Ballet Master and Principal Dancer, Semperoper Ballett
Former Principal Dancer, The American Ballet Theatre
Prize Winner, Prix de Lausanne 1996
Guest Artist, Prix de Lausanne 2023 Gala of Stars
Of course when you’re 16 years old you have so many doubts and fears; that you won’t make it through, or you won’t do your absolute best. When you are that age it’s hard to control your nerves. But I think in the back of my mind I knew I had already come such a long way from where I began as a young boy growing up in Brazil. I felt I had already achieved so much, so I was happy and really appreciative for the opportunity to participate at Prix de Lausanne, whatever the outcome.
My advice for the candidates is to focus on the work you’ve been doing with your teacher, coach or school. It’s easy to get distracted by the other candidates. Keep in mind that the competition is just another step in your life, and will almost definitely open doors that you didn’t even know existed for you. And always, always remember that dance is an art, not a sport.
Marcelo Gomes was born in Manaus, Brazil where he began his dance studies at the age of 5 at the Helena Lobato and Dalal Achcar ballet schools in Rio de Janeiro. Upon winning the Revelation Prize at the Festival of Dance in Joinville in 1993, he traveled to the United States to continue his training at The HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida, as well as at the schools of the Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Cuballet, where he studied under Alicia and Laura Alonso. Mr. Gomes was awarded second place at the National Society of Arts and Letters in 1994, and was the recipient of the Hope Prize at Prix de Lausanne in 1996, after which he spent a year at the school of the Paris Opera Ballet. Mr. Gomes also received the prestigious Benois de la Danse award in Moscow.
Mr. Gomes joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1997 as a member of the Corps de Ballet, being promoted to Soloist in 2000 and Principal Dancer in 2002 until 2017. He performed in virtually every full-length classical ballet in the company’s repertoire.
Mr. Gomes’ performances have been seen throughout the world. He has appeared at many international dance festivals, worked with the most renowned choreographers and ballerinas and has been a guest artist with the Mariinsky Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Houston Ballet, Teatro Colon, Teatro Municipal Do Rio de Janeiro, Universal Ballet, State Ballet of Georgia, Perm Opera and Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Mikhailovsky Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and New York City Ballet.
As a choreographer, Mr. Gomes has created ballets for American Ballet Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Kings of the Dance, ABT’s Studio Company , Teatro Municipal Do Rio de Janeiro, Sarasota Ballet and The Washington Ballet. In 2020, he joined the Semperoper Ballett Dresden as a principal dancer and ballet master. He was recently appointed the company’s new Artistic Director.