(photo by Katsuyoshi Tanaka, of Marcelo Gomes with Lua)
Last night I went to my lawyer friend’s holiday party and met one of her co-workers, a Brazilian lawyer named Beatrice. Our conversation naturally led to a discussion of dance, which of course led to a discussion of Samba, and eventually even ballet. She revealed that as a child and teen, she danced with Laura Alonzo’s student company of Ballet Nacional de Cuba!
She remembered Marcelo! Said she never danced with him because he was so “little”; much smaller than she. I was like, “Little?! No, he’s huge, much larger than life!” She said, not then! What’s he like, what’s he like, I asked?! She said, well, when he was 10 he was really sweet! Said his parents always went to the studio with him and seemed so supportive, which was so cute, and so unusual for the parents of a boy dancer in Brazil back then. She said he used to always get partnered with this really bitchy girl who thought she was god’s gift and she was such a prima, always demanding and blaming him for anything that went wrong. But he was so nice, he was always a sport about it.
Beatrice also got to dance once with the great Jose. Said he was huge back then. She never talked to him, only danced one brief duet once. She still has the picture of him lifting her little body far above his head. How very lucky to have grown up in Latin America…