Originally from Florianópolis Brazil, Gabriel Ritzmann studied classical ballet at Ballet Juvenil de Florianópolis and completed his training at EDCN (Portugal) and Pacific DanceArts (Canada). In 2011 he was invited to be part of the pre-professional program under the direction of Li Yaming at Coastal City Ballet in Vancouver, BC. Mr. Ritzmann joined Canada's Ballet Jörgen in Toronto from 2012 to 2014, performing classical repertoires such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and other contemporary works staged by Bengt Jörgen. Mr. Ritzmann also attended the professional summer intensive at Atlanta Ballet, working with famous choreographer Armando Luna, among others. Additionally, he attended the Banff Centre Dance Program for professionals only, working with Lindsay Fischer (ballet master of the National Ballet of Canada and artistic director of the company's Apprentice Programme and the extraordinary artist and choreographer from the Dutch National Ballet Toer Van Schayk), Jacquelin Barret (ex-principal dancer and ballet mistress of The Royal Ballet in London) and Jean Yves Esquerre (who has collaborated with Paris Opera Ballet, Les Cirque du Soleil, the Royal Ballet of London and others). Ritzmann has participated in numerous competitions in Brazil, including the largest festival of dance in the world mentioned in The Guinness Book, the “Festival de Dança de Joinville” which has a very rigorous selection process to participate. He has won gold medals and special awards as best dancer in festivals and international scholarships. Gabriel has worked with Cia Independente de Florianópolis in the past years, worked as a teacher and choreographer at the Studio Cena de Dança in Brazil and has been invited to be a principal guest artist to perform in BC Canada in the Muskoka Ballet Gala with Opera Kelowna in the production of The Nutcracker at the Coasting Along Theatre Society.
We sat down with Gabriel to ask him a few questions about his life and interests. Here are the questions that were asked along with his responses:
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Watching movies, going on walks through the park and having picnics with friends.
What inspires you to perform?
The audience is always inspiring because they are so happy, so emotional. Being on stage and hearing a round of applause pushes him to be the best he can be, inspiring him to continue performing.
How would your friends describe you in three words?
Happy, chill and tall.
Who is your favorite superhero?
Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.
What is your kryptonite?
Where do you imagine seeing yourself in ten years?
If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be doing?
Working with something that brings dance together for a broader audience, for example a set designer for the stage.
What are you most looking forward to working with Ballet Fantastique?
Having fun and working with other people who love to dance.
What does it mean to you to change the look of dance?
It is pretty amazing to work with so many professional artists that come from all over the world and to realize that every person is unique in their own special and beautiful way. I am really happy to be a part of this Ballet Fantastique season and to be constantly learning and helping to bring new perspective to the studio and to the Eugene dance scene with my own experience. I would be proud to help grow the dance community in Eugene.