By Ricardo Wegrzynovski
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The city hosting the largest dance school festival in the world — Joinville, in the State of Santa Catarina, in the South of Brazil — is also where a new soloist of the New York City Ballet was born.
Young dancer Jovani Furlan (26), after graduating from Bolshoi Brazil, and dancing at the Miami City Ballet for seven years, will now fulfill a great dream. He was signed up as a soloist dancer in New York.
“Dancing in the United States, and especially in this ballet, is the fulfillment of a huge dream. I loved dancing at the Miami City Ballet,” says the ecstatic Furlan.
It all began in the Brazilian interior. “I am grateful to the city of Joinville, and to Bolshoi Brasil where I graduated. One of the city’s highlights is the Joinville Dance Festival, considered by the Guinness Book as the largest in the world in the student category. “The Festival is very important to preserve the spirit of dance that embraces everyone,” says Furlan.
Regarding homophobia, which is still prevalent in Brazil, Jovani Furlan says that this is changing. “Here in Joinville the school (Bolshoi) is very supportive, they have a very special way of attracting the kids, and they offer support, even if they don’t have support at home.”
“It’s a cliché to think that a boy who’s a dancer is gay. It has nothing to do with sexuality. I believe that gay people have more affinity with art, but it’s not because they dance that they are gay, it has nothing to do with it.”
Dreams in Dance
The Bolshoi Theatre School in Brazil will complete twenty years of existence in March 2020. Since its foundation, hundreds of dancers have graduated professionally, and many of them perform in major dance companies around the world. The example of Jovani Furlan has served to raise the flame of the love for dance in other younger dancers.
Like Gabriel Morais, a native of João Pessoa, the state capital of Paraíba, he graduated from Bolshoi Brazil in 2018 and is now a member of the school’s professional dance company.
“It’s a privilege to live, to study, and to graduate from Bolshoi School. I love being here at school because I grew up here. I have enriched my work, technique, and art,” says Gabriel Morais.
The 23-year-old started when he was 13 at the Bolshoi Brazil School. He has been collecting dreams and idols ever since. “I have several inspirations in ballet. And these dancers are in several wonderful theaters, like the Bolshoi in Russia, the Royal Ballet, the American Ballet, and one day I dream of taking a great leap to someplace like that. I want to live off my art, I want to work with it, I dream about it,” he says with conviction.