Looking Back, Stepping Forward from Vito Bernasconi —

2016 has been one of the biggest years for me.

I started with a magical A Midsummer Night’s Dream, moved through to the box office record breaking Strictly Gershwin, found solace with Lest We Forget and I’m now finishing up with The Nutcracker. The year still isn’t done, but at the end of the year, looking at what you’ve experienced can be a great way to see how far you’ve come and also, where the possibilities lie in the future.

This reflection is one of my most important journeys of the entire year. I take in and look at everything I’ve done and sometimes, what I haven’t done. I try to live a life with no regrets, so when it does come to the end of the year, it’s a nice feeling to say “Yeah…what a great year!”

It’s quite an accomplishment to look back on an entire year to see how far you’ve developed as a person. I’m sure for most people, they are not the same as they were a year ago. Things change, people change, it’s a natural part of life. One of the things I’ve enjoyed over the past four years is looking back on The Nutcracker. 

Having performed the ballet three years in a row, and now gearing up for a 4th, I’ve been able to set the bar each year and then measure how I’ve progressed – one of my little challenges is always to do better than the last. In terms of roles, I had the opportunity to perform the Arabian Pas De Deux with former Principal Dancer Meng Ning Ning at Opening Night/The Australian Premiere. The next year, I was given the task of performing Gopak on Opening Night and last year also saw me perform Gopak on Opening Night again. Having performed it two years in a row, I not only have the confidence, but my stamina and characterisation has improved and I’m now focusing to ‘wow’ each audience with a new and improved solo each year. You’ll have to come to QPAC to see if you think I’ve developed that ‘wow’.

This year I have been given a new challenge, The Prince. A coveted principal role which any ballerino would wish to perform. I have aspired to perform this role ever since I came to Queensland Ballet, and even though some of my class mates that I graduated with have had the opportunity to perform this role, this is special for me as it’s been a dream of mine.

I have been attending every rehearsal since the very first year to gain as much knowledge as possible and now, with my #4yearsinthemaking, I am going to finally have my chance in the spotlight performing and debuting my first ever Prince. The Nutcracker  has been the ideal ballet for me to develop. Each year we come back to this annual tradition, I am able to look back at the previous year to see where I was and to determine where I want to be this year. Looking back and stepping forward.

With all this said, I challenge you; reflect on your entire year. See what you’ve accomplished. What could have been better? What do you want to do better? Does an area need more/less attention? Ask yourself these types of questions and come into 2017 ready to strive and take on a new you.

Who knows, it could be your best year yet!