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Italian ballet star Roberto Bolle to receive UNESCO medal

Celebrated dancer and goodwill ambassador to be honored in Paris

07 April, 17:44
Italian ballet star Roberto Bolle to receive UNESCO medal (ANSA) - Milan, April 7 - Italian ballet star Roberto Bolle is to receive a UNESCO Medal for Cultural Diversity at the UN agency's Paris headquarters on Tuesday, Italy's foreign ministry made known Monday.

A principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater holding guest artist status at La Scala Theatre Ballet, 39-year-old Bolle was accepted at Milan's La Scala theatre ballet school at the age of eleven.

Rudolf Nureyev then chose him to interpret Tadzio in the ballet Death in Venice.

Since then, Bolle has performed with ballet companies worldwide, for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, and at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games in a ceremony seen by 2.5 billion people around the world.

Becoming a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 1999, he visited schools and hospitals in Sudan, eventually raising more than $655,000 for education and health projects in the war-torn, impoverished African country.

Last year, Bolle was awarded what is Italy's highest ranking honour, the Order of Merit knighthood.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will award him the medal in recognition ''of his contribution to UNESCO's ideas through dance as a living cultural expression and as a vector of dialogue''.

Bolle and other internationally renowned artists will perform in a series of pas de deux from the classical as well as the modern repertoire for the occasion.