We met many years ago when he was a Principal Dancer in Victor Ullate Ballet, now we meet again in New York.
TELL ME, WHY TO NY?
I could answer that with another question! What a better place for a dancer or an artist than live in New York City? My first time here was in 1998, dancing at the City Center with VICTOR ULLATE BALLET. I had already heard wonderful things about the city, but when I got here I felt like if I was at home. The vibe, the energy, the welcoming feeling. Also the audience's reaction and feedback at the theatre was incredible during the shows. I thought to myself, one day I could live here.
So many years later when I was thinking in moving to a new company, ABT came to my mind and the fact that I had that wonderful experience the first time, I knew it would be much easier and exciting place for me to live in. Wherever I go to perform and guest I always come back to the city. It has everything a dancer wants, dances classes all day long, theaters, musicals, concerts...
Carlos joined American Ballet Theatre in September 2001 and danced as a Soloist from 2003 to 2011. His repertoire with ABT includes Iago in Othello, the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère, Birbanto in Le Corsaire, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, Dark Elegies, Gong, Mozartiana, Company B, Symphonic Variations, Workwithinwork and In the Upper Room... and a long long etc.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE LIVING BETWEEN NEW YORK AND MADRID? OR PUERTO RICO AND THE WORLD?
I grew up in Madrid at Victor Ullate Ballet School and then moved to the Company where I danced as a Principal dancer for many Years. They were wonderful years because everything I experience was new to me, so I discovered a lot of things on the road. Dancing in many cities and traveling with my friends who became my second family, staying at hotels, sharing dinners and living the life of a professional dancer, all of this since the age of 16th! It was wonderful!
These days, to be able to live in so many different places, even sometimes for a short period of time, I have to adjust myself to the freedom and life style of the city. In New York, Madrid or San Juan the work is not the same and the speed and movement of the cities are different, but you just have to relax and try to understand how they work and go with it.
But now, that I'm based in New York, I come back to Madrid as much as I can to visit my family, (with whom I am very attached), and my friends. I need to see them and also enjoy the Spanish food that I like so much, the streets, the parties, etc... I have been trying to go back and dance there again but it seems very complicated, probably because the economical situation is affecting the arts, so it seems to me easier to be a guest artist anywhere else except in Spain. I would love to be able to go to the National Company and dance with them. To show the Spanish people again what I get to show the audiences from New York, Tokyo or Puerto Rico. Maybe one day...
WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOUR WORK?
They say that I'm a hard worker, with discipline and that I bring a lot of passion in what I do.
I consider myself as an ARTIST that wants to express himself through his dancing.
I love classical ballets, but also love contemporary.I had the opportunity to perform and discover both styles and got to enjoy them deeply. That's why it's very difficult to decide which one I like better. They both require something different from me and make me a better artist.
If I have to dance classically, I'll try to be clean, precise and tell the story through my acting, something that I always loved to do. And if it's a contemporary piece, I will to let my body loose, try to discover new movements, feelings and shapes. Nowadays that I'm freelancing, I have to go from being the prince in a classical production to being very contemporary in another one. I think its compatible; I always have to be ready for whatever project or proposal comes that interest me as an artist.
YOUR MAGIC PLACE?
There are two places. One as a dancer: The Metropolitan Opera House Stage, that has given me the most rewarding moments of my career and always made me feel like home. So big but at the same time cozy. Beautiful!
And the second one as a New Yorker that I consider myself after 11 years: The Chelsea Pier. I love to walk down from the pier 59, looking at the buildings of New Jersey and sit down at a bench in front of the Hudson River. A quiet place to think, listen to music, or just have a little sun. Priceless!
AND TO FINISH THIS CONVERSATION, YOUR ADVICE FOR THE SPANISH PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT COMING TO THIS UNIQUE CITY:
Meet other artist and show them what you can do, you never know what they can do to help or you can do for them. NETWORKING it's very important in this city. If you stay home, nobody will know that you exist and that you have something to show.
New York it's not an easy city, but it's an EXPERIENCE that you will never forget. It will change you as a person, inspire you as an artist, sometimes it will even depress you, but at the end of the day, all those things will make you who want to be.
Published at Spain Culture New York, Consulate General of Spain in NY's website, on September 28th 2012: http://www.spainculturenewyork.org/beta/cms/mapping-the-arts/spanish-creators-in-ny/spanish-creators-detail/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=28&cHash=e5e41e52d130f63c67da72d9cde8c8c6