We meet Anita Lorusso, art influencer, dancer, performer and model. She chooses Milan for reasons of study and work, a challenging city that she has learnt to love.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY
Back then, I would never have thought of leaving my city, especially to come living in Milan. It was not a practical option, I was scared about the distance from my family and I had never travelled alone. I decided within a week, it was a drastic change. Even though I was very attached to my land, I did not see even a potential future in Gravina di Puglia. I was 17 years old.
Some friends of mine, who had already taken up a similar career, motivated me to get going. I studied dance and I came to attend an advanced course in contemporary dance at the Dancehaus academy in Milan.
HOW DID THE TRANSITION FROM TRAINING TO A PROFESSION AS VARIED AS YOURS COME ABOUT?
I started to experience the city and people mainly at night. It is in Milan's nightlife that culture and creativity are centre-stage, it is only in the evening or at night that people come out of their atelier or art studios and meet in clubs or cafés with the desire to share their world and sometimes even to exchange it. In my case, most of the time, the work was the result of informal encounters with experts from various fields.
The opportunity of establishing important connections for professional activities, with the world of art, music, fashion and design, which reigns supreme in Milan, was and is fundamental to my growth and also to the development of my personal taste.
IN WHAT KIND OF FIELDS DO YOU WORK?
It is not easy to distinguish the different fields of my profession. Over the last years I have seen many changes, the influence of artistic specificities towards new situations, still undecipherable but certainly belonging to one broad field of creativity.
Dance performances within contemporary art installations have the involvement of designers who collaborate with visual artists, but also with stylists, with video makers or photographers... you will understand that it becomes increasingly complex to give a single definition.
Recently I took part in an event for a sound designer initially planned for a site-specific installation in an industrial space, which was later diverted to a space intended for the presentation of another artist, a painter whom I had met days before and with whom it was suddenly decided to collaborate. Our ideas merged and in the end we were all part of the same performance, we found ourselves fitting together the pieces of a single puzzle ... and it all made sense.
In that occasion I realised I had chosen the right city and had fallen in love with her.
BUT IS IT ALL THAT EASY?
Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not… sometimes incredibly productive spontaneous collaborations happen, other times it is hard to find the right people with whom there is a mental feeling which facilitates the production… other times I had to abandon project I'd already started because even the basic conditions weren't met, i.e. lack of time due to everyone's overactivity. Milan knows how to give a lot but asks a lot and tends to suffocate you.
YOU HAVE WORKED SEVERAL TIMES AS A MODEL FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS OR AS A PERFORMER FOR VIDEO MAKERS… HOW DO YOU BUILD TRUST WITH SOMEONE WHO IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LENS?
First of all, we have to make a distinction between people who work for commercial and those who do art photography.
If you work with a commercial photographer, the outcome of the photo only ever depends on the product, the client’s brief and the instructions of an art director.
The ideal for me is to work with someone who carries out a personal research and asks for a creative participation in the realization of his/her vision. A real exchange where you’re not just an object, but an active part in the production.
Recently, I posed for a photographer and an art director to produce a series of fashion shoots in which the body had a great importance, they both had the same sense of beauty and leaded me through a unique channel in which I found my ideal expressive space.
It is more interesting when a photographer manages to give you detailed and targeted instructions and to convey a sensation and a clear line to work on.
The collaboration with Yuval Avital, an Israeli artist, was very meaningful to me. We shot some videos in the mountains of the Blenio Valley in Switzerland. Undoubtedly, what struck me most was the physical distance. He was on the top of the mountain with his equipment, and I was lowered with ropes under a waterfall in the opposite valley… I could hardly hear his work instructions because of the rush of the water but it didn’t prevent us from working, on the contrary, it made us discover special connections with nature, as if we were guided by it.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FASHION
My relationship with fashion began by chance. Some talent scouts stopped me when I was walking on the street and hired me for fashion editorials. Then, thanks to a network of contacts, my customer base became bigger; Now, an agency manages my work.
I had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of important brands and consequently with top-level directors, photographers, and art directors.
Currently, I’m the brand ambassador for Fred Perry and I am part of their circle of talents to whom they entrust the brand not only as a model but as a 360 degrees artist.
DO YOU TAKE CARE A LOT OF YOUR IMAGE?
Yes, I like to enhance myself and I feel it as a personal research work on me, and not only focused on my image. For me, dressing is not just covering my body.
Fashion is my passion, it doesn't come about by chance: I read up, study looks, and I constantly keep myself informed.
WE REMEMBER YOU IN THE LATEST PUPA COMMERCIAL...
Yes, that commercial had a huge spread even on television.
It was a stimulating experience that I remember especially for the physical interaction I established with the cameras. The cameramen did a proper sequence of choreographic movements that I had to follow accurately. It was the first time I had this role reversal.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT JOBS?
In the next months I will be once again on theatre stages engaged in a series of concerts as a dancer for choreographer Giuliano Peparini with stops in Rome, Syracuse and Verona.
GOOD LUCK FOR YOUR JOBS ANITA
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Images provided by Anita Lorusso