Ludmila Pagliero (@ludmila_pagliero_official
) is the Argentinian ‘Étoile' dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet.
In 2012 she became the first Latin American person to be given the highest honour from this prestigious dance company, and is one of the few dancers to have been admitted to the French Opera without first training at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
Anita Pouchard Serra
)is a French-Argentinian naturalised visual storyteller, working in Latin America, and whose work focuses around issues that engage her personally - mostly the subjects of identity and migration. She recently won the We, Women
grant from Photoville
and Women Photograph.
Ludmila and Anita’s stories interconnect. Ten years ago Anita decided to move to Buenos Aires, where Ludmila was born. In contrast, Ludmila moved to France, Anita’s home country in 2003 following a call from the Paris Opera. In the words of Brigitte Lefèvre, who was at the time the artistic director of the Ballet, during those years Ludmila Pagliero became ‘Étoile' thanks to "the talent and artistic courage she had shown".
In 2015, Anita read in the news about Ludmila’s achievement. Having herself trained as a dancer in her youth, she was very suprised and conscious of the difficulties she overcame to arrive where she was. “When I heard there was an Argentinian woman who was a first dancer of the Opera”, Anita explained, “I became very curious about her and her life. In 2016 I was going to go back to Paris for some months, and I sent her a message on facebook. In 2017, finally finding a time between the dense schedules of Ludmila’s rehearsals, we met for a coffee”. On that occasion Anita shared her intention with Ludmila: to document her life, not only as a professional dancer, but also as a woman with her feelings, desires and hopes. Ludmila immediately accepted the proposal with enthusiasm.
After receiving the final approvation from the Paris Opera, Anita started following the dancer in January 2018.
Anita reflects and empathises with Ludmila in a special way. She manages to enter in her world thanks to her closeness, and her understanding of the commitment that dance-training requires. Hours of exercising, rehearsal, expectations results in an almost full-time engagement. The images are profound: they show Ludmila primarily in her solitary moments of contemplation, the preparation in the dressing rooms or details such as her feet, covered by sticking plasters.
At the beginning, when I was backstage, there were situations where I didn’t know if I should enter or wait outside. The backstage of the Paris Opera is sometimes really crowded, and Ludmila works with very important choreographers, so I didn’t want to be in the middle of their work. But through her eyes, she always managed to communicate with me. And now that almost a year and a half has passed, I learned how to move. Now I’m in Buenos Aires and I will work from here: with her family, her archive, capturing places and buildings that had been important in her life up until the moment she left. All of this process is now very natural for me.
Ludmila and Anita are two dreamers, following their passions in two different fields: photography and dance.
“The title I gave, for now, to the project”, Anita continues, “came from a talk I had with Ludmila. She used the words ‘with my Sangre Latina’ to express that she reacts in a different way because her blood is Latin American and not a French/Parisian one”.