Pas de deux with Thierry Leviez and Luca Masala
Last Friday, February 10, 2023, the Monaco Press Club organized a very interesting close encounter at Casa Mia with Luca Masala, Director Princess Grace Academy, and Thierry Leviez, Director Pavillon Bosio, Ecole Superieure d’arts plastiques de la Ville de Monaco.
Experienced Journalists Cinzia Colman and Joelle Deviras performed a dynamic pas de deux with Luca Masala and Thierry Leviez, posing interesting questions to reveal the tour de force behind these two important cultural institutions in the Principality, under their direction.
For the love of scenography!
The new director of the Pavillon Bosio, Thierry Leviez (b.1979) who took over from Isabelle Lombardot in September 2021, came with a solid background, and a rich baggage of diverse cultural experiences. His main goal is to bring the already publicly recognized Monegasque art school to new heights.
Created as an art school then a Beaux-Arts school, since 2004 it became a Superior School for Visual Arts, and during Lombardot’s tenure Pavillon Bosio was developed into a prestigious public school, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Its curriculum includes studio training dedicated to practical and technical learning, covering the gamut of artistic disciplines: drawing, color, scenography, light, graphics, photography, video, sound, design, digital arts, ceramics, and more. Plus, seminars, conferences, workshops, meetings with opinion leaders in the art world, research, and collective projects with partners. Moreover, students take part in annual scenography symposia, cultural trips and internships.
Originally from Toulouse,Thierry Leviez came to Monaco from Paris. His forte is scenography, so his intention is to focalize the school into his area of expertise. While they will continue training artists, the school wants to offer students the added value of a real technical background. Exhibition scenography is a growing specialty, and Pavillon Bosio will strive to become the standard in scenography. To achieve this goal Thierry firmly wishes to partner with other recognized art institutions, such as the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.
Former curator of the Printemps de Septembre exhibitions in Toulouse between 2013 and 2016, where he notably led a huge project that revolutionised the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse alongside Jorge Pardo, Thierry Leviez developed a taste for scenography after his studies. Trained at the Ecole du Louvre and the Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble, the new director of the Pavillon Bosio has curated several exhibitions, including the first exhibition devoted to the brick sculptures of Per Kirkeby. His growing love for scenography enriched by diverse cultural experiences transformed him into a leader in exhibition design.
For information on Pavillon Bosio visit: https://pavillonbosio.com/en/ecole/presentation
Dance is his life!
Luca Masala was born in 1971 in Cagliare Cerdegna, Italy. Luca smiles when prompted how he was initiated into Ballet. “One day, I went to pick up my sister Gioia at her dance course. I opened a door that was supposed to remain closed. There was a character dance course and there were guys that jumped very high.” In 1980 he started a ballet course in Reggio Emilia, and the rest is history.
He had opened the door to his fruitful international professional career in Ballet that took him from the Scala de Milan to the American Ballet in New York, and the Academy of Classic Dance Princess Grace in Monaco, under the direction of Marika Beobrasova, where he graduated. From there he continued dancing on the stage of prestigious companies in Europe. Until 2008 when he becomes Ballet Master of the Ballet Du Capitole in Toulouse, and only a year later Luca takes an important step back to the Princess Grace Academy!
In 2009, H.R.H. Princess Hanover appointed Luca Masala to the position of Artistic Director, following Jean-Christophe Maillot’s recommendation. The objective was to increase the Academy’s pre-professional aspect and to allow its multinational study body to perfect their training between the ages of 13 and 18, thus enabling them to join leading international dance companies upon completing their studies. Luca travels the world scouting new talent among thousands of students of all nationalities. Since its inception, the Academy has trained several generations of dancers, many of who have become soloists or principal dancers with leading international dance companies. Luca’s final objective is for his students to join major international companies, and every year he reaches his target 100% graduates employment target rate!
To accomplish this, Luca and his team of highly experienced professional staff prepare students to develop the essential qualities needed to perform in this industry, namely discipline, respect of the profession, empowerment of the choreographic artist, openness to the world of the arts and generate passion. The students receive 2 end-of-term assessment reports which state their level in each discipline. At the end of the year, they sit an exam in front of a jury comprised of the academy’s Director and the teaching staff, the directors of professional dance companies and professional guest dancers. The students who finished their studies receive a completion diploma (Certificat d’Aptitude de Danseur Professionnel).
The Academy’smanagement is committed to helping students find a job at the end of their training by helping them prepare a presentation folder for auditions with photos, videos and CV. Furthermore, Luca personally contacts the Directors of Companies to organize auditions.
The Academy organizes the annual Gala of the Princess Grace Academy, a very special annual event, a unique stage experience, where the highly prestigious dance school, intimately linked to the distinguished Ballets of Monte-Carlo, proudly showcases their student’s talents and achievements, while displaying the Director, Luca Masala, and faculty’s top level training skills. This year, the public was able to discover the highest level of ballet training, embracing diverse styles, from pure classic to totally contemporary, by young dancers coming from all over the world.
Luca has surpassed himself in achieving the goals set by Princess Caroline and Jean-Christophe Maillot, and now he is ready for a new challenge!
For information on the Princess Grace Academy visit: https://www.balletsdemontecarlo.com/en/princess-grace-academy/history
Culture is the bedrock, the final wall, against which one leans one’s back in a godforsaken chaos. J.C. Powys, The Meaning of Culture