdote on stage at the beginning of your career?
The first time I danced on stage: I was 4 and I danced with my pacifier… And also when I won the gold medal at the Moscow international dance competition I fell down on stage… hahahah!
What was your greatest fear as a young dancer?
Not to enjoy my performance.
Do you have any advice for the 2016 Prix de Lausanne candidates?
Dance with your heart and don’t come to compete. We miss artists on stage…
Julio Bocca was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began his studies at the age of four under his mother’s guidance.
Julio Bocca’s professional career began in 1982 as Principal Dancer with the Teresa Carreño Foundation in Venezuela and a year later at the Teatro Municipal in Río de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1985, he won the Gold Medal at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Moscow. The following year, he began his twenty-year tenure with the American Ballet Theatre as principal dancer (1986-2006). His farewell was on June 22nd, 2006 dancing De Grieux in Manon.
He also danced as a Guest Artist for the world’s top dance companies, including The Royal Ballet of London, Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Alla Scala of Milan, English national ballet, Zarzuela Theatre of Madrid, Royal Danish Ballet of Denmark, Opera Ballet in Oslo, Stuttgart Ballet, Opera Ballet in Paris, and way more.
In 1990, he founded his own dance company, Ballet Argentino, and toured throughout the world. In Argentina, Julio Bocca has performed in outdoor venues and football stadiums, attracting thousands of people. He has also performed at Luna Park – a 5,000-seat venue – over 140 times. In 1998, he founded the Musical Theater School with choreographer and director Ricky Pashkus. He starred in the Spanish-Argentinian film Tango, directed by Carlos Saura and released in 1998, nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2000, he danced in the Broadway musical Fosse. In April 2004, Mr. Bocca was part of the Benois de la Danse Gala, which honors international artists who were awarded the Benois de la Danse Prize.
His definitive retirement from dance was made in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 22, 2007, next to the emblematic obelisk in the city in front of over 300,000 people.
At the beginning of 2010 he was invited by the American Ballet Theatre as coach for Soloists and Principal dancers of the Company. When he returned to Montevideo, Uruguay, where he was living from a year ago, the President of that country, Mr. José Mujica, offered him the Artistic Direction of the National Ballet Sodre where he took office from June 2010 to 2017.
Julio Bocca is the Cultural Ambassador for the Mercosur and a member of the International Dance Council CID París – UNESCO. He has been jury of many competitions and still is called to be in most of them; apart from Benois de la Danse and Roma Award in Italy, he was invited by Barcelona competition since the first time, and competitions from Moscow, China, Korea, the Youth America Grand Prix, President for Prix of Lausanne, Sinaloa Dance Competition in Culiacán, México where he had a chat with dancers as well as gave them a master class, and when his activities allow him he is President of the Julio Bocca Competition, created by the Argentine Council of Dance of Buenos Aires in 2010 and continue in tell 2017. After 7 years directing the National Ballet from Uruguay, he retired in December 2017.
Today, he is an International Guest Ballet Teacher and is currently working with some of the following companies: