Anna Casasola Fontseca
Being allowed to dance with the English National Ballet in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Rite of Spring as an 18-year-old. It is a memory that Catalan Anna Casasola Fontseca still cherishes. "It was amazing, at the applause I was in tears."
A year later, around her graduation from the English National Ballet School, she gets injured. She has to wait a long time for her ankle operation and the pressure, if not obsession, of actually having to do auditions all the time becomes too much. "I knew: I have to listen to my body". She returns to her parents' home, doesn't dance for a year and a half and, as a pastime, starts taking singing lessons. "Before I knew it, I was asked to join a jazz band, and then Balahits, a well-known cover band, with whom I toured for four seasons."
Singing and dancing: as a toddler, Anna and her older sister Laura did nothing else. "I was a playful, open child with an incredible energy. My mother would often call out, 'Could you please stop that', when I was hopping around the room again."
When Laura starts ballet, three-year-old Anna is also unstoppable. They took classes together for years, but eventually developed in different directions. "Laura was soon more on the modern track, while I was a real ballerina girl."
In the same year that Laura makes the switch to Codarts Rotterdam, Anna is accepted at the English National Ballet School. It wasn't until IT Dansa in Barcelona, where she ended up after her 'sabbatical', that she discovered she liked "doing other things than classical ballet".
I want to find my own deeper movement.
Through her sister, she came into contact with Scapino (Laura danced there from 2014 to 2021). "I joined classes occasionally, but never thought I would ever be able to dance this kind of repertoire."
After two 'crazy' covid years, she says, it is great to now be able to perform new roles made for her. She calls herself an expressive dancer above all. "I dance from my heart. That can be soft, tender or very powerful, depending on the state I am in."
Still, she feels she is not there yet. "I want to find my own, deeper movement language. Movement that does not come from the emotions that someone else asks of you, but really from who I am and what I feel."
- 1994, Vilassar de Mar (province of Barcelona), Spain
- Escola de Dansa Madó, Vilassar de Mar
- English National Ballet School
- With Scapino since
- Scholarships, nominations and prizes
3d Prize Concurs Internacional de Ballet Clàssic, Sitges - 2009
I learn a lot about myself at Scapino. Among other things, that I don't always have to be so strict with myself, that it's enough to just be me.
In nature, Anna feels most connected to herself. She thinks especially of her native soil. "The sea, the sun and the mountains, which help me to find the calm in myself." With Dutch nature, she confesses, she is still hardly familiar; as soon as she has a few days off, you can find her and her boyfriend in a tent in the Catalan mountains.
During the lockdown, she also trained as a yoga teacher in Spain. Yoga, like singing and nature, is a 'medicine' for her, a way to get closer to herself. "I want to live more consciously, in the moment. To be modest, honest, friendly, to care for each other's well-being, those are my values. Not living from ambition, but from your heart."
Photography: Khalid Amakran | Interview: Astrid van Leeuwen