NACHO DUATO BIOGRAPHY
CND ARCHIVE NACHO DUATO'S REPERTOIRE 90/11
Born in Valencia/Spain, Nacho Duato began his professional dance education at the age of 18 at the Rambert School in London. He continued his studies at the Mudra School of Maurice Béjart and eventually completed his education at the Ailey American Dance Center in New York.
In 1980, Nacho Duato signed his first contract at the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm. A year later, Jiří Kylián hired him for the Nederlands Dans Theter in Den Haag. For his achievements as a dancer, Nacho Duato was awarded the “VSCD Gouden Dansprijs” in 1987. His talent soon led Nacho Duato beyond being a dancer to devote himself to choreography, too. His first choreography for the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1983, “Jardí Tancat,” featuring Spanish-Catalonian music by Maria del Mar Bonet became a highly praised success and earned him the 1st prize of the International Choreographic Competition in Cologne.
In 1986, Nacho Duato was appointed house choreographer of the Nederlands Dans Theater together with Hans van Manen and Jiří Kylián. During his tenure, he created more than a dozen choreographies including “Danza y Ritmo“ (Carlos Chávez), “Ucelli“ (Ottorino Respighi), “Synaphai“ (Iannis Xenakis/ Germanos Vangelis), “Boléro“ (Maurice Ravel), “Arenal“ (Maria del Mar Bonet), “Chansons Madécasses“ (Maurice Ravel), “Raptus“ (to Richard Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder), “Dreams of Ether“ (Marcel Landowsky), “Lament“ (Henryk Górecki). For most of his productions he collaborated with stage designer Walter Nobbe.
In 1990, the Culture Ministry in Madrid invited Nacho Duato to return to Spain and offered him the leadership of the Compañía Nacional de Danza. There, he formed a large œuvre and gained worldwide recognition with his ensemble. During his 20 years with the Compañía, he created more than 30 productions for its repertory, among others: “Cor perdut“ (Mar del Mar Bonet, 1989), “Concierto Madrigal“ (Joaquín Rodrigo, 1990), “Opus piat“ (Ludwig von Beethoven, 1990), “Rassemblement“ (Toto Bissainthe, 1990), “Na Floresta“ (Heitor Villa-Lobos/ Wagner Tisso, 1990), “Kaburias“ (Leo Brouwer, 1991), “Duende“ (Claude Debussy, 1991), “Empty“ (Musikcollage, 1991), “Coming together“ (Frederic A. Rzewski, 1991), “Mediterrania“ (Musikcollage, 1992), “Cautiva“ (Alberto Iglesias, 1993), “Alone, for a second“ (Erik Satie, 1994), “Tabulae“ (Alberto Iglesias, 1995), “Ecos“ (Stephan Micus, 1994), “Cero sobre cero“ (Alberto Iglesias, 1995), “Por vos muero“ (Musik des 16. Jahrhunderts, 1996), “Self“ (Alberto Iglesias, 1997), “Ofrenda de sombras“ (Musik des 16. Jahrhunderts, 2000), „Arcangelo“ (Arcangelo Corelli u.a., 2000), „White Darkness“ (Karl Jenkins, 2001), “Txalaparta“ (Kepa Junkera, 2001), “Castrati“ (Antonio Vivaldi/Karl Jenkins, 2002), “L’ Homme“ (G György Kurtág, 2003), “Herrumbre“ (Pedro Alcalde/Segio Caballero, 2004), “Diecisiete“ (Pedro Alcalde/ Segio Caballero, 2005), “Hevel“ (Pedro Alcalde/Sergio Caballero, 2007), “O domina nostra“ (Henryk Górecki, 2008) and “Cobalto“ (Pedro Alcalde/Sergio Caballero, 2009).
During his time at the Compañía Nacional de Danza, Nacho Duato also worked for other companies. In 1992, he created “Duende” for the Nederlands Dans Theater featuring music by Claude Debussy. At the American Ballet Theatre, he created “Remanso” featuring music by Enrique Granados in 1997 and “Without Words“ (Franz Schubert) in 1998. In the same year, he choreographed “Romeo and Juliet“ (Sergei Prokofiev), his first full-length ballet. “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness“ (Johann S. Bach, 2000), “Alas“ (2006), “Infinite Garden“ (2010) succeeded. In Berlin, Nacho Duato adapted “Duende“ for the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1995, “Without Words“ for the Ballert of Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 2002, and “Arcangelo“ with the Staatsballett Berlin in 2012.
One year after his 20th anniversary at the Compañía Nacional de Danza, Duato left Spain and was appointed Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on January 1st2011. There, he staged two world premieres in 2011, “Nunc Dimittis“ and “Invisible“, and developed his own versions of “Sleeping Beauty”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Nutcracker”.
In 2014, he created “DepakIne“ for the Martha Graham Dance Company. By now, his work is included in the repertories of the most important ballet companies worldwide, including the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris, the Cullberg Ballet, the Nederlands Dans Theater, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Australian Ballet, the Stuttgarter Ballett, the Ballet Gulbenkian, the Finnish Opera Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, the Royal Ballet Covent Garden, the Bolshoi Ballett, the Boston Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the Staatsballett Berlin, and the Ballet of the Mikhailovsky Theatre St. Petersburg.
Nacho Duato received multiple awards as a choreographer: “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” from the French embassy in Spain in 1995, the gold medal for Fine Arts from the Spanish government in 1998, “Benois de la danse” for his choreography “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness“ in 2000, and “Premio Nacional de Danza” for choreography in 2003. Furthermore, the Spanish Department of Foreign Affairs awarded him the “Medalla al Merito Civil”. In 2015, he received the prize of the city of Alcalá for arts and literature. In 2016, he became honorary citizen of his home town Valencia.
Starting with the 2014 / 2015 season, Nacho Duato become Artistic Director of the Staatsballett Berlin. After staging his choreographies “Sleeping Beauty”, “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness”, “White Darkness”, “Herrumbre”, “Castrati”, “The Nutcracker” and the new pieces called “Static Time” and “Erde”, he will present “Romeo and Juliet” and “Por vos muero” in the ongoing season.