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Julio Bocca: a goodbye that started in Havana
The Argentinean dancer Julio Bocca concludes his professional career leaving behind him the rubble of elitist walls he knocked down to achieve his main objective: to get classical dance closer to popular field.

"Goodbye" said the versatile artist among tears, at the end of an open air show made in Buenos Aires, last Saturday.

Considered to be one of the best examples of world dancing art, Bocca chose the XX International Ballet Festival in Cuba, which took place in November 2006, as the ideal stage to start his goodbye.

"I have always been very well received here, the applauses were very warm, with much respect," he commented in Havana, after the ovation which was given to him what was, after all, his last entire interpretation of the Swan Lake.

Bocca was the most recurrent foreign figure in the much respected Cuban ballet festivals, historically lead by the prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso.
Celebrities present in the Cuban ballet party were also Galina Ulánova and Igor Youskevitch, Carla Fracci, Cynthia Gregory, Vladimir Vasiliev, Paolo Bortoluzzi, Sylvie Guillem, Nina Ananiashvilli and Erik Vu An, among others.

A few hours before that presentation, with his characteristic slow talk, Bocca confirmed on the stage of the Gran Teatro de La Habana that his performance on November 4, 2006 would be his goodbye from classical ballet.

In that venerated cultural emplacement he held his debut with the so called classic of all classics outside of Argentina, during the mid eighties.
"I had to say goodbye properly again, especially because I had my first Lake here and I wanted to perform a classic again," he explained.

In October of that same year he had already said goodbye to the American Ballet Theater (ABT) from New York, for which he worked for two decades.

"My entire career was wonderful... I never thought I would reach where I am today, nor that I would remain where I am for so long,@ he said then, before adding immediately: "I am proud of what I did."

"I wanted to close precisely with what I came here to open," he explained, referring to the first of the three ballets written by the Russian composer Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), with which the Argentinean silenced lovers, critics and specialists.

On Saturday, Bocca ended up 25 years of a successful career in his country and outside of it.

The remains of the virtuosity he left at the ABT were left behind, and his unforgettable precense as a guest artist at the Royal Ballet of London, the Bolshoi from Moscow, the Kirov from Leningrad, the Scala from Milan, the Zarzuela from Madrid, and the Royal Danish Ballet from Denmark were also left behind.
Julio Bocca stole applauses with his vigorous jumps at the Opera Ballet from Oslo, tje Stuttgart Ballet from Germany, the Opera Ballet from Paris, the Municipal Theater from Santiago de Chile and the National from Mexico.

He started his international career at the age of fifteen, as the first dancer of the Teresa Carreño Foundation, from Venezuela.

"Before dance was my life, now it is just a part of it," he declared the day before his retirement, to justify his decision "to spend more time with his family and try out acting."


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