In December 2012, Jeffrey Cirio, principal dancer at the Boston Ballet, told Pointe Magazine that hip-hop helped him find himself as a dancer.“Ballet is very square and strict,” he said. “Something like hip-hop will give you the freedom to figure out what your body can do, and what your unique style is.” With that in mind, it’s not surprising to hear that in “The Nutcracker” season, Tchaikovsky isn’t what the 23-year-old has queued on his iPod as he warms up for the Christmastime classic. Think a little less symphonic, a little more “Stay Schemin’.” We caught up with Cirio to find out what’s on his playlist right now.
Bio: Since 2006, he’s moved through the Boston Ballet’s ranks from student to corps de ballet member to soloist to principle dancer. This year, Cirio memorably danced the role of Prince Siegfried in Mikko Nissinen’s reimagined “Swan Lake” (with knockout costumes and sets by Robert Perdziola). Over the past few years, Cirio has also stepped out of spotlight and into the role of choreographer, most notably in an intimate, haunting work “Of Trial,” which you may have seen as part of the BB@home series, or at the ICA as part of April’s First Friday event. Currently—in in his who-knows-how-many performances of “The Nutcracker”—he tackles the Nutcracker/Sugar Plum Cavalier, Snow King, and Lead Russian.
No. of years in Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”: “Seven years”
No. of times in any production of “The Nutcracker”: “Too many to count!”
“6 God” by Drake
“I usually listen to Drake when I wanna get hyped up for a performance. I have a playlist of all Drake songs that just shuffles. This song in particular has a sick beat.”
“Earplug” by Miss Modular
“I’ve found a new obsession with Jersey club music. It has that fast bass that makes dance music so much fun. If I do listen to Jersey Club, I’ll listen to someone’s DJ set. But this is one of those songs that bumps hard!”
“Body Party” (Sam Gellaitry remix) by Ciara
“There’s just something about this remix and Ciara’s voice that gets me hyped!”
“9 Milli” by Amir Obe
“I listen to a lot of hip-hop/rap in general. But I really like this guy, Amir Obe. It’s pretty chill, but has some cool beats and rap flows. His Detrooklyn album, as a whole, is really good.”
“Wanderlust” (Snakehips remix) by The Weeknd
“The Weeknd is an amazing singer. I’ll listen to his music when I’m in a chill mode or resting before a performance. This Snakehips remix of Wanderlust is really fun and upbeat; it gets me going before I put on makeup or warm up.”