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Bryan Arias

When were you first enchanted by (musical) theatre in your life? And by what means? 

The first time I came into contact with musical theatre was at school. In my third year at La Guardia Hight School for Performing Arts, we had musical theatre classes once a week. The first thing we learnt was the cool dance part of the Jets from West Side Story. I was hooked. Right after that, I got a video cassette and watched the film over and over again. I thought to myself, if I had lived back then, I would have wanted to be in that film!

Why do people sing and why don't they speak? 

I think, just like with dance, there is a point where words fail us. We need to go beyond simple words. Signing takes us to the edge, it's a powerful extension to say something with more depth and meaning.

What role can/should music theatre play in today's society? 

Musical theatre brings lightness and joy to a world that can sometimes feel heavy and uncertain. I believe it is a form of therapy. It stimulates the imagination and reflects the world back to us through beauty, grace and humanity.


Born in

Ponce (Puerto Rico)


Dance Education at the La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts

Five to ten important engagements

Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), Crystal Pites Compagnie Kidd Pivot, Paul Taylor Company, Zürcher Ballet, Ballet Theatre Basel, Dance Luzerner Theater, Bern Ballet, Juilliard School New York, Scottish Ballet, Hesian State Ballet, Nuremberg State Theatre, Leipzig Ballet (The little Prince)

Formative collaboration with the following artists

Jirí Kylián, Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin

Debut at the Volksoper Wien

Choreography & Co-Director West Side Story (Season 2023/24)

Significant Prizes & Honours

2017: Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award

2019: Jacobs Pillow Fellowship Award

2020: Der Faust


2015: Founder of the ARIAS Company (project-based, multidisciplinary company)

2020: Co-Founder of the Company Snorkel Rabbit (multidisciplinary company in Basel, Switzerland and the current resident company of the Opera de Massy, France)



* Use of the photograph (© limeART) only for the purpose of current reporting on the Volksoper Wien

Upcoming performances