Gene was born in 1931, in Newark, New Jersey. His artistic (real) life began when he was 17 and taking a life drawing class in Los Angeles, California. The teacher suggested he take class with Bupesh Guha, who taught Hindu dance.

After a year, Gene went to study ballet with Michael Brigante, whom he calls, “the most highly evolved teacher I have ever studied with.” After three years with Brigante, Gene joined David Lichine’s Ballet de la Ville des Anges.

When not on tour, Gene returned to Los Angeles and worked in several films with Roland Petit’s Ballet de Paris, performed at the Moulin Rouge Nightclub in Hollywood and danced on television for David Lichine on This is Your Music and Polka Parade.

Gene performed for four seasons as a soloist with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and most notably toured South America as Premier Danseur with Alicia Alonso’s Ballet de Cuba in the company’s 1959 debut tour.

Gene formed his own company in Los Angeles, The American Concert Ballet, in 1962. The company had its first concert in 1963, at an International Music Festival at UCLA. In 1964, the company performed at UCSB. His technique and charisma in classical works such as The Nutcracker pas de deux (with Penelope Lagios) thrilled audiences. Although he was a brilliant technician, Gene always wanted to express more. As he said in a 1969 interview with Dance Magazine, “There are not only physical levels in dance… Many a time I’d almost burst my frame trying to project the essential life element along with the steps we performed in the ballets we presented. But although my efforts were duly noted and accepted, they didn’t universally endear me to other members of the companies. I suspect they may have thought I was trying to show off!”

American Concert Ballet performances included:

University of California, Santa Barbara – 1964

From a review in Santa Barbara News-Press, 11/16/64 by Ronald D. Scofield, describing Gene and his partner, Penelope Lagios: “Thorough masters of technique and traditional style, the two dancers brought to their performance exhilarating verve, fluency and lightness, and so communicated something more to the viewer than a correct repetition of conventional patterns of movement and fine muscular control.”

A Caribbean Tour – 1964

North and South Dakota – 1964

Texas and Florida – 1964

From the Orlando Sentinel on Gene and Penelope: “appropriately spectacular leaps and turns was thrilling.”

Guest Appearance, Santa Ana, Rosalia Holland Ballet Festival – 1968

From George Comroe, Orange County Register Staff Writer: “The several short performances showed superb technique and sensitivity for mood.”

California State Polytechnic College, Pomona – March 14-15, 1969

Viola Hegyi Swisher, Dance Magazine, May 1969:  “Choreography of beautifully cadenced quality and the clear liquid flow of movement into movement carried spectators into a world of dance too rarely encountered. Gene Marinaccio’s dancers move as if the human spirit and the human body are made for dance. With such tutelage, stimulation, direction and choreography as Marinaccio’s – they are.”

CAMI Tour of Seven Western States – 1969

After this tour, Gene concentrated his efforts on creating a company that could express his artistic vision. While still a brilliant technician, he channeled his phenomenal energy into his students and his choreography. While audiences had gone wild over a series of entrechat sixes and split jumps he had done several years earlier, or over a memorable Bluebird that nearly took flight, Gene’s focus was always on bringing forth something deeper and spiritually meaningful. That he did. The material proof may have been destroyed when Gene’s studio was set afire in 1978 but his vision lives in every dancer and choreographer who reaches for more in their technique and their vision.