SocialMiami Remembers: Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros

The famed artistic director and choreographer helped to found Miami City Ballet.

Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros, the artistic director for the The National Ballet of Peru who helped to found the Miami City Ballet, has died from Covid-19, the company said.  Gamonet was born in Lima, Peru, where he discovered ballet as a teenager. He was part of the cast of the Peruvian Ballet, the Modern Chamber Ballet, and the Ballet Nacional del Perú under the direction of Vera Stastny.

Gamonet’s career lead him to other countries and to other roles. He held the title of Premier Danseur at the Oklahoma Ballet (Classical Ballet of Oklahoma) located in the United States, Ballet du Nord in France and also at the Miami City Ballet (MCB), where he was the Ballet Master, and founding resident choreographer. At a time where some viewed Miami as a cultural wasteland, MCB exploded on to the scene with a unique artistic challenge that appealed to the varying tastes of South Florida’s burgeoning multi-cultural population while remaining firmly anchored to a neo-classic foundation. While at MCB, Gamonet choreographed many ballets throughout his 15-year tenure to cheering audiences in Miami-Dade, Broward, West Palm Beach and Collier Counties, helping propel the Company to international recognition.

“The Miami City Ballet family are saddened to hear of the passing of dancer and choreographer Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros in Peru yesterday,” the company said in a statement. “As resident choreographer for 13 years, dancer and ballet master, Jimmy was instrumental in the early days of Miami City Ballet, his work helped shape the growth and success of the company. He was much beloved. MCB is grateful for his extraordinary creativity and enormous contribution to our company. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jimmy’s friends and family.”

In 2004, he founded Ballet Gamonet.  As a choreographer, his repertory is comprised of over 50 ballets, which have been presented around the world. They include: Recitations, Fausto, Aria, Reus, Carmen, Partita, Prokofiev Piano Concerto, Nous Sommes, The Big Band Supermegatroid, Purple Bend, Symphonies in D y Midsummer Night Dream, among others.

His creativity has been rewarded over many years at both the national and international level. Gamonet received three separate Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, including the prestigious three-year Fellowship awarded to artists whose “work on a level of national excellence over time extends the aesthetic boundaries of the discipline”. 

 Three decades later, in 2015, Gamonet returned to Peru as Artistic Director of El Ballet Nacional del Perú. Since his arrival, the National Ballet of Peru has enjoyed growing audiences, a strengthened repertoire and much recognition in and outside Peru. In 2017, Peru’s Ministry of Culture awarded him with the Personalidad Meritoria de la Cultura medal.

Gamonet is survived by his life partner of 33 years Mr. Jorge Mursuli.

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