Juan Carlos Amy-Cordero, 28, principal dancer with the Eugene Ballet Company (EBC), passed away on June 26 in Eugene, Oregon. Juan Carlos, known to his friends as JC, was born August 10, 1984 in Boston, MA to Ana Cordero and Angel Amy-Moreno.
JC began dancing at the age of eight, after being selected from hundreds of students by the Boston Ballet School’s Citydance program. JC entered the intensive division of the Boston Ballet School in 1993, mentored by Peter Pawlyshyn, then an instructor at the School, and later EBC’s ballet master. JC danced with the Boston Ballet from 1999–2001. He was also a scholarship student with the San Francisco Ballet School and Jacob’s Pillow.
Juan Carlos joined Eugene Ballet Company in 2002 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2007. He performed in more than 50 different ballets and danced with the Company on tour to 55 cities, including Anchorage, Portland and Victoria B.C., Canada.
As Principal Dancer with EBC, Juan Carlos performed numerous leading roles, including the lead in Peter Pan, the Prince in Swan Lake, Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (his favorite role), and the mesmerizing opening solo in Toni Pimble’s Dark Side of the Moon. His last role with EBC was the Monkey King in the world premiere of Mowgli-The Jungle Book Ballet. A phenomenal technician, JC was also the jester on and off stage, playing tricks on his ballet family of dancers with an impish twinkle in his eyes.
Juan Carlos married EBC Ballet Mistress and former Principal Dancer Jennifer Martin in 2010. The couple was often engaged in teaching ballet students at Whitman College’s Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, WA, and throughout the Northwest. An accomplished photographer outside of his many years of devotion to dance, Juan Carlos traveled the world with his dance shoes and his camera. JC’s work, online at amycordero.com, focused on landscapes, night, theater, portrait, and fine art photography.
A charismatic performer, JC was larger than life whenever he took the stage. His EBC career included work with many orchestras, opera companies and arts organizations throughout the Northwest, including the Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera, Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene Concert Choir, the Oregon Festival of American Music, and the Oregon Mozart Players.
Juan Carlos is survived by his wife, his parents, his sister Denise Goldstein, and his brother Alberto Amy-Cordero. A Celebration of Life was held Tuesday, July 2 at the Richard E. Wildish Community Theater, 630 Main Street, Springfield, OR. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Boston. Contributions in JC’s memory may be made to the Eugene Ballet Academy Trainee Scholarship Fund, benefitting aspiring pre-professional dancers, c/o Eugene Ballet Company, 1590 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401.