(In Portuguese) Marcelo Gomes Of The ABT

Best EVER interview with a dancer in English we’ve seen was with Marcelo Gomes on Tuesday 5 June. It was in the List Theater at Lincoln Center and so far as we could see was not taped. He’d already had a 25 hour day in rehearsal.

He talked about how he was attracted to jazz dance at age 5 in Manaus, halfway up the Amazon River, and several years later moved over to ballet when he moved to Rio to learn. His first paying role in ballet at age 16 was actually as a monk. In La Bayadere - by the ABT. Kevin McKenzie spotted him then and an offer to join ABT was actually made.

But his parents wanted him to see through his training year with the Paris Opera Ballet - which he loved. He also loved Paris.. Right after, he asked for another audition with the ABT but they took him “sight unseen” into the corps and he was doing solos soon and became a principal at 23.

He is really proud of learning extremely fast, and of his partnering to make the ballerinas look good. He talked kindly of partnering Natalia Osipova and Diana Vishneva, and he made partnering sound like a lot of fun with the silent dialogue that goes on. In time off, he travels, cooks, and looks after his miniature dachshund.

When asked from the grinning adoring audience who was the toughest, most fearless dancer he ever partnered, he hedged and then admitted “It had to be Nina”. Everybody really laughed. Really, a model interview. And a kind man.

Posted by Peter Quennell • Click for Permanent Link

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