Gonzalo Garcia

Interview Highlights
Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as a performing artist?
"As artists, physical artists, it’s a very hard thing to go through. I get up in the morning and I need to move, but I also need the energy of the room with other artists. I need live music, I need to be able to let go through dance on a daily basis. Right now that’s very hard to do. I think people have been creative in staying physically active. There are so many pilates and Zumba classes online to stay in shape, but there’s nothing like a live dance class, grabbing a barre, doing center with other dancers beside you. It’s very hard, because as dancers we need the energy and connection with other dancers. Being in the studio and creating things and moving together is what keeps me going. As a dancer, you think a lot about yourself while you’re also reacting to the energy of other dancers and artists around you. I’m always inspired by those around me. I am constantly looking around the room and I see a young or an old dancer and am inspired by all of them. I see the pianist, I see the light from the outside coming into the studio, bouncing off the piano; it all inspires me. As much as you can try to get creative, you just don’t have any of that right now. I can do yoga at home — it allows me to not go bananas, crazy — but it’s a struggle because dancers need that connection and energy. I really miss that right now. Dancers also look at time as such a precious thing - we are always looking at that ticking bomb of, “When is this going to end?” and it is not the coronavirus, it is the amount of time we have left as a dancer. For myself, I just turned 40 and I’m in a great place. I had a great year and am working a lot with a lot of momentum. I was also planning for the future, for my retirement, for becoming more of a teacher. Missing one Spring season, to me, feels a little like the end of the world because I feel like I will never get that back. If I retire in the winter, I’ll have missed a season. At this point in my career, time is so important right now because I know I have limited time before I retire. I also surrender to what is happening, because as an artist, you need to learn how to accept and surrender. Dancers are so wired to accept disappointment from the very beginning. We learn how to handle rejection and get better, to be better because of bad things. Dancers are so wired for a crisis in so many ways. I need to take this whole thing day by day. As much as I want to think about the future, I need to be in the present and accept this is a human crisis around the world and that is the most important thing right now."
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Gonzalo Garcia is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Mr. Garcia began his training at Escuela de Danza Maria de Avila. In 1995, Garcia became the youngest gold medal recipient at the Prix de Lausanne, where he was invited by Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Ballet, to train as scholarship student at the San Francisco Ballet School. In 1998, Mr. Garcia joined the San Francisco Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in 2000, and to principal dancer in 2002. In 2004, Mr. Garcia was invited to perform with the New York City Ballet as part of the 2004 Balanchine Centennial Celebration, and later joined the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer in 2007. ‍ Mr. Garcia has performed featured roles inSuch works as George Balanchine's Apollo, La Source, Prodigal Son ,Rubies and Tchaickovsky Pas de Deux ; William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Artifact Suite ; Jerome Robbins Andantino, Dances at a Gathering, Dybbuk, Fanfare, Glass Pieces, Opus 19: The Dreamer and Other Dances; Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Mercurial Maneuvers and DGV. Mr. Garcia has originated featured roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon (Continuum, Fool’s Paradise) Alexei Ratmansky (Concerto DSCH, Pictures at an Exhibition, Carnival of the Animals), Justin Peck (Rodeo, The Most Incredible Things,The Decalogue)Liam Scarlett's (Acheron), Mark Morris (Sylvia, A Garden, Sand Paper), and Lar Lubvovich (Elemental Brubeck) ‍ Mr. Garcia has performed as a Principal Guest Artist with the Paris Opera Ballet (Jewels), the Marinsky Ballet (Symphony in C), the Boston Ballet (Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake), Rome Opera Ballet (Apollo), Teatro Colón (Romeo & Juliet), and Oklahoma Ballet (Giselle) among many others. Gonzalo Garcia was nominated for a Benois de la Dans Award in 2002 and was a finalist at the Erick Bruhm’s competition the same year. He received an Isadora Duncan Foundation Award for his performance as Apollo with the San Francisco Ballet in 2004. Gonzalo was also invited by the George Balanchine Foundation to dance 'Le Baiser de la Fée' and La Source as part of the George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives