CHICAGO — A dancer in DanceWorks Chicago's current lineup died Monday night after a "freak occurrence during a rehearsal break," according to a statement from the Near North Side dance organization.
Marco Antonio Huicochea-Gonzalez was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center about 5 p.m. Monday, officials said Tuesday. The 22-year-old dancer suffered fatal head wounds after he fell while "using a large steel acrobatic ring" in the 5000 block of North Kimberly Avenue in Albany Park, police said.
He died of blunt force trauma to his head after being struck by a falling heavy object, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. His death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner's office.
Huicochea-Gonzalez, a life-long dancer, joined DanceWorks last year, according to the statement. Huicochea-Gonzalez, of the 6900 block of West Summerdale Avenue in Norwood Park, was born in Mexico, where he studied jazz at the age of 11 and ballet three years later.
His professional work began with an awareness of contemporary dance, according to DanceWorks. He graduated from Mexico's National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance in July 2013, earning a scholarship and a trip to New York City and France for further dance studies.
"It is with great sadness that DanceWorks Chicago shares the following news ... We are all doing our best to work through this very sad and very difficult time," the dance agency posted on its Facebook Tuesday, prompting an outpouring of support from fans in subsequent comments.
"Marco was such a kind person, a beautiful dancer and a gentle spirit," Jose Torres wrote on DanceWorks Chicago's Facebook page. "I am so very sorry to hear this awful news. My thoughts and prayers are with you all and with his family."