Gomes to Return to the New York Stage With Sarasota Ballet

Posted June 29, 2018 5:29 p.m. EDT
Updated June 29, 2018 5:30 p.m. EDT

The Sarasota Ballet announced this week that it had engaged the former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Marcelo Gomes to perform as a guest artist. The earliest of his appearances, at the Joyce Theater on Aug. 18, will be his first on a New York stage since he resigned from Ballet Theatre in December. His departure, after a 20-year career with the company, came after an accusation of sexual misconduct.

Gomes, in an interview Friday, declined to discuss the matter, which he has never spoken of publicly. And a representative at Ballet Theatre said Friday that the investigation had ended.

Gomes will be a guest artist with the company in four programs over the course of the 2018-19 season. Reached in Sarasota, the Ballet’s artistic director, Iain Webb, said of Gomes, “these days it’s hard to find people who have that level of artistry.”

“I really feel he’s an incredible person, a great artist, and very generous in his work ethic,” he added.

Asked whether he had discussed the allegation against Gomes, he replied: “We didn’t go into the details. Whatever’s gone on, it hasn’t been made public, and he didn’t need to tell me.”

“I’m old school,” Webb continued. “I believe in due process.”

At the Joyce, Gomes will perform the pas de deux from Frederick Ashton’s ballet “The Two Pigeons” alongside the Sarasota principal Victoria Hulland. This will be his fourth appearance with the Sarasota Ballet since January 2017. Future engagements will include George Balanchine’s “Diamonds” (Dec 14-15), a premiere by the company’s resident choreographer, Ricardo Graziano (Jan. 25-28), and a role debut in the company’s revival of Ashton’s rarely performed early work “Apparitions” (March 8-9). (“Apparitions” has not been seen since 1987.)

All of these performances will take place in Sarasota, Florida, the company’s home, where, according to Webb, Gomes will essentially be in residence from December to March. (The guest artist news was reported earlier by The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.)

Gomes first appeared with the company in January 2017 and most recently danced in a company gala, alongside Misty Copeland, in April. He also created a ballet for the company, “Dear Life…” in December 2017, just before his resignation from Ballet Theatre.

Since his Departure from Ballet Theatre, Gomes has appeared in “Giselle” at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, and at the Bolshoi theater, in Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain” pas de deux, alongside the veteran ballerina Alessandra Ferri. He also choreographed a piece for Washington Ballet, “The Outset,” in March.

Reached in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he was performing with the Georgian Ballet, led by a former Ballet Theatre colleague Nina Ananiashvili, he said, “I’m feeling grateful that Iain and I have connected, and we are planning to create more beautiful art together.”

When asked about the allegation, he added: “I’m trying to focus on the future, on dancing. I’m soaking up every minute I get to step onstage at this point in my life. Everything has a different meaning to me now.”