“It was always my dream to be in a big and famous ballet company and dance nice parts,” he says. He also knew he could not fulfill that dream at home in Rio de Janeiro.
“We don’t have many ballet companies in Brazil. So I always told my parents I would go away and live in another country to dance. They would laugh at me.”
Eight years later, Cerdeiro might be the one laughing, if he weren’t so busy living his dream. At only 18, he is a soloist at Miami City Ballet, promoted from apprentice just last month, dancing solo roles in two of the three ballets on the program Friday through Sunday. In March, he plays the ardent male lead in the company’s première of Romeo and Juliet.
Cerdeiro has rocketed up the ranks since he started three years ago as one of a group of talented Brazilian students at MCB’s school. While his compatriots have also moved quickly into the company, Cerdeiro has shot even farther ahead, propelled by a rare combination of physique, talent, intelligence and charisma.
“He’s an absolute treasure for us,” says MCB director Edward Villella. Good male dancers are hard to come by, especially tall, good-looking, versatile ones, and Cerdeiro has danced leads in Jerome Robbins’ nuanced Dances at a Gathering, George Balanchine’s crackling neo-classical Four Temperaments and several of Twyla Tharp’s casually virtuoso pieces, including Nine Sinatra Songs which he will dance this weekend.
“He has a wonderful facility. He has dancer smarts and instincts,” Villella says. “He learns quickly; he’s very handsome.”
Photo: Renan Cerdeiro participating in the Prix de Lausanne 2008