The resemblance to the swirl of a flower in the air is just the beginning of the fascinating history of Brazilian dancer Thiago Soares
No hummingbird, nor butterfly. Man. In the air, so still, so light, descends like a flower that gives off the branch on a soft and magical whirl until it touches the ground. A spectacle that few are given time to watch. Unlike Thiago Soares that now, as a principal dancer of the Royal Ballet of London, all eyes are glued to every little move he makes.
A man whose boyish dream eventually became a global reality. Before dance, what he wanted, was that simple desire certainly shared by most of us: attention. That same attention that his brother, a member of a semi-professional group of street dance had in Vila Isabel, Rio de Janeiro, where they lived.
The boy's eyes shone, because, after all, they were the kings of the parties, admired by all. His desire, he said one day, was not dance but to be noticed. But as fascinating stories happen in such an incredible way, dance was chosen. And like that, he became absorbed by that single childhood thought.
At the time, only 12 years old, he remained as the class’s mascote. But the boy's body, the way he danced, the way he learned choreography was different. It was talent in its purest essence.
Thiago landed in the Rio de Janeiro Dance School. As girls were too many and boys were just a few, the looks were all for him. But this, was not yet his big step. The boy grew up without access to the stage and had doubts. Prejudice. The pink ballet shoes available, he did not use. He trained wearing sweatpants and socks. It was the beginning. A matter of time.
But it wasn’t long. Two years later, he received an invitation to join the Ballet Group of the Municipal Theater in Rio. In 2001, he won the Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition of the Bolshoi. The achievement, earned him an internship at the legendary Kirov Ballet. Thiago became the second foreigner to join the company in 100 years of history.
The following year he accepted an invitation from the Royal Ballet of London to start at the lowest position of ballet hierarchy, despite having already achieved an outstanding position in Brazil. But the spotlight had already reserved his space: in 2006, he became the company's first dancer. Today, at 34 years old and in full artistic maturity, Thiago boasts a career as structured as his body, whose ideal symmetry for ballet, impresses even those who understand much of it.
We are in 2015, the year in which the dancer celebrates a 15 year career outside Brazil. Called “Passion”, it is one of the original pieces that celebrate this anniversary, on tour in through several countries. Signed by choreographer Deborah Colker, it has been shaped by both with hard falls. A dance in which the chemistry of both explores conflicts and caresses, where bodies collide and stand up. The contemporary style of Colker, internationally recognized, was chosen by Thiago because what he seeks today are collaborations with people who have some sense to him. Here, the two were standing applauded for five minutes.
But let’s go back in time a little. One day, dancing in London, he was told that the British royals watched the show. Tension was in the air. He had been instructed not to say a word, to be still when they were presented to the Queen at the end. But the Brazilian - who to this day feel the goose bumps by the gaffe - reached out to His Highness and said "Hi!". For a moment he thought his world was about to collapse. And the queen responded to his gesture.