22-Year-Old DanceWorks Chicago Dancer Killed in 'Freak Occurrence' During Rehearsal

22-Year-Old DanceWorks Chicago Dancer Killed in 'Freak Occurrence' During Rehearsal

DanceWorks Chicago announced on its website today that on Monday, January 13, 2014, there was a "freak occurrence" during a rehearsal break in which dancer Marco Antonio Huicochea Gonzalez was killed.

DNAinfo Chicago reports that Gonzalez, 22, was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center around 5 p.m. yesterday after suffering "fatal wounds to his head after he fell while 'using a large steel acrobatic ring'". The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office says Gonzalez died of blunt force trauma to his head after being struck by a falling heavy object.

"There is nothing further to share about this tragedy," DanceWorks' statement reads. "We hope that you will keep Marco, his family, and his DanceWorks Chicago family in your thoughts. We are all doing our best to work through this very sad and very difficult time and appreciate your respectfulness."

After the organization announced the news on its Facebook page, many friends and supporters commented on Gonzalez's talent and grace. Among them was Jose Torres, who described Gonzalez as "a kind person, a beautiful dancer, and a gentle spirit".

Gonzalez, from Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico, began his studies with jazz classes at the age of 11 with Alfredo Chávez and started ballet at the age of 14 at Ballet Teatro del Espacio with Solange Lebourges. His first professional work was with San Juan de Letrán, where he worked with Lucero Camarena and Ema Pulido and became aware of contemporary dance.

The dancer was invited to study in Mexico's National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance where he learned from teachers like Dariusz Blajer, Armando García, Francisco Illescas, Ester Lopezllera, Alberto (Beto) Pérez, among others, graduating in July 2013.

While in school Marco traveled to New York to study with Ballet Hispánico and studied with Cyberdanse Paris in France. He earned a scholarship from the National Fund for Culture and Arts in 2010. Marco has worked with professional companies including Camerino 4, Cuarto Oscuro, Eterno Caracol, and Gato. Gonzalez joined DanceWorks Chicago in 2013.

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