San­tos longs to go home

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life -

stud­ied at New Zealand School of Dance) is tak­ing its toll.

“I’ve learnt a lot and grown a lot, but I also feel like I’ve missed a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties to be with my fam­ily on spe­cial oc­ca­sions,” San­tos, who grew up in Embu in Sao Paulo, said.

“I have a niece and two neph­ews, one who will be my god­son, but they haven’t bap­tised him yet be­cause I haven’t been able to get home.

“My brother has been hold­ing off on his wed­ding for four years now be­cause I’m his best man. Mum and I are very close, we Skype ev­ery day and it’s not good for my phone bill, but it’s worth it.

“I’m look­ing at this as an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore dif­fer­ent sides of my­self as a pro­fes­sional, to dive into dif­fer­ent wa­ters and see what hap­pens.”

San­tos said he had been think­ing about leav­ing WA Bal­let for about a year, but waited to see artis­tic di­rec­tor Aure­lien Scan­nella’s 2017 pro­gram.

De­spite the al­lure of stay­ing un­til the end of the year for Peter Pan, he de­cided the po­etic na­ture of fin­ish­ing with Don Quixote, the first sea­son he per­formed as a mem­ber of WA Bal­let at His Majesty’s The­atre in 2010, was too good to miss.

“It made me hun­gry and I ab­so­lutely love this bal­let. I’ll have per­formed 501 shows here on clos­ing night of Don Quixote,” he said.

San­tos will per­form the role of wealthy Ga­mache, adding the char­ac­ter to a long list of high­lights at the com­pany in­clud­ing 5 by David Daw­son, Bal­let 101 by Eric Gau­thier, work­ing with Toby Be­han (the orig­i­nal Peter Pan), and Pinoc­chio, which was cre­ated for him by then artis­tic di­rec­tor Ivan Caval­lari as his fi­nal new work for WA Bal­let.

“My mum came here in 2012 for Pinoc­chio,” he said.

“Ivan pulled me aside and said he would be cre­at­ing the bal­let be­fore he told the other dancers and told me not to tell any­one.

“I was fid­gety, so I told my mum and said she had to get a pass­port be­cause she didn’t have one.

“I or­gan­ised her visa and got her on a flight.

“She was here for two weeks, saw three per­for­mances in­clud­ing clos­ing night and was a mess ev­ery sin­gle show, but loved it.”

San­tos will re­turn home to Brazil for seven weeks af­ter Don Quixote be­fore he trav­els to his new bal­let com­pany in Mon­treal.

“It’s just a 10-hour flight from Mon­treal to Brazil rather than 25 hours from here,” he said.

“I am ex­cited to be the new kid on the block again.”

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