From Ariana Grande to Madonna, Daniele Sibilli has worked with all the greats. The magnetizing movements of his body on stage has captivated many. What’s next on the horizon for this Italian dancer?
starring DANIELE SIBILLI @danielesibilli
photography CARLO WILLIAM ROSSI @carlowilliamrossi & FABIO MUREDDU @fabio.mureddu
styling FABIO MUREDDU
interview CARLO WILLIAM ROSSI
fashion consultant STEFANO GUERRINI @stefano_guerrini
hair ANTONIO FIDATO @antonio.fidato using FANOLA
makeup CARLO WILLIAM ROSSI using MAC PRO and PAT MCGRATH LABS
styling assistant MARIO BARBIERI @antonio.fidato
set assistant GIUSEPPE PALUMBO @grey_studio_photo
View the full story in the Summer 2019 Issue of Desnudo Italia, available here.
WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE. Daniele Sibilli has always had a passion for dance at a young age. From winning So You Think You Can Dance Ukraine to dancing with international household names like Renato Zero, Ariana Grande, Elodie, and Madonna just to name a few, he tells the story of his journey and how he was able to reach such a level of success. As a boy, he pursued his dream until he found himself dancing, almost by chance, at the Queen of Pop’s birthday.
Can you tell us about you first dance-related memory?
January 26, 2003. It was my 10th birthday. I was in an arena for my first dance contest with my school. On the same day, Don Lurio, a very famous dancer, a legend for Italians, died. We won and all of a sudden the crowd was screaming at me “Don Lurio, Don Lurio.” My classmates lifted me up with their bare hands and made me jump up and down in the air. It was a really emotional blast.
Billy Elliot lit a spotlight on the troubles a little boy has to face when he decides to become a dancer. How was it for you, as a guy from the south born 26 years ago?
Not easy at all. I always loved to dance, but at the same time, I was terrified at the idea of it. Getting to a dance class meant exposing myself to people judging me, and that was frightening. I was afraid of loneliness, I was afraid of bullying. My mum once tried to get me into a dance school. She paid for the entire course and bought me all the necessities. But I quit after the first day. First time ever was due to some girlfriends of mine, they kept saying “You’re too good, you need to come with us and take lessons.” Then at 13, a teacher of mine told me, “Daniele, tomorrow put on some comfortable clothes.” I didn’t know where we were going or what we were supposed to do, but I obeyed. I found myself at an audition with Mara Fusco, one of the most famous ballet teachers in Italy. She got me in. I was told that if I had given up this time I would have had to pay a huge fine, so I didn’t allow myself to skip a single lesson. We had no money to waste. I was really happy about being a part of this school but I still wasn’t really enjoying it all. As soon as I could, I would run to my friends. I was afraid of being an outcast. Then with time and persistence, I learned how to get the best out of this amazing journey. I kept seeing more and more friends from the dance class and I was starting to understand how dance would become a saving force. I was raised in a very difficult neighbourhood. I have friends that got lost. Dance saved me from all this sadness. Dance taught me how to speak Italian properly, gave me discipline, an education. Dance opened up worlds that I could have never experience otherwise. Talking about this just makes me feel the need to thank my teacher Anna D’Amuro, my school Lyceum by Mara Fusco and all of my ballet professors.
Renato Zero, Maria De Filippi, Laura Pausini, Niki Minaji, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber… Seems that you have worked with amazing people.
Yes, all of this was surreal and amazing. Emma Marrone was special too. I had a very human connection with her. We shared a tour and 2 videoclips. Emma and Marcia Del Prete, the choreographer of those projects, were very important to me. Very supportive and I will never stop being grateful to them. They trusted me a lot.
And then Madonna joined in.
August 16, 2017. I had to perform at her birthday party in Puglia. Megan Lawson, the choreographer, called me months before to ask if I was available those days, and I was. But I wasn’t aware of what I was going to do. Later on, Megan called me back and said, “16th is confirmed, you’ll be dancing for Madonna at her birthday party.” Madonna!! I was so happy and frightened at the same time. My performance went great and after that, she said to me, “Would you like to dance for me for future projects?”
A dream came true. There was only one possible answer to this question : HELL YEAH!
First, she called me back for her 60th birthday in Morocco. Then everything went smoothly and naturally: the Medellin video, the Billboard Awards, the Eurosong Festival. It’s a blessing for a dancer to work with an artist like her. To perform with somebody who always has a message underneath her art, somebody that infuses culture and humanity in all of her work of art, it’s real luck and an opportunity for growth like no other.
While I’m telling you all of this, I have in front of me a picture of the first time we met. She’s so beautiful.
Will we see you around Madame X again?
Let’s wait and see…
26 years, a lot of achievements already. You seem to have a lot at the moment. If you had to buy yourself a present, what would you choose?
Last year, I thought, “I would like to do something big.” And then it happened. I would never have imagined all of this and now I want to live at my best in this moment. I feel like I’m a part of something unique. I love what I'm doing and I feel acknowledged, artistically and humanly. Here, this is the gift.
If I want more? A house of my own, yes. That gives me a sense of stability. And some extra money… but not for me, for my mom. I wish she would stop working, she's tired.