Eugene Ballet principal dancer found dead

Press "Play Video" to watch Juan Carlos Amy-Cordero perform in "Swan Lake" and "The Dark Side of the Moon"

EUGENE, Ore. - Police found a principal dancer with the Eugene Ballet Company dead from an apparent suicide late Wednesday night.

Officers performing a welfare check found Juan Carlos Amy-Cordero dead in his Eugene home. He was 28. He is survived by his wife, former Eugene Ballet principal dancer Jennifer Martin.

"A charismatic performer, Juan Carlos was larger than life whenever he took the stage," said Riley Grannon, the ballet's managing director. "This is a crushing loss for all of us in the Company and our dance community at large. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer and Juan Carlos' family."

Juan Carlos joined the Eugene Ballet in 2002. He was promoted to principal dancer in 2007.

A native of Boston, he entered the Boston Ballet School in 1993 and danced with the Boston Ballet from 1999-2001.

He had performed in more than 50 different ballets, including the leads in Eugene Ballet's productions of "Peter Pan," "Swan Lake," "Midsummer Night's Dream," and "Romeo & Juliet." He also performed the opening solo in artistic director Toni Pimble's "Dark Side of the Moon" with the Floydian Slips.

"Juan Carlos was a phenomenal technician," Pimble said. "He was also the jester on and off stage, playing tricks on the dancers with a pixie-like twinkle in his eyes."

Juan Carlos married Martin, now the company's Ballet Mistress, in 2010. The couple taught ballet students at Whitman College's Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, Wash., and throughout the Northwest.

The Eugene Ballet said Juan Carlos was also an accomplished photographer who learned photography from his father, Dr. Angel A. Amy Moreno, a writer, photographer and professor of history. His work is viewable online at