A Star is Gone? Domenico Luciano

Domenico by Fran.jpeg

“At 6’ 3” and a dead ringer for Michelangelo’s David, Luciano is a mighty presence. He evokes an animal energy with his seemingly endless lines.”

Nancy Wozny for Pointe Magazine January 2010.

Yesterday was sadly Domenico Luciano's last performance with Colorado Ballet. Afterward, the Ballet held a special reception to honor him and say goodbye. He has retired after 20 years of professional dancing, 14 years as Principal. You may know of him as Dracula, Romeo, The Nutcracker's prince and other staring roles.

 When I heard this news from Sharon Wehner, also a much-loved former principle dancer who retired in 2018, I was surprised and deeply saddened. Surprised that he has reached the end of his career. Although 20 years is far beyond average for a ballet dancer. He performs with such strength and vigor and suffers no injuries as far as I know. I was saddened that I will no longer get to see him dance with the Ballet. It's like a longtime favorite restaurant closing – a loss of something I looked forward to and enjoyed sharing with friends.

I texted Sharon back that Domenico is THE most kind and generous person.  Then I listened to him on YouTube answering 10 Questions. I was surprised again by one question – What three words describe you?  Answer – kind, generous, and available. YES! That's truly who he is. And he's intentional. He's always highly conscious of others before himself. Always willing to listen and be of help.

 I first had the pleasure of meeting Domenico when he offered to pose for one of my first ballet art works, His Majesty. (Domenico loves working with other artists of all kinds.) I was apprehensive because of his mighty presence on stage, and his height. He was far taller than any models I had worked with at that time.  His project could require quickly forming a lot more fabric.  But I had long wanted to create a series simulating ancient Greek statues. Big, strong, and regal, he was perfect to be my first subject of this category. Plus, it would allow me to cast only his torso. 

 Since then, we've created two more works together and run into each other at several Ballet events. Domenico is an instructor at the Colorado Ballet Academy and volunteers assistance at special events. He's also performed freelance with other companies during the summers. I hope he continues that as long as he is able. I'd love to watch him dance forever.

Read more Q&A with Domenico