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The young Granada dancer Patricia Guerrero is the artist that the Ballet Nacional de España has invited to dance the title role, together with Maribel Gallardo in La Bella Otero. She started dancing when she was 15 years old in Mario Maya’s company and was first artist at the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía under the directorship of Rubén Olmo. She has been touring the world with her own company for more than 10 years.

Who was la Belle Otero?

She was a very influential woman everyone talked about, and many people lost their head over her, some even their life. A woman with a lot of personality and a huge instinct for survival. She was very self-confident and reached the elite of society, rubbing shoulders with great characters of her time. She really boosted the features that led her to success: her charisma and her sensuality.

 What is the character of this ballet like?

The character is complex because of the great ups and downs in her life since she was little. She reached the sky but died in poverty. She goes through so many different situations and conflicts that la Belle Otero becomes a dramatic puzzle. Every detail must be shaped into dance to make her story reach the audience.

This is a very important character for me and it’s a great responsibility. There are no recorded images of her movement or her artistic expression. So, in this project, Otero’s dance will be my dance.

What does it mean for you to play the lead in this ballet with the Ballet Nacional de España?

As a dancer, coming to the Ballet Nacional de España is a great step, something that leaves a mark for life. If, on top of it, you come in to dance a lead role and you’re called by Rubén Olmo, I’d say it’s a dream. I’m fully aware of where I am and the great responsibility my character entails. I’m giving my 100% to meet this challenge.  

Is this a path you wanted to follow professionally, or had you never considered it?

To be honest, I’d never thought about joining a Ballet Nacional de España production as a dancer, especially on account of the kind of career I have as a soloist, although I’ve wanted to get to know the company for some years. La Bella Otero has been a real surprise, a huge incentive and I’m really happy it’s part of my life and my career.

What have you found most difficult?

The most complex part is to play the character at different ages and situations. She starts off as a helpless child, raped and abused, she becomes a star and has spectacular experiences to then fall into poverty again at the end of her life. You really have to polish dance acting details in order to differentiate all her life, from childhood to old age.

And the most satisfactory?

Without a doubt, her great personality. I am playing a great woman who has many things I admire. I truly like having the chance to play this role.

Is there anything of la Bella Otero in you?

There is, above all, confidence. It’s a feature I can see in her and in me. I also identify with her ability to mesmerize. There are quite a few things I can hold on to in order to put myself in her shoes.

Do you think people of your generation or even younger could be interested in it?

Of course. It will be an iconic show to be enjoyed by generations to come. It is a hard work in its content, but it’s dynamic, amusing, fresh and its colour and energy will make us all enjoy it, both on and off the stage.