Juan Carlos Amy-Cordero was one of Eugene Ballet’s best known and best loved dancers when he died in 2013, a suicide.
He always was an intense guy. JC, as he was known, was so disciplined and future-oriented that, as a child, he insisted on wearing a necktie to kindergarten, according to a story told by his family at a memorial after his death.
On Saturday, he’ll be remembered again – this time in an evening tribute of dance and music put on by Eugene Ballet and Eugene Concert Choir, with whom he often performed, at the Hult Center’s Silva Concert Hall.
The program will open with a ballet, choreographed by Eugene Ballet’s Toni Pimble, to choral music by Rossini, Mahler, Debussy and Eric Whitacre, as well as an excerpt from Carmina Burana, and wrap up with a choral performance of the Mozart Requiem.
“I always was captivated by JC when he would dance,” said Diane Retallack, artistic director of the Eugene Concert Choir. “It was amazing to me how he could walk on stage and stand there and, having done nothing else yet, command the stage. I don’t know where that kind of charm comes from.”
JC was a friend of the concert choir, Retallack said. “He performed with us a number of times, and I feel a connection to him. JC would be on stage, and I would be conducting the orchestra and chorus – there is some kind of connection from a conductor to a performer and back. It’s magical.”
For the tribute, Retallack and Pimble selected music that illustrates various sides of JC’s personality, from his intensity and his Latin heritage to his sweetness.
The ballet will close with a song by Mahler, “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,” or “I am lost to the world” – arranged, by Clytus Gottwald for 16-part chorus.
“It’s about the artist being so isolated from the world that he is dead to the world,” Retallack said.
During that final song, the Radiance Orb – a three-foot-diameter sphere of electronically controlled light panels – will appear above the Silva stage. Created by Eugene’s Light at Play, the Orb appeared recently at UNESCO’s International Year of Light in Paris.
Mozart Requiem and Choral Ballet
A tribute to Juan Carlos Amy-Cordero by the Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Ballet
8 p.m. Saturday, February 28
Hult Center Silva Concert Hall