© Filip Van Roe
© Filip Van Roe

Demis Volpi is an Argentinian-German choreographer and opera director. He has created over 40 pieces worldwide, which have been acclaimed by a broad range of audiences.  Demis Volpi will be the new Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the Ballett am Rhein in Dusseldorf and Duisburg, beginning in the season 2020/21.

 

 

The choreographer has been awarded with the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2011, the Chilean Cultural Critics' Award in 2012 and the German Dance Prize Future in 2014. He was nominated for the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse in 2017 for his full length ballet Salome and was named Up and Coming Artist of the Year 2017 in the critics’ choice of the magazine Opernwelt after his successful premiere of Death in Venice - a co-production between the Opera Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Ballet and the John Cranko School. Death in Venice was nominated for the 2018 International Opera Awards as Best New Production. Demis Volpi was a member of the jury of the Prix de Lausanne 2018. In September 2019 his work and achievements as a choreographer over the past ten years were distinguished with the Merit Diploma of the Konex Foundation at the Konex Award's Ceremony in Buenos Aires.

 

Demis Volpi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began dancing at the age of four and trained with illustrious teachers such as Mario Galizzi, Wilhelm Burmann, Andrea Candela, Silvia Bazilis and Loipa Araujo. After spending a year at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, he was accepted into Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto, where he graduated with honors. From 2002 to 2004 he attended the Academy of the John Cranko School in Stuttgart where he received his diploma as a State-Approved Ballet Dancer.

He immediately became an apprentice with the Stuttgart Ballet and in the following year he was taken into the corps de ballet, which he was a part of until 2013. During his time as a dancer, Demis Volpi danced both the company's classical and modern repertoire.

In 2006 Demis Volpi started to work as a choreographer by creating four pieces on four consecutive years for the Noverre Society's Young Choreographers.

 

Volpi was then commissioned to create works for American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Augsburg, Badisches Staatsballett Karlsruhe and Ballet de Santiago de Chile before choreographing his first full length ballet - Krabat. After the world premiere of this work, Demis Volpi was appointed Resident Choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet, a position he held until 2017. Krabat became the company’s biggest box office success during the 22 years of Reid Anderson's directorship at the Stuttgart Ballet.

 

Demis Volpi went on to choreograph for companies such as Ballet Nacional del Sodre in Uruguay, DanceWorks Chicago, Ballett im Revier in Gelsenkirchen, The Latvian National Ballet, Ballet Dortmund and Canada’s National Ballet School - where he was appointed Guest Artist in Residence in 2014. In that same year, Demis Volpi staged his first opera - Fetonte by Niccolò Jommelli - for the Winter Festival in Schwetzingen, Germany.

In March 2015 Volpi premiered A Soldier's Tale based on Igor Strawinsky's complex score. The choreographer created the role of The Devil for Alicia Amatriain, for which she received the German theater prize Der Faust and the world's most prestigious ballet award, the Prix Benois de la Danse.

Volpi continues to explore the possibilities of story ballets and has created successful productions of The Nutcracker for the Ballet of Flanders and Salome for the Stuttgart Ballet and keeps broadening his vocabulary with pieces such as Death in Venice, in which he overcomes the limits of different theatre genres.

 

In 2018, he created Sacre du Printemps  and the children's ballet Rey y Rey with the Compañia Nacional de Danza de México in Mexico-City. The story is based on a children's book of Stern Nijland and Linda De Haan and deals with same-sex love.

 

Back in Germany, he worked together with the DNT Weimar where he staged his first Mozart opera, Don Giovanni. In 2019, Volpi combined opera, dance and drama in his work Médée | Medea Senecae for the Saarländisches Staatstheater. In autumn, he choreographed for Tobias Kratzer's new staging of Guillaume Tell at the Opéra National de Lyon.