A dancer and a gentleman.Boston Ballet star Paul Thrussell interweaves his British past and his gay present
It's hard to miss the Boston Ballet's Paul Thrussell When he's onstage. He's the one with the charisma, the impeccable line, the pyrotechnical py·ro·tech·nic also py·ro·tech·ni·cal
1. Of or relating to fireworks.
2. pyrotechnic Resembling fireworks; brilliant: a pyrotechnic wit; pyrotechnic keyboard virtuosity. athleticism, and the ability to conjure fully fleshed characters unique in the world of ballet. One thing Thrussell doesn't do, however: strain to ingratiate in·gra·ti·ate
tr.v. in·gra·ti·at·ed, in·gra·ti·at·ing, in·gra·ti·ates
To bring (oneself, for example) into the favor or good graces of another, especially by deliberate effort: himself with the crowd. The key, he says, is "not to oversell o·ver·sell
tr.v. o·ver·sold , o·ver·sell·ing, o·ver·sells
1. To contract to sell more of (a stock or commodity) than can be delivered.
2. To be too eager or insistent in attempting to sell something to. , just to bring the audience and the story along with you," allowing them "to get into your heart, feelings, and emotions."
This month the openly gay 30-year-old English dancer beguiles the audience from center stage: He's spotlighted in a Boston Ballet repertory program titled The British Are Coming, an Anglocentric double bill with choreography by Michael Corder and the late Sir Kenneth MacMillan.
For Thrussell's fans, the program offers a rare opportunity to see the dancer in the context of his roots. Moving effortlessly between classical and contemporary dance, he's so versatile that he tends to leave labels behind. Thrussell has thoroughly impressed audiences in the title role of Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet
star-crossed lovers die as teenagers. [Br. Lit.: Romeo and Juliet]
See : Death, Premature
Romeo and Juliet
archetypal star-crossed lovers. [Br. Lit. and as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew shrew, common name for the small, insectivorous mammals of the family Soricidae, related to the moles. Shrews include the smallest mammals; the smallest shrews are under 2 in. (5.1 cm) long, excluding the tail, and the largest are about 6 in. (15 cm) long. . Yet he recently gave a spectacular performance as Kastchei the monster in a bold new production of Stravinsky's The Firebird, which Thrussell describes as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
magical car helps track down criminals. [Children’s Lit.: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang]
See : Fantasy meets The Lion King."
Thrussell began his training at age 11 at the renowned Royal Ballet School The Royal Ballet School is a specialist, co-educational school located in premises at White Lodge, Richmond Park, in the London Borough of Richmond; and an upper school at premises in Covent Garden. It combines a mainstream academic education with an intensive dance training. in London--in "a very straight year in the ballet world," he wryly notes. Nevertheless, he had schoolboy flings with other male classmates. Later, in his teens, Thrussell says his insecurity around his sexuality led to his "pushing female relationships to try and prove I was a straight boy."
He eventually married and, after an engagement with the Northern Ballet Theatre, emigrated with his wife to dance in Boston. Thrussell had a hard time suppressing his sexuality then. "I was living in the South End of Boston," he says, "and there was temptation all around me." Some of his straight friends, he says, casually mouthed off "bits and pieces about faggots that really offended me."
After Thrussell ended his marriage, he came out in a big way. In order to avoid any misinformation mis·in·form
tr.v. mis·in·formed, mis·in·form·ing, mis·in·forms
To provide with incorrect information.
mis or gossip, Thrussell went around to each Boston Ballet company member before ballet class one day and presented his fully uncloseted news. "I had a list of important people that I wanted to make sure that they knew," he remembers. "First on the list was my ex-wife, Nadir."
Half the dancers, Thrussell explains, responded, "You're you. You're the same person no matter what." The other half didn't want to know about it, but he insisted. "There were plenty of eyes roaming around the ballet barre that day," he says with a chuckle.
Thrussell's outstanding artistry, which no one ever questioned, will be put to good use in The British Are Coming. He'll be featured in MacMillan's Winter Dreams, a poetic ballet based on Chekhov's Three Sisters, in which he portrays Masha's husband. ("I'm going back to the husband role," he says with a feigned feigned
1. Not real; pretended: a feigned modesty.
2. Made-up; fictitious.
Adj. 1. groan.) In contrast, Corder will use Thrussell's precise technical skills in his playful Baroque-styled Danses Concertantes, set to the Stravinsky score.
And for those gays and lesbians who are thinking of coming out--but who worry that their identities won't fit into gay and lesbian culture--Thrussell has a few suggestions: "Don't go with a stereotype of what is gay," he advises. "Gay is what you are. If you are into the club scene, go clubbing. If you are into the quiet life in the suburbs with just you and your partner, fine. For me, that's my gay scene," he says of living with his own love, Daniel Fruciano, a Boston architect.
"I do go to the clubs occasionally and jump on the go-go stand and start thrusting my hips around after a couple of beers," Thrussell confesses with a puckish puck·ish
Mischievous; impish: a puckish grin; puckish wit.
puckish·ly adv. laugh, "but I'm not a party animal."
n. 1. A man whose employment is to drive, or to convey goods in, a car or car. also writes for The New York Times.