Project Description

Wilhelm Burmann teaching a warm-up before rehearsal, with Julio Bocca. Rose Building, 2006

Wilhelm Burmann


What can I say about Willy? I met him in 1987/88 and he changed my dancing from that time on. He changed my way of thinking about ballet and how to perform it. I learned how to dance naturally; for him ballet was natural. You move the way you move in normal life and because of that way of thinking, I changed my body. He was and still is my teacher for more than 21 years. I have known him in many different ways. Because my biological father never recognized me, Willy was like a father to me. He was also a very good friend. I had the opportunity to take him around the world, knowing that if I wanted to continue growing as a dancer I needed to have him advise me. Willy was always very strict but after his classes you felt that your body was dancing without your thinking about it. He was also very nice after shows always coming to say how beautiful your performance was, but the next day he would tell you all the things you did wrong. He wanted you to feel happy after the show but the next day he wanted more from you because he knew that you could be better, not only technically, but also as an artist. I will miss seeing him give classes at STEPS. I will miss his energy in the studio, how everybody stood up and went silent when he entered, out of respect. All the love he always put in his teaching, asking us students for more in class. And I know he is always still with me in my heart. My way of saying thank you is to transmit his knowledge and vision of this beautiful Art that is Dance. Thanks Willy, I will always love you.

The ballet world has lost one of its best teachers.

Julio Bocca
Teacher, Private Coach