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Compañía Nacional de Danza

Don Quijote Suite. José Carlos Martínez. Bailarinas con abanicos

MURCIA. Auditorio Víctor Villegas

February 14th,  2015

Don Quixote Suite. José Carlos Martínez/ Ludwig Minkus, (World Premiere with the OSRM)
Three Preludes. Ben Stevenson/ Sergei Rachmaninoff
In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. William Forsythe / Thom Willems 

Compañía Nacional de Danza

The National Dance Company was founded in 1979 under the name of The Ballet Nacional de España Clásico, its first Director being Victor Ullate. His successors in the post were María de Avila and the extraordinary Russian ballerina Maya Plisétskaya, until, in 1990, Nacho Duato was named Artistic Director of the company.
Nacho Duato’s appointment brought innovative change to the history of the company. Until 2010, he contributed forty five works as a choreographer, praised by critics worldwide.
After one year under the direction of Hervé Palito, José Carlos Martinez was appointed as the new director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza. The Principal Dancer from the Paris Opera Ballet took office on 1st September 2011.
The project José Carlos Martinez has for the Compañía Nacional de Danza is to encourage and make the art of dance more well known, along with his repertory in the ample sense, ranging from classical and neoclassical ballet to modern choreographic language, embracing both new Spanish and international creation, drawing in new audiences and boosting its national and international projection within a setting of full artistic and creational freedom.

José Carlos Martínez


José Carlos Martínez

José Carlos Martínez began his ballet studies in Cartagena, under Pilar Molina, continuing in 1984 at the Centre de Danse International Rosella Hightower in Cannes. In 1987, he won the Lausanne Prize and joined the Paris Opera Ballet School. In 1988, he was personally selected by Rudolf Nureyev to join the Ballet Company of the Paris Opera as a corps de ballet dancer. In 1992, he was promoted to Principal Dancer and won the Gold Medal in the International Competition of Varna. On 27th May 1997, he was appointed “Etoile” of Paris Opera Ballet, the highest category a dancer can rise to.
During his career José Carlos Martínez was awarded numerous prizes such as the Prix de l ‘AROP, the Prix Carpeaux, the Premio Danza & Danza, the Prix Léonide Massine-Positano, the Spanish National Dance Prize, the Gold Medal of the City of Cartagena, the Prize Elegance et Talent France/Chine, Scenic Arts Prize for the best dancer (Valencia), Benois de la Danse for his choreography Les Enfants du Paradis, Prize Dansa València. He is Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France).
Jose Carlos Martinez's repertoire as a dancer is characterized by the famous choreographies of classical and neo-classical ballet. Apart from that he has worked with most of the important choreographers of the 20th Century such as Maurice Bejart, Pina Bausch, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, many of them creating on him.
As a guest he has performed with many of the world's most prestigious ballet companies.
As a choreographer José Carlos Martínez created Mi Favorita (2002), Delibes Suite (2003), Scaramouche (2005) for students of the Paris Opera Ballet School, Paréntesis 1 (2005), Soli-Ter (2006), El Olor de la Ausencia (2007), Les Enfants du Paradis (2008) for Paris Opera Ballet, Ouverture en Deux mouvements and Scarlatti pas de deux (2009), Marco Polo, the Last Mission (2010) for Shanghai Ballet. For Compañía Nacional de Danza de España he has created Sonatas (2012), Raymonda Variations, Giselle pas de deux (2013) and Resonance (2014) for the Boston Ballet.
José Carlos Martínez has been the new Artistic Director of Spain's Compañía Nacional de Danza de España since September 2011.

Don Quixote Suite

Choreography: José Carlos Martínez (inspired on the versions of Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorski).
Music: Ludwig Minkus.
Costumes and readaptation of wardrobe: Carmen Granell.
Duration: 40 min.

World Premiere by the Spanish National Dance Company, on 14th February 2015, at the Víctor Villegas Auditorium in Murcia with the Region of Murcia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gonzalo Berná.

Together with Swan Lake, the Ballet Don Quixote, by Marius Petipa, was one of the most popular ballets in Russia, where it was premiered in 1869 to a musical score by Ludwig Minkus. This colourful work broke away from the eerie world of supernatural or fairylike creatures of the classical 19th century ballets and brought ordinary people to the stage.
The libretto is based on an episode of the second volume of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (chapter XXI, “Continuing with the wedding of Camacho and other fine events …”), and the action focuses on the troublesome love between Quiteria and Basilio rather than on the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
The ballet was passed on from one generation to the next uninterruptedly in Russia thanks to tradition and successive revisions, the most important of these being done by Alexander Gorski in 1900.
Many choreographers have created their own versions of this great classic, for instance those of Rudolf Nureyev for the Vienna State Opera and Mikhail Baryshnikov for the American Ballet Theatre.
In his Suite of Don Quixote (with extracts from the original acts one and four), José Carlos Martínez focuses further on the characters of Quiteria and Basilio, using the corps de ballet to add to the dynamic action of this timeless classic with a Spanish flavour.


Kitri: Yae Gee Park
Basilio: Alessandro Riga
Espada: Moisés Martín Cintas
Mercedes: Natalia Muñoz
Maids of honor: Eugenia Brezzi – Lucie Barthèlèmy
Toreros: Aitor Arrieta, Toby William Mallitt, Benjamin Poirier, Iván Sánchez, Roberto Sánchez, Rodrigo Sanz
3 Friends: Jacopo Giarda, Erez Ilan, Álvaro Madrigal
Aída Badía, Lucie Barthèlèmy, Rebecca Connor, María Muñoz, Nandita Shankardass, Helena Balla, Giulia Paris, Eugenia Brezzi, Clara Maroto, Nadia Khan
Erez Ilan, Jacopo Giarda, Álvaro Madrigal, Aitor Arrieta, Toby William Mallitt, Benjamin Poirier, Iván Sánchez, Roberto Sánchez, Rodrigo Sanz

And the collaboration of pupils of Dance School of Murcia: Amparo Conesa, Carla Fuerte, Elisa Serrano, Eva Colomina, Alba González, Marta López, Pablo González, Valentino Moneglia, Juan Josè Garrido

We thank the BNE, CDN and CNTC for allowing us to use their atrezzo and scenography.

Gonzalo Berná. Conductor

Gonzalo Berná Pic did his conducting studies and his clarinet degree at the Conservatories of Murcia and Madrid, finishing with the Distinction Award and the maximum grades.
He has conducted the Symphony Orchestra of the Music Conservatory of Murcia, Philharmonic Orchestra of Tomsk (Russia), National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), Banda Sinfónica Municipal of Alicante, Chamber Orchestra of Cartagena, Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Valencia, Vigo Symphony Orchestra 430 and the Symphony Orchestra of the Region of Murcia. He teaches clarinet, he conducts the Symphony Orchestra of the Music Conservatory "Oscar Esplá" and conductor of the Banda de la Sociedad Musical “La Armónica” de Cox, with which it has achieved significant successes.
He has directed at the National Auditorium in Madrid, Palau de Les Arts, Palau de la Música in Valencia, Auditorium "Victor Villegas" of Murcia, Auditorio de la Diputación of Alicante (ADDA), among others, always receiving praise from critics and audiences.
He has an extensive musical training received by masters such as Vicente Peñarrocha, Alois Brandhofer, Roy Jowitt, Andrés Zarzo, Carles Riera, Johannes Peitz or Thomas Brandis, among others. In the field of conducting is a disciple of Maestro Manuel Hernández-Silva, having been taught by César Álvarez, José Miguel Knee Lutz Köhler, Rodolfo Saglimbeni or Yaron Traub.
After passing the audition he was invited by Claudio Abbado to join the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra, performing in major concert halls and festivals through Europe and Japan (Philharmonie Berlin, Vienna Musikverein, KKL Lucerne, Festspielhaus Salzburg or Suntory Hall in Tokyo, among others) with soloists like Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Akiko Suwanai, Anne-Sofie von Otter or Pierre-Laurent Aimard and under the conduction of Esa-Pekka Salonen teachers, Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach and Franz Welser-Möst.
He has been awarded in numerous competitions, highlighting the First Prize in the Performance Competition "Villa de Cox" and the First Prize at the International Conducting Competition "Alter Musici". In 2010 he was selected among young directors from all over Europe for the London Donatella Flick Conducting Competition Symphony Orchestra, becoming a semifinalist.

Three Preludes

Choreography : Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.
Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Set : Ben Stevenson
Light Design : Ben Stevenson (adaptación Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.)
Stage  : Trinidad Vives
Duration: 16 min

World premiere by the Harkness Youth Company 1969.
Premiered by Compañía Nacional de World Terrasa, Centre Cultural Terrassa. December, 15th 2012.

The internacional award winning Three Preludes was created by Ben Stevenson in 1969 and is performed to selections of Sergei Rachmaninoff´s  “Preludes”. This popular work has been performed in the repertoires of many companies around the world , including The American Ballet Theater , The Paris Opera Ballet, and The Scala de Milano Ballet.
The Gentle , loving pas de deux focuses on charapters of two dancers who fall in love while working in a dance studio. The three movements develop in both speed and intensity as the emotion between the dancers evolves into passion. Ben Stevenson`s Three Preludes was awarded th Gold medal for choreography at the International Ballet Competition in Varna , Bulgaria in 1972.


Seh Yun Kim, Iván Sánchez

Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.

Ben Stevenson (born 4 April 1936), is a former ballet dancer with Britain's Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, co-director of National Ballet in Washington, D.C. (1971–1974), artistic director of Chicago Ballet (1974-1975), artistic director of Houston Ballet (1976–2003), and current artistic director of Texas Ballet Theater.At the age of 18, Stevenson was invited to join the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet by Dame Ninette de Valois. A few years later, Anton Dolin invited him to dance with the London Festival Ballet, where, as a principal dancer, he performed leading roles in all the classics. After choreographing Cinderella in 1970 for the National Balletin Washington, D.C., he joined the company in 1971 as co-director with Frederic Franklin. That same year, he staged a new production of The Sleeping Beauty in observance of the inaugural season of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
After a brief association with Ruth Page's Chicago Ballet, in 1976, Stevenson was appointed Artistic Director of the Houston Ballet, which he developed into one of America's leading ballet companies. During his tenure, he expanded the company's repertory by acquiring the works of the world's most respected choreographers, commissioning new works, staging the classics and choreographing original works.During this time as artistic director of America's fifth-biggest ballet company, and when Barbara Bush was a trustee of the company, in 1978 Stephenson visited Beijing and offered the Chinese dancer, Li Cunxin a six-week scholarship to America and later on his defection, offered him a position with the company. Cunxin returned where he danced at the gala at Stevenson's retirement after 27 years with the Houston Ballet.
In 2003, he was named Director Emeritus of Houston Ballet and the company's academy was renamed the Ben Stevenson Academy. In 2004, Stevenson accepted the position of Artistic Director of Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth, Texas.  Stevenson has received numerous awards for his choreography, including three gold medals at the International ballet competitions of 1972, 1982, and 1986. In addition, he has staged his ballets for the English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala in Milan, the Munich State Opera Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, London City Ballet, Ballet de Santiago, The Perm State P. I. Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre and for many companies in the United States.
In the Bruce Beresford 2009 film Mao's Last Dancer, Stevenson was portrayed by actor Bruce Greenwood.

In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated

Choreography: William Forsythe
Music: Thom Willems
Sets, Costumes and Light Design: William Forsythe
Staging: Agnès Noltenius
Costumes made by: Klaus Schreck
Duration: 28 minutes

World premiere by Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris at Théâtre National de l’Opéra de París, May 29, 1987.
Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid, December 11, 1992.

The strength of a work is based on its simplicity. In The Middle, lacking in any external effects, is concentrated on thetraditional formula, theme and variations. The main theme, danced by the ballerina, increases progressively in relationto the number of dancers, until the result of the group becomes much more complex variations and pas de deux. The pretended disdain of the dancers contrasts with the strict and severe technical demands. The title of the ballet refers to two golden cherries, which hang above from the centre of the stage, and which lead to a minimal reflexion within the huge interior of l’Opéra de Paris, the space in which this ballet was created. 


Noëllie Conjeaud, Esteban Berlanga, Kayoko Everhart, Natalia Muñoz, Erez Ilan, Aída Badía, Anthony Pina,Nadia Khan, Nandita Shankardass

William Forsythe

Raised in New York and initially trained in Florida with Nolan Dingman and Christa Long, Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed Resident Choreographer in 1976. Over the next seven years, he created new works for the Stuttgart ensemble and ballet companies in Munich, The Hague, London, Basel, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, New York, and San Francisco. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of the Ballet Frankfurt, where he created works such as Artifact (1984), Impressing the Czar (1988), Limb’s Theorem (1990), The Loss of Small Detail (1991, in collaboration with composer Thom Willems and designer Issey Miyake), A L I E / N A(C)TION (1992), Eidos:Telos (1995), Endless House (1999), Kammer/Kammer (2000), and Decreation (2003).
After the closure of the Ballet Frankfurt in 2004, Forsythe established a new, more independent ensemble. The Forsythe Company, founded with the support of the states of Saxony and Hesse, the cities of Dresden and Frankfurt am Main, and private sponsors, is based in Dresden and Frankfurt am Main and maintains an extensive international touring schedule. Works produced by the new ensemble include Three Atmospheric Studies (2005), You made me a monster (2005), Human Writes (2005), Heterotopia (2006), The Defenders (2007), Yes we can’t (2008), and I Don’t Believe in Outer Space (2008). Forsythe’s most recent works are developed and performed exclusively by The Forsythe Company, while his earlier pieces are prominently featured in the repertoire of virtually every major ballet company in the world, including The Kirov Ballet, The New York City Ballet, The San Francisco Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, England’s Royal Ballet, and The Paris Opera Ballet.
Awards received by Forsythe and his ensembles include the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award (1988, 1998, 2004, 2007) and London’s Laurence Olivier Award (1992, 1999, 2009). Forsythe has been conveyed the title of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999) by the government of France and has received the German Distinguished Service Cross (1997), the Wexner Prize (2002) and the Golden Lion (2010).
Forsythe has been commissioned to produce architectural and performance installations by architect-artist Daniel Libeskind, ARTANGEL (London), Creative Time (New York), and the City of Paris. His installation and film works have been presented in numerous museums and exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial (New York), the Venice Biennale, the Louvre Museum, and 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo. His performance, film, and installation works have been featured at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, the Venice Biennale and the Hayward Gallery, London.
In collaboration with media specialists and educators, Forsythe has developed new approaches to dance documentation, research, and education. His 1994 computer application Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye, developed with the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien technologie, is used as a teaching tool by professional companies, dance conservatories, universities, postgraduate architecture programs, and secondary schools worldwide. 2009 marks the launch of Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced, a digital online score developed with The Ohio State University that reveals the organizational principles of the choreography and demonstrates their possible application within other disciplines.
As an educator, Forsythe is regularly invited to lecture and give workshops at universities and cultural institutions. In 2002, Forsythe was chosen as one the founding Dance Mentor for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Forsythe is an Honorary Fellow at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Juilliard School in New York. 

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