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Alas. Nacho Duato


Nacho Duato en Alas
  • Choreography: Nacho Duato
  • Theatre direction: Tomaz Pandur
  • Sets: Tomaz Pandur, Nacho Duato. Made by: Odeón.
  • Music: Pedro Alcalde/Sergio Caballero (original music); Arvo Pärt, Jules Massenet, Pawel Szymanski and Fuckhead (collage)
  • Costumes: Angelina Atlagic
  • Light Design: Brad Fields
  • Video: Zeljko Serdarevic and Dragan Mileusnic
  • Texts: Fragments of the cinematographic script of the movie Der Himmel überBerlin (Win Wenders/ Peter Handke), selected by Tomaz Pandur
  • Voice: Ana Wagener
  • World premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria (Santander), April 28th 2006.

Alas (Wings) means the first collaboration between Duato and the Slovene theatre director Tomaz Pandur. For his text, Pandur chooses short fragments of Peter Handke’s script for Wim Wenders’ film Wings of Desire (1987). Nevertheless, Duato´s choreography doesn’t offer a parallelism with the movie in explicit sense. Both artists collaboration suppose the incursion of the interpreters of the CND in more dramatics areas. Nacho Duato himself dances andrecites a series of monologues during his performance. 

Tomaz Pandur made himself known in Spain with Sherezada in 1990, and last year he set Infierno with Centro Dramático Nacional. Considered one of the most internationally renowned scenic contemporary creators, his works usually show an original managing of the scenographic skill to the service of irreproachable dramatic interpretations giving place to images of overwhelming beauty.

This production will count with original music composed by Pedro Alcalde and Sergio Caballero. Both of them composed previous works for Compañía Nacional de Danza: Herrumbre (2004) and Diecisiete (2005). Likewise, Duato will use music of Arvo Pärt, Jules Massenet and Pawel Szymanski. On the other hand, Duato will count with one of his most faithful and successful collaborators since years: Brad Fields, who will take care of the light design of this ambitious project.

Arcangelo. Nacho Duato


Bailarina: Tamako Akiyama
  • Choreography: Nacho Duato
  • Music: Arcangelo Corelli (Concerti Grossi Op. 6) and Alessandro Scarlatti (Il Primo Omicidio)
  • Sets: Nacho Duato
  • Costumes:Nacho Duato (in collaboration with Ismael Aznar)
  • Light Design: Brad Fields
  • Length: 27’ 45”
  • World premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro Real de Madrid, 31st May 2000.

Arcangelo is a reflection on heaven and hell. It is based on the marvelous Concerti Grossiof the Italian Arcangelo Corelli, ending with an aria from Scarlatti’s opera Il Primo Omicidio. 

Duato has basically employed the lentos and adagios in a different order from the original. The ballet tells us of the search for liberation through death, as a way of access to a paradise that frees us. Arcangelo Corelli began his career as a violinist at the age of seven in the Bolonia of 1670. He was recognized as an elite instrumentalist, as well as one of the most influential composers of his time. Most of his life was spent in Rome, where he died in 1713. The genere of the concerti grossi developed simultaneously in several places during the first three decades of the 17th century. At that time, the production of stage music was extremely important. Orchestras with more than a hundred musicians were commonplace. To relieve the evident lack of mobility of such numerous groups, the first performers within the string sections broke away and formed a more flexible group: the Concertino. The concerto grosso is derived from the alternation of both groups. Corelli may well be defined as the creator of the classical concerto grosso form. What particularly distinguish these concerti grossi from a string orchestra are the classical equilibrium of the baroque music, the marvelous clarity and simplicity of plot and structure, and the complete congruency of form and content.

Compañía Nacional de Danza - Arcangelo

Alone, For A Second. Nacho Duato


Alone, For A Second. Dancer with his head covered
  • Choreography:  Nacho Duato
  • Music: Erik Satie
  • Sets and Costumes: Nacho Duato
  • Light Design: Nicolás Fischtel
  • World premiered by the Nederlands Dans Theater at the AT&T Danstheater, The Hague, September, 9th, 1993. Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, December, 16th, 1994.


  • In Alone, for a Second, Nacho Duato consciously breaks new ground in search of the still side of life, the introspective. The choreography has a cyclic structure, thus evoking the impression of a twilight state.

Arenal. Nacho Duato


Scene with two dancers
  • Choreography: Nacho Duato
  • Music: María del Mar Bonet (Tonada de Segar, Carta a L’Exili, Tonada de Collir Olives, danza de la Primavera, Cançó de Bressol, Des de Mallorca a L’Alguer, Den Itan Nisi, Tonada  de Segar.
  • Sets: Walter Nobbe
  • Costumes: Nacho Duato
  • Light Design: Edward Effron
  • World premiere by  the Nederlands Dans Theater at the Muziektheatre, Amsterdam, January 26th, 1988. Premiere by Compañía  Nacional de Danza at the Teatro Romea, Murcia, October 6th, 1990.

  • Arenal is choreography by Nacho Duato, inspired by songs of María del Mar Bonet. In this ballet, the choreographer’s purpose has been to show the uninhibited cheerfulness of the Mediterranean personality contrasting with the everyday struggle of life. Duato makes this contrast very obvious. On the one hand, there is the dancing of a groupof men and women motivated by the pure joyfulness of music. Its jubilation is reflected in the clear movements of the dancers -pas de deux, pas de trois, pas de quatre- to Greek songs translated into Catalonian and Majorcan ones by María del Mar Bonet.

    On the other hand, one woman dancer stands apart, dancing alone to four songs which are performed a capella. These songs are of a realistic content and seem to arise from an agonizing outcry of the heart. The dancer’s movements are nearer to the ground than those of the others. This is to express the influence of the land. Colour, choreography, movement, everything is undeniably Mediterranean.

    Nacho Duato had worked before with María del Mar Bonet in another ballet: Jardí Tancat. “Her music constitutes an important source of inspiration for my work”, says the choreographer. “Later, while I was listening to her record Gavines i Dragons, the idea of Arenal immediately occurred to me. At once, I began to consider the possibility of María del Mar Bonet joining us to give a live performance of her songs”. Duato sees Arenalas an extension of his first work, Jardí Tancat, “though it is more vital, livelier, and more faithful to the inner rhythm of the songs themselves, without abandoning the worlds of people and of work”.

    I have always known that my songs were born with rhythm, but I only became really aware of it the day Nacho Duato danced to them. When I saw the first choreography,Jardí Tancat, I was really excited. He had given them another life. They were independent, and at the same time, still mine. Yet they had acquired a new palpitation. They had taken a different road.

    There is something in Arenal that has always fascinated me: the treatment of the Majorcan work songs which I sing a capella. These are songs which form part of our earliest Majorcan tradition, but which are no longer sung where they come from or what they were created for, that is work in the fields. There are hardly any places in Majorca where work in the country is still the same as forty or fifty years ago. However, when Nacho used the songs  for his choreographies he gave them back this role of unique pieces, as if they were precious stones.

    While Jardí Tancat, was so full of life, in Arenal I have been discovering an inner passion each time I sing with them. I will never tire of repeating that these choreographies of Nacho Duato  are one of the most precious artistic gifts I have ever received. I believe they belong to that type of thing which goes hand in hand with the most deeply felt emotions and is hard to explain in words.

    Thank you, Nacho. María del Mar Bonet

  • CNDanza Arenal - Nacho Duato

Castrati. Nacho Duato


Castrati. Dancers in the stage
  • Choreography: Nacho Duato
  • Music: Antonio Vivaldi (Nisi Dominus RV 608, Stabat Mater RV 621, Salve Regina RV 616, Concerto RV 439 “La notte”); Karl Jenkins (Palladio)
  • Sets: Jaffar Chalabi
  • Costumes: Francis Montesinos
  • Light Design: Brad Fields
  • World premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, Santander, April 5th, 2002.

  • Just a couple of hundred years ago, sopranos were at the height of their popularity. They travelled around Europe singing opera and were considered on-stage heroes, and their art has been appreciated worldwide for centuries.

  • The last castrato died just a few decades ago, during the 20th century. The custom of castrating predates Jesus Christ, and the original motives were somewhat different. Egyptians used castration as a punishment, the Arabs used it for religious reasons, and the Turks employed it to create a groupof men with no sexual urgess to guard their harems. However, in Italy castration had a completely different purpose.

  • During the first century AD, when the apostle Saint Paul wrote: “Mulier tacet in ecclesia” (“women shall remain in silence when they are in church”), he could hardly have imagined the effect his words would have some centuries later. Choirs without female voices, composed of countertenors and pre-puberty children, worked for some time, but as musical composition demanded an ever-wider vocal range, choirs needed men with a female voice, that is to say castrated men. So, in the mid-16th century the practise of castration arrived in Europe from the East.

  • At the beginning of the 17th century, a new type of music, opera, was taking shape in Italy. For castrati this was a golden opportunity for one simple reason: women were banned from taking part. As a result, from when the first public theatre was opened in Venice in 1637 until the mid-18th century, castrati dominated the world of opera and became irreplaceable.

  • Castration produced extraordinary vocal skills and a rather peculiar colour to voices, which meant castrati were in great demand and also highly paid. Singing schools sprang upall over Italy to raise the belcanto art form to its highest possible level. Castrati were normally trained for between six and eight years at such schools, and private tutors also offered their services outside schools.

  • Castrati – (Italian Castrato) Male singers, castrated before reaching puberty in order to retain their soprano or alto voices. In this manner the childlike timbre is kept, allowing them to sing soprano in a strange manner due to the normal development of their lungs. Castrati were much more common within ecclesiastical institutions, where women were not allowed to sing, and in theatres during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. They were held in very high prestige during these times.



    • Auditions. Jardín Infinito. Nacho Duato

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    • Project Coordination: Maite Villanueva (CND)
    • Texts: CND