Alberto Villanueva Rodríguez

Born: Reus (Spain), 1990
Education: Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza, Madrid
Experience: Ballet de Teatres de la Generalitat Valencia; Introdans (since August 2011)

Alberto Villanueva Rodríguez would never have imagined that his mother would carry a tattoo due to his dance career. But he certainly likes the thought! “When I was accepted at Introdans in 2011, my parents and I went on a road trip through France, Belgium and the Netherlands to come to Arnhem. We wanted to know more about the country where I was going to live. And of course we went to Amsterdam as well. The three of us did and saw everything together.” He adds with a laugh: “And celebrated, too! I suddenly saw my father and mother with different eyes!”


“The tattoo idea arose during those days. She had a good think about it – my dad and I asked her to consider it carefully – but a little while later she did get it done.” The dancer obviously enjoys telling the story about his exuberant mother. But he is careful at the same time: he doesn’t want to give the wrong picture of her. “In recent years I have increasingly realised just how blessed I have been, to have grown up with so much love. Due to my dance education I left home at a relatively early age. And so I wasn’t always so conscious of it. But I have truly fantastic parents. And friends!”

Alberto simply had to move

Alberto come from Reus – “the birthplace of Gaudí” – in Catalonia. His father owns a construction company and his mother works as a psychiatrist. He has one older sister: Vanessa. Even as a child he was highly active and simply had to move when he heard music. Just like his granddad, who was a fervent amateur flamenco singer up to a ripe old age. “In Spain, music, song and dance are never far away. It’s woven into our culture.” He didn’t find it easy to sit still at school either – it was hard to keep him in line. “It was my schoolteacher who said to my mother one day: “Wouldn’t it be good for him to dance?” In retrospect my dance career started at that moment. When I was eight.”

Absolutely entranced

He started taking lessons at the local dance school. At the age of twelve he moved to a professional training programme in Tarragona, the closest city. “To begin with I did ballroom, salsa, flamenco and ballet. And then later just ballet. For me it’s the source of all movement. At that time I visited a lot of performances together with my mother. I think that I was starting to think about making ballet my profession.” And then when he saw the Nacho Duato Company dancing Por vos muero, he was certain. “I found it so beautiful I was absolutely entranced! Almost naked dancers moving to 15th-century Spanish baroque music, constantly adding new movements to the mix. That’s what I want to do too, I thought. Exactly that! Phenomenal!”

Impressed by Introdans

At the age of fifteen Alberto did an audition at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza in Madrid. He was accepted, moved to the capital and graduated four years later. “After that I was able to start more or less immediately at the Ballet de Teatres de la Generalitat in Valencia. Although I was well aware of how lucky I was, after a while I felt I had more ambitions. I decided I wanted to “do Europe”. I had already seen Introdans during one of their tours. And on YouTube. I was really impressed by them and registered for an audition. Very exciting… The audition went well, and they said I could come! So after the road trip with my parents I moved to the Netherlands.”

Alberto has ‘gone Dutch’

Nowadays his Spanish friends often have to laugh about him – in a good-humoured way. In their eyes Alberto has ‘gone Dutch’ to a striking extent. They see him as highly organised and punctual; very different to the young guy they used to know. “Even though I had such a hard time getting used to everything: the weather, the shops closing so early, getting out your diary to make a date! Well, anyway, it seems as if I’ve adjusted more than I know. And in some respects I haven’t changed at all. I’m still passionate about cooking and I love to invite people round for a meal. My famous salmon, goat’s cheese and orange dish – one of my sister’s recipes – is still a hit.”

Pushing the boundaries

“When I dance then I feel incredibly happy. My body is a dance body: it can do a lot and – depending on the piece we’re dancing – it answers every demand I make of it. I like a wide variety of styles, and each dance world has its own attractions. Previously I sometimes lost myself in a role. But not anymore. I’m Alberto, whatever is happening. I push the boundaries, but I can also put things into perspective.”