Sunday, March 24, 2013

Calogero Failla: Black Swan of Singapore

Black Swan of Singapore
Remember the psychological thriller Black Swan, starring oscar winner Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel? Who knew you could find that much intrigue, jealousy, and ambition in a ballet company? Calogero Failla, that's who. Over coffee yesterday, I had a chat with this Italian export who is now a professional dancer at the Singapore Dance Theater. Failla, who has travelled the world for his art, left home at just fifteen. And if he had to do it over again? He would leave at nine.
Here are my 10 questions to an expat (edited version), for the unedited you'll have to wait for the book!

1) So Calogero, how long have you lived in Singapore?
Six months.

2) Where are you from originally?
Ragusa, Sicily.

3) What brought you here?
Ballet. I don't travel for tourism, only for work.

4) What do you do in your spare time?
I don't like to go out drinking or to discos...I like to sit in a cafe' and write. Poems and stories.

5) What do you like about Singapore?
People are quite reserved here. Although, sometimes they are too detached. The pas de deux is like making takes two people. Otherwise it doesn't work. Ballet may belong to everybody but it is not for everybody.

6) Interesting. So what do you like least?
The weather and the food.

7) Never leave the house without?
A notebook and a pen.

8) Best weekend trip?
I usually work on weekends. The daily regime of a dancer is very tough. If we have no shows on the weekend and are not on tour, I usually just take it easy.

9) Interesting fact people don't know about you?
I know how to cook. My specialty is pasta with red pesto. I will have to make it for you one day.

10) Gladly. So what advice would you give someone who is about to move here?
Go back. Just kidding. But seriously, it depends on what you want to do here. Asia is not for everybody.