Upon being asked what he likes about Chicago, Lucas Segovia quickly said it's the city's "culture and diversity."
For the cosmopolitan Segoviawho has danced all over the world and is now a part of the Windy City-based Joffrey Ballet (joining in 2010)those definitely seem like aspects he can appreciate.
As for knowing when he wanted to dance, Segovia said it "didn't happen until I started dancing professionally. It caught me by surprise. It was a matter of luck." He said he didn't start dancing until he was 16 after a female friend (who was a jazz dancer) convinced him to watch some dancing.
Watching the dancing, Segovia realized something. "It wasn't a girly thing," he said. "There were a lot of guys taking classes, and the teacher was a man. I thought, 'Why not? I'll give it a try.'"
The dancing has taken Segovia to major theaters in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Russia and Cuba, among other places.
"I always knew I wanted to dance professionally, but in countries where cultures are not so stimulated it's hard to say, 'I want to be a dancer' and make a living doing it," he said. "But I was able to do it."
As for his attraction to Joffrey, he said, "I was always interested in the company. The company I was dancing for in New York was going through some rocky times because the artistic director was stepping down, and I wanted to work with him. He told me, 'Based on what you're looking for, you should check out Joffrey.'" Segovia said that Joffrey Artistic Director Ashley Wheater is "special," adding, "I've been very fortunate to have someone I can communicate so easily with. He understands dancers very well, and he always has a good word of advice."
When asked what dance means to him, Segovia said, "It's passion. The reason that I'm in this country and far away from my family is passion. It's also a way for me to express myself; it's the best way to say what I want to say."
The Joffrey Ballet is performing the program "Human Landscapes"which consists of "Forgotten Land," "Pretty Ballet" and "The Green Table"through Sunday, Oct. 28. See www.Joffrey.org .
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Favorite snack food
"I like pastries and three types of ice cream: strawberry, chocolate and rum raisin."
Favorite vacation spot
"Athensbut there are many"
"When I watch pure classical ballet, all those amazing male dancers who can do things I cannot doI just admire them."
Andres Segovia (no relation)