We received the sad news today that our beloved Professore, Alberto Testa, has died. One of the icons of international dance, he became a treasured friend during our time in Italy.
We were introduced to him by our dear Simonetta our first Easter in Rome back in 2008. During our four years there we shared Christmases, Easters, and other family celebrations with her, Renato, Simon and their extended family – always including the Professore.
At our first meeting, in the traditional manner of showing respect we referred to him as “dottore”; he wagged an admonishing finger and said “Non dottore, solo un professore. In questi giorni ognuno è un dottore!” – (Not dottore, only professore. These days everyone is a dottore!)
At one of our last Easter celebrations he and Simonetta demonstrated the waltz scene from Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard. He had choreographed all of Visconti and Zeffirelli’s movies but had particularly fond memories of taking Burt Lancaster – a gentleman and born dancer according to the Professore – through his steps in the ballroom scene . He had harsher words for Claudia Cardinale – a stick!
I wasn’t surprised when I saw a short video from 2012 on the Teatro Regio Torino website tribute of our Professore at 90 demonstrating a dance step with all the grace and elegance that were the hallmarks of his life.
I’m sure that he is already in the celestial rehearsal room putting the heavenly host through their dance steps at the barre and admonishing any of them who might be “sticks”.
Rest in peace, dear Professore.
October 4th is Drink Vodka Day as well as Body Language Day – well you should see my body language after I’ve been drinking vodka.