Antonio Cortese

Portrait of Antonio Cortese

Antonio was born in 2006 in Naples, Italy, and began his training at the age of nine at the Lyceum Foundation in Naples, founded and directed by Mara Fusco.

Despite being a private school, the Lyceum granted Antonio a scholarship because of his talent. During his first four years of training Antonio studied classical ballet, modern dance, flamenco, character dance, acting and mime, and then started to study classical repertoire too.

Antonio's commitment and determination allowed him to take part in shows outside school too. Under the careful guidance of Mara Fusco and all the Lyceum teachers he took part in the DOC competition in Naples where he has won first prize both for the classic variation of the Tamburino, and for the modern variation depicting the famous Pulcinella mask.

Antonio has also taken part in performances by Balletto di Napoli and Teatro dell'Opera of Rome.

Antonio obtained his first scholarship for the White Lodge Summer Intensive in 2019.

He then attended a seminar held at the Lyceum by Royal Ballet School teacher Paul Lewis and was awarded a second scholarship for the White Lodge Summer Intensive 2020.

Christopher Powney first saw Antonio dance at The Royal Ballet School Summer Intensive in 2019.

On being named a Royal Ballet School International Scholar, Antonio said:

'I am surprised and excited to have this great opportunity. It makes me happy that I am able to continue studying with my teachers, who have given me so much, but at the same time have the honour of being part of The Royal Ballet School, the dream of all the young dancers!

I will put all the commitment and determination as an ambassador of this wonderful program and I am honored to have this opportunity.'

Mara Fusco, Director of Lyceum Foundation, said:

'I know The Royal Ballet School well having studied in the past at Sadler's Wells, and graduating from Rambert.

During my experience as a teacher, I have already had the satisfaction of seeing my former students as scholarship winners for the Covent Garden Summer Intensives and today these young people have become professionals in international companies.

The joy and happiness of knowing that Antonio has been appointed an International Scholar of The Royal Ballet School makes me appreciate more and more the opportunities that this great institution offers to young talents from all over the world. I will follow the progress of Antonio during this programme and extend my immense gratitude to the School.'