Monday, March 21, 2011

ON THE SPOT with Valentina Golfieri

ON THE SPOT interviews continue with the cast of Mischief! Next up, Valentina Golfieri!

New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Valentina Golfieri: My hometown is called Rimini and it's on the East coast of Italy, a three hour drive south of Venice.

Valentina Golfieri
NV: Favorite hometown tradition?
VG: I've never really followed traditions so much, however there is one thing I used to do every summer with my friends. Rimini is famous for its beaches and in the summer it gets completely assaulted by tourists (the population rises from around 150,000 to 1 million!!) so it's almost impossible to find a spot on the sand to just quietly sunbathe. What we used to do instead was go down to the beach at about five in the afternoon (by that stage all the tourists were nice and roasted, therefore pretty sedate) and play beach volley instead! We had proper tournaments and we used to keep going until the sun went down and we couldn't see the ball anymore. At that point, completely covered in sand, we'd have one last swim in the sea, wrap a towel around ourselves and still dripping stop at a kiosk to eat the best food in the world: piadina! (see next question for explanation). Happily full, we'd put on some clothes and get back to the beach that at night time pulsated with open air clubs and bars, and we'd dance the night away... Good times!

NV: Favorite hometown food?
VG: Piadina!! It's a flat bread made with olive oil, flour and water; you fold it in half and fill it with all the best cured meats my area has to offer. Mix it in with some roasted vegetables, some soft cheese and add a glass of Sangiovese wine and you'll have a taste of heaven!

NV: Favorite hometown haunt?
VG: In the summer definitely any of the open air clubs on the beach; in the winter a quiet stroll in the nearby medieval villages to find some of the finest wine bars with the best views of the underneath valleys.

NV: Favorite NYC haunt?
VG: Never been to NYC before!! Someone please show me theirs!!

NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
VG: My pets... I have two dogs and a cat and it definitely feels a lot less like home without them around!

Rimini, Italy. Photo: Jayfrog
NV: Favorite family activity?
VG: Eating. Hours and hours spent around the table working our way through five to ten course meals cooked by my mum and my Grandmother.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
VG: I think the one that meant the most to me was seeing Kazuo Ohno live on stage; I was only 15 at the time and I don't think I'd be a dancer today had I not seen that performance.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a director/performer?
VG: My first bow as a professional dancer. Ah! The relief, the joy, the excitement, the exhaustion!

NV: If you weren't in theater, what would you want to do with your life?
VG: Since I was about ten my dream was to become an archaeologist; I was a massive fan of Indiana Jones and I thought the best thing in the world would have been to discover an untouched burial and open shrines upon shrines of hidden and forgotten treasures! Today I think I'd rather be a shoe designer.

NV: Favorite saying or slang term?
VG: In bocca al lupo! That's the Italian for break a leg. It literally means in the mouth of the wolf, and one must reply with crepi il lupo!, which means may the wolf die. I love wolves by the way, I'd never ever want to see one dead!

NV: Something interesting/unique others may not know about you.
VG: I have attempted to play several instruments in my life; the latest is a pretty ukulele I was given on my last birthday and I'm loving it!

NV: Do you do anything else to earn a living?
VG: I sometimes work as an interpreter for Vidal Sassoon Advanced and Creative Academy in London.

NV: What is your educational background? Training background?
VG: At school I studied all the classics: Latin, Greek, Philosophy, History, Literature, English, Art History, but also a great deal of science, especially astronomy which I loved! I started dancing at four in the local dance school, but it wasn't until I was twenty that I moved to London to train at London Contemporary Dance School. There I gained a BA (Hons) and an MA.

NV: What is your cultural heritage? Has it influenced your work, and if so, how?
VG: I'm Italian; need I say more?!?

NV: Which 3 people have influenced you the most?
VG: My Grandmother, my Grandfather and my partner

NV: Why do you like performing at the New Vic?
VG: This is going to be my first time at the New Vic and I can't wait!!

Thanks, Valentina! Mischief runs at The New Victory from March 18-27. Watch the trailer here.

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