STEP UP WITH WARREN BONELLO

Warren Bonello had started dancing Latin and Ballroom with the Msida Dance Centre at the age of five. At thirteen, he began to divert into other genres, which led him to major shows such as the Junior Eurovision and musical theatre productions including The Sound of Music and L-Isfida in 2005.

He then moved to the UK to study at Bodywork in Cambridge, graduating with a Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts. Soon after, he found himself working various jobs, such as Westside Story and the national tour of Cinderella.

He’s been back in Malta since 2012, and is known for his work as Joey Primo in TAC Theatre’s Rock of Ages and Reuben Stivala in TV drama Redlands. He’s also played Puck in the Central Academy of Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and has also choreographed various dance shows and TV programmes.

He’s just concluded his BA in Dance Education at the University of Malta, and is now venturing on to create bigger productions and projects locally and internationally.

Date of Birth: 26th September, 1989

Star Sign: Libra

Media-related occupation: Dancer / choreographer

Image credit: Emma Tranter

 

What’s your general perception of the local dancing field?

My perception varies and changes often. We’ve got loads of talent and some good creative dancers and choreographers that are making a great name for themselves on such a small island. The bar is being raised, and the level of young dancers seems to be growing. Having said this, right now there are loads of schools and studios which are opening their doors to new students but without the right amount of knowledge and experience that should be garnered both locally and internationally. It’s causing a bit of an issue among the big schools with the right studios, flooring, sound and education.

Do you feel you have enough space to spread your artistic wings in Malta?

I personally feel that I do have space here to expand creatively. I work hard in creating work and I collaborate with loads of schools, companies and artists. It’s not easy. Before anyone who is anyone becomes a dancer, you have to be focused, determined and motivated to do your best.

 

Apart from dancing, what other interests do you pursue in your free time?

My free time is a bit of a myth as I barely have any time to myself. I start teaching from around 1pm everyday till around 9pm, and then either go to rehearsals or go choreograph. In the mornings before I teach, I either have private lessons or I work on music. I’ve also got house chores since I rent alone, so all the laundry, cleaning and cooking needs to happen. When I do manage to find some free time, I’ll either watch some TV or go play a football match to keep me fit.

Are there any other skills that you’d like to learn along the way?

Too many! I’m that type of person who loves to learn. I like challenging myself into learning and improving in something new. I love music, so I’d love to give instruments a shot, especially the acoustic guitar, piano and drums. I’d also like to improve in music production to help edit my dance songs better. Film is another interesting skill I’d like to gain, as I love the camera and how it works. So yeah, there are loads of skills I’d like to pursue, but it all boils down to time!

Image credit: Marie Claire Portelli

 

When you dream big, what venue do you aspire to perform at?

That’s a problem, as I always do. I’ve been quite lucky throughout my career so far, as I’ve been on some incredible platforms such as the O2 in London and around the U.K. I’ve also been on some awesome stages around Europe, including the Azerbaijan Eurovision stage in 2012. But I guess working with some big names around the world is where I’d like to head.

What projects await you in the future?

The future –  such a heavy word! Right now as I type, I have a few tabs open for accommodation, as I’ve been planning my next adventure to take my girlfriend and I to LA. We’ve applied for one of the biggest and most mainstream dance complexes in the USA – the Millennium Dance Complex in Studio City – where we’ll attend for four months starting this April till the end of July, then fly over to New York were we shall do two weeks of open classes at some great dance schools, then come back to Malta mid-August and start fresh. After that, I’m going to need two things – a break and a job! But I’m looking forward to this next adventure; learning new things, meeting new dancers and choreographers, upgrading my knowledge to share onto my students when I come back. I hope to inspire them in moving forward and pursing their own career in dance.