- 14 Dec 2017 11:00 AM
Mark has danced professionally in the UK (Northern Ballet) and Canada (Royal Winnipeg and Alberta Ballet companies) and National Ballet of Portugal in Lisbon. He is a member of the Hungarian State Ballet here in Budapest since 2015 and has also formed his own project called ‘internationBalLET” with fellow colleague Angela Mingardo.
Together they aim to promote classical ballet in modern way and as a language that can bring us all together. Mark is also a qualified Gyrotonic instructor and regularly teaches and choreographs for ArtsInEnglish of Rome and many independent schools and companies around the world.
1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in the chilly month of January, only one month before I came to Budapest for the first time and decided to move here in speedy time to dance at the majestic Opera house.
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Indeed pretty much for most of my life so far. I was born in Rome to Scottish mother and Italian father and since the age of 17 I have lived in the Uk, Canada, Portugal and now Hungary.
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The culture and the way people are so interested in it and being a part of it. This makes me feel at home here.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Well I believe in never going crazy when you visit a place for a short time. Better to get the feeling than to do everything, especially for Budapest as it has a wonderful vibe. As said by many before this is a city that offers so much by just walking around it’s streets: from the Danube with it’s splendid views to the Jewish quarter and it’s hystorical weight, to the beautifully refreshing city park. After all the walking I would definitely try to get to a concert at the Liszt academy, soak at the baths (Rudas are my favourites) enjoy a good meal at a bistro and experience once of the unique ruin bars!
5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Well I am very easy to please, very unusual for an Italian but I like most things, I have to say my friend makes amazing stuffed cabbage and lángos is as tasty as it is unhealthy!
7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
8. What do you miss most from home?
The weather and sometimes the pace of life
9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I would love to study and practice osteopathy but I know I would somehow always find my way back into the arts field. As a child I always wanted to be a lawyer or a detective.
10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
I think I would find it impossible to be one of the two guards outside the Parliament at Kossuth Lajos tér. First of all I find it impossible to be still for any length of time and then I cannot cope with the cold!
11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
What’s that??? I am a bit of a workaholic but always go home to Rome whenever I can to be with Family and friends.
12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Somewhere tropical! Although I am also planning a cross country USA trip for the near future, Route 66 here I come!
13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
Well I am curious and I love to know about everything and everyone, I can resist not knowing things but I don’t like it.
14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
My favourite film has been for many years Life is Beautiful by Roberto Benigni
15. Red wine or white?
Red of course, especially if it’s the home made wine from my dad back home.
16. Book or movie?
Both, although it is so much better to use your imagination and stimulate your mind by reading than just being a vegetable in front of the "ready made meal"
17. Morning person or night person?
Definitely night time, I would love it to be the other way around especially in winter time. Slow starter but often ergized more and more as the day moves on.
18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
How we are all so connected by technology and social media yet so disconnected on a personal and emotional level. We are all in our own worlds of what we want to appear as and busy posting about our life rather than living and sharing it. I believe self absorption is the root of so many evils.
19. Buda or Pest side?
Well Pest is my neighbourhood and where I work, live and have fun but I have to say that Buda has a lot to offer and the more I discover it the more I Like it. It’s fun and interesting how different it actually is across the river!
20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Work hard but play harder!