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Paulo Arrais, ballerina

Paulo Arrais

Paulo Arrais is a highly accomplished, nationally and internationally known connoisseur of the arts, who retired as a Principal Dancer at Boston Ballet in 2023. 

Paulo embarked on his ballet journey as a young boy of 11 in Goiania, Goias, Brazil, when he started training at a local dance studio.  In 4 short years, he made incredible strides in his training and at the age of 15, Paulo attended the Youth America Grand Prix in NYC. There, he was awarded a full scholarship by the Nureyev Foundation to study at the world’s very first and highly prestigious ballet academy, The Paris Opera Ballet School in Paris, France. At the age of 17, Paulo was invited by Gailene Stock, Director of the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, London, to train there.  Paulo excelled at the school and graduated with High Commendations. 


As a professional ballet dancer, Paulo spent three years in the corps de ballet of the Norwegian National Ballet. In 2009, Paulo’s search for finding his inner voice drew him to join Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco. While there, he focused on creativity expressed through movement.  As a return to classicism, when invited by Mikko Nissinen, Paulo joined Boston Ballet in 2010. His proficiency in classical ballet technique, coupled with his unique artistic voice, elevated him to the title of Principal Dancer at Boston Ballet in just two seasons, where he spent 12 luminous years of his career.  


Throughout his illustrious career, Paulo starred in timeless masterpieces, such as The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, John Cranko’s Onegin, as well as countless ballets by George Balanchine, the founder of ballet in the United States. In one of Balanchine’s pieces, Apollo, Paulo performed the lead role with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.


The roles mentioned above and many others, Paulo performed at international festivals and some of the best Opera houses around the world.  Those include Royal Opera House, Paris Opera Garnier, Bolshoi Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, Boston Opera House, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Theater Dell Opera di Roma, Opera Bastille, Mikhailovsky Theatre, Oslo Opera House, Termine di Caracalla, Venice Biennale, National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Korean National Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Orsolina28 in Italy, and others. 


During his rewarding time on stage, Paulo had the privilege of working with some of the best choreographers in the industry, including John Neumeier, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Alonzo King, Jorma Elo, Liam Scarlett, Paul Lighfoot, Sol Leon, Pontus Lidberg and many others.  


While Paulo was usually seen center stage, he also choreographed himself. His talent and interests extend to creating original work. While at Boston Ballet, Paulo choreographed 3 pieces for the company, including main stage, At Home Series and for the virtual season. During the Covid 19 pandemic Paulo produced a dance film, White Sawn, in collaboration with Boston Pops and Boston Ballet Principal Dancer Derek Dunn.  As a choreographer, he also created pieces for the Maris Liepa Gala in London and for a ballet performance at the Kremlin in Moscow.  Additionally, Paulo’s choreography has been commissioned by Ballet Rhode Island, by the National Center for the Arts in Ottawa, Canada, by theValentina Koslova International Ballet Competition and others.  In the fall of 2023, Paulo choreographedfor Valis, an MIT opera by Tod Machover, directed by Jay Scheib.


In addition to being a world-class dancer and a creative choreographer, Paulo is a gifted and passionate teacher.  He has given master classes in Japan, Norway, Italy, France, and in multiple locations in the United States. He also served as a judge for the Youth America Grand Prix in Brazil. Paulo’s teaching endeavors span from coaching Misa Kuranaga in the role of Odette/Odille in Swan Lake at Boston Ballet, to teaching at Boston Ballet School’s Summer Dance Program and summer intensives at CPYB, Ballet Rhode Island and at other independent programs. Paulo’s teaching credits also include teaching at BasileuFrança and YAGP Brazil.  Most recently, as faculty at Walnut Hill School of the Arts, Paulo taught at Boston Ballet’s pre-professional program.  In early 2024, Paulo will begin teaching ballet and contemporary technique classes at MIT in Cambridge, MA. 


In 2017, Paulo had the privilege to be named one of El Mundo's Boston Latino 30 under 30. 


Now retired from the stage, Paulo is ready to give back!  He is inspired to share his love and passion for the arts and fitness with others in the community. He is excited to fully reinvent himself in the roles of teacher, coach, mentor, choreographer, and to invest in aspiring young dancers. Paulo is also invested inpromoting wellness through classical Pilates, educating about the synergistic relationship between Pilates and ballet, and the benefits of combining the two. 


By opening Arrais Ballet, Paulo aims to make his craft available to those interested in dance, movement and creative expression, to inspire appreciation for the arts, and promote mind and body health for all.

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