Interviews

Aussie Bianca Bulle: LA Ballet Star

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Kenneth B. Edwards.
Bianca Bulle. Photo by Kenneth B. Edwards.

Bianca Bulle is an Aussie born and raised. She trained at the Ransley Ballet and Dance Centre on the Gold Coast before making the move at age 16 to study at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City. Two years later, she joined the Los Angeles Ballet and was just promoted to principal dancer earlier this year.

Her story is one of success and determination, and this artist truly immerses herself in her art form and every experience that comes her way. Here, get to know a little more about this bombshell ballerina.

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Elliot McGucken.

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Elliot McGucken.

When and why did you start dancing? 

“I began dancing when I was six years old, following the footsteps of my older brother and sister, who both danced. It wasn’t until I was 13 when I began to really focus of ballet solely and that I could potentially make this a career.”

You moved to NYC to train at SAB at the age of 16. Why did you want to come to the U.S. to continue your training? How did that experience help you grow as a dancer and set you up for a professional career?

“The idea of having the chance of living in New York and training with such a prestigious school was so enticing to me. I had to give it a go, take the ride and see where it would lead me. I am so grateful that I did, and it led me to where I am today. I wouldn’t change a second of it. The training and teachers at SAB are incredible. I loved it. I believe that jumping into the Balanchine technique and almost having to relearn ballet is what gave me the energy and challenge that I needed to continue in ballet. I’m not sure I would have continued if I didn’t have that change and exposure. I think Balanchine is very much the icing on top of the cake. You need a solid classical training in ballet, then to finish your professional train with Balanchine allows you to have such diversity, strength and an artistry with your dancing.”

Did you always know you wanted to move to the U.S. to pursue a professional performance career?

“No, I honestly didn’t. I’ve always had the travel bug, so anything overseas always interested me, but it wasn’t until I was told about the SAB summer intensive by my ballet teacher at the time, Joy Ransley, that I even had the thought I could potentially dance in the States.”

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

How did your position with the Los Angeles Ballet come about? Did you audition in NYC, or did you first move to LA and then get hired?

“Because SAB is such a big and well recognized school, almost all professional companies come to the studios there to host their open company auditions. So I took the LAB audition and was offered the job with a corps contract. Some dancers looking for companies right out of school will dance for a few more years as a trainee or a second company member. So for myself, it was a great opportunity to know I would be dancing with the company right off the bat, and I didn’t have to do more years of training before joining.”

When were you promoted to principal dancer? How does that feel? And even though you’ve made it up the ranks to principal, are there still certain things about your artistry or technique that you’d like to focus on and improve?

“I was promoted to principal dancer during this past 2016-2017 season. There is always so much room for improvement, and there always will be. So yes, every new role will come with a huge learning and growing process. We are performing Swan Lake this season to come, which will be a huge undertaking to dance Swan Queen for the first time. It’s such a dream role that takes your entire being to devote to, so I’m excited to experience it and see where that takes me.”

For you, what are some of the differences between the dance scene in Australia and in the U.S.?

“Balanchine is only just taking off in Australia, I think, whereas it is very much a foundation for us here. Since a lot of our company is trained in it, it’s like home when we get to perform a Balanchine rep. I find that American dancers have a unique energy about their dancing, which I absolutely love. It’s so alive and exciting.”

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Sam Akins.

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Sam Akins.

You’ve had some other exciting performing opportunities – working with the Royal Danish Ballet, So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Sonya Tayeh and some other up-and-coming contemporary ballet choreographers, and modeling for LA Magazine. Can you say a little more about these opportunities and how all these experiences have aided you in your artistic growth as a dancer? 

“My time with the Royal Danish Ballet was for an exchange program I went on for a month long. It was the first experience I had working with a professional company because at the time I was still training with SAB. It was incredible. I was in awe of the dancers and loved every minute of being there. It was wonderful insight into what was to come for me. We have guest artists who join us for some reps with LAB, so I have partnered with some of their principals, and they are incredible dancers but more importantly just lovely people. 

We often have a contemporary rep in our seasons with LAB. It’s always a different choreographer for us to work with, which is wonderful because we get to have that exposure to such a variety of styles and ways of working and learning from each person. We most recently danced an Aszure Barton ballet called Untouched, which to this day is my favourite of our contemporary works I have performed. Her work is incredible, such a talent and an incredible eye. If any of you get the chance to see her works performed, it’s a must!”

What’s next for you? Where do you hope to see yourself in the next 5 years or so?

“In five years time, I hope to still be dancing and be recognized in the dance world, to be someone to look up to. I like to see where life takes me, though. I would never have thought five years before I came to America that I would be here, so you just never know what turn you’re about to take, and I like that. Keeps things exciting and alive.”

What do you like to do in your spare time when not dancing? And what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a dancer?

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Kenneth B. Edwards.

Bianca Bulle. Photo by Kenneth B. Edwards.

“I like to think of myself as an inventor, or maybe I just have a lot of ideas. I’m constantly trying to create something new. I go through many different product ideas and fashion experiments, as well as dance products. Right now, I’m working on a dance product which I hope to release soon, but it’s still in the early stages. If I weren’t a dancer, I would need to be doing something that takes full investment just like dance does. I would need to have my own business or something I was help accountable for where my efforts would have an effect on the outcome.”

What advice or words of inspiration do you have for aspiring dancers and for those who may want to make a big move like you have?

“You’ve got nothing to lose; go for it. In all of the phases of your career, don’t wait, don’t play it safe, go for it, and have a back-up plan if it doesn’t work out. But you must give it your all in any case.”

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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