Navajo ballet dancer retires from New York City Ballet after 24 years

Navajo ballet dancer retires from New York City Ballet after 24 years

Source: New York Times, June 18, 2005
Title: Not Only a Partner, a Dynamic Interpreter
By: ANNA KISSELGOFF

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It will be easy to remember Jock Soto in the high-wire duets that he danced with such electrifying clarity in experimental works by George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Richard Tanner and Christopher Wheeldon.

Yet after 24 years with New York City Ballet, and on the eve of his farewell performance tomorrow afternoon at the New York State Theater, Mr. Soto, stands out in the mind’s eye as a highly versatile performer, much more than a magnificent exponent of the company’s convoluted tights-and-leotard ballets.

At 40, he can look back to a special place as one of ballet’s most creative personalities. While choreographers are essential to the art, dancers like Mr. Soto – and they are few – also define and redefine choreography with bold individuality and implicit collaboration. Mr. Martins and Mr. Wheeldon have used him repeatedly in their new works. Just as significantly, as Mr. Soto has proved in familiar ballets, interpretation can become a creative act.