“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. 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 a bit 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. I didn’t know if my studio walls were tall enough. 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.
Since then, we've created two more works together and run into each other at several Ballet events. And since his retirement event, I learned from Domenico that the timing of his transition was spurred by a need for knee surgery AND the opportunity to become the Director of Colorado Ballet’s Academy. (Those lucky students!) Domenico has the ability and temperament to launch many new stars into the ballet universe. He will also continue to dance guest opportunities independently. I am thankful for that. I'd love to watch him dance forever.