THE TRUE “Renaissance Man”

While you and I are trying to go by day-by-day making the pandemic something that is a moment in time, a pause or a break. Nayon Iovino is taking cooking classes on line, remodeling the house, practicing with his wife who is currently pregnant (they got the news right at the edge of the beggining of all this), a new choreography and even helping to organize colleagues through an Artists Relief Found.

A one on one conversation with Ballet Arizona Dancer and Choreographer Nayon Iovino
Nayon Iovino and his wife Jill Barrell during one of their early performances

I knew that Nayon was from Brazil, and since I had hosted an “SPECIAL” for the local Non-Profit CASA BRAZIL the week before, I wanted to start the show by introducing them all and remind the audience of their upcoming very traditional event by the name of FEIJOADA (The national Brazilian dish and one that is just a yummy black bean stew!).

Images of the ONE HOUR SPECIAL with some board members of CASA BRAZIL that I hosted the week before.

As synergies work, Ballet Arizona have donated in the past to this non-profit a large number of ballet shoes that were sent to Brazil. They were distributed and put to use fast! A large number of the kids members of the families in need and supported by Casa Brazil (an all volunteer and 17 year old foundation) were distributed and used. A true labor of love!

Ballet Arizona sent hundreds of ballet shoes to a program in Brazil.

Nayon walked us through his early years as a dancer that started at 10 years old, and reminded us that when you want something really bad, you work for it.

We were able to hear him talking about the importance of his mother, who not only helped him to conquer the needed scholarship to come to the United States to continue with his education and training, but also the many hours of therapy, the care of his injuries and many other things that a devoted mother who understands discipline and talent will do for her kid.
Unfortunately, he was not able to attend her funeral, but the memories and gratitude are evident.

The early Nayon Iovino, and his haircut given by his roommate, about 18 years old!

Of course, we had to have surprises, as Ricardo Santos (part of the Ballet troupe) and his wife Jillian Barrel, dropped by to say hello!

SHOUT-OUT and hello to Nayon Iovino by Ricardo Santos
SHOUT-OUT and hello by Nayon Iovino‘s wife Jillian Barrell

Perhaps the best part of the episode and one that I truly enjoyed, was to listen to his deep interest in Choreography and how the mind of a choreographer thinks!

Presenting his own Choreography Webpage Dancer and Coreographer Nayon Iovino.

To close, Jami Kozemczak, Director of Development and Marketing at Ballet Arizona, walked us through the upcoming season, that will be virtual and some in person with exciting news of a new supported fund by Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance by the name of “Be Our Bridge Fund” that will help to support all aspects of the Ballet, that are much needed currently.

With Jami Kozemczack, Director of Development and Marketing for Ballet Arizona
The “BE OUR BRIDGE FUND” by Ballet Arizona

I urge you to listen to the final remarks by Nayon, as they are incredibly inspiring. If you want to see/hear the show, please click on this link; and since you are there, please subscribe!

This was one of those interviews that truly touched everyones hearts!

Always in style,


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