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Hierba. Mats Ek 1988

CND ARCHIVE REPERTOIRE 90/10. GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS

Mats Ek Portrait
  • Choreography: Mats Ek
  • Music: Sergei Rachmáninov
  • Set: Karin Ek
  • Light Design: Göran Westrup
  • Assistant to the Choreographer: Anna Diehl
  • World premiered by the Cullberg Ballet in Leverkusen, Germany, Abril 25th, 1988.
  • Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de Madrid, Abril 14th, 1994.

"Grass is a symbol of our natural origin, like an echo of a person's actions", says Mats Ek of his ballet Grass. Even though a man and a woman depict a kind of life cycle in the ballet, Mats Ek refuses to refer to it as an epic ballet. It is not a "philosophical" ballet either. He describes it rather as different chords from life.

Mats Ek got the idea for the ballet after he had created a solo for his brother Niklas for Swedish television. It became a necessity to continue it. A painting by Francis Bacon showing entwined bodies in high grass, provided him with the basis for the new ballet. Grass is fragile but strong. Grass cannot protect itself from being mowed down by someone, but a seed of grass growing in a crevice will break the stone with its roots.

The level of the grass becomes the image of the zone where living people arrive at live attitudes, based on experience. As opposed to tactics and bribes.

In Mats Ek's ballet Grass, grass is a symbol for nature, the nature we originate from and return to. " Nature is an echo of the chords in a person's life", says Mats Ek. Grass reflects three different stages in a person's life, seen from a man's point of view: childhood, romance and old age. The man gets older, the complications more complex. Piano music by Sergey Rachmaninov creates the musical background, and the choreographer's cousin, Karin Ek, who previously supplied the scenography and costumes for Mats Ek's ballet Down North, has created the scenography.

Niños Viejos. Mats Ek 1994

CND ARCHIVE REPERTOIRE 90/10. GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS

Niños Viejos
  • Dedicated to Birgit Cullberg
  • Choreography: Mats Ek
  • Music: Fläskkvartetten, Jules Massenet, Edward Grieg, de Frumerie, Klami and Saint Saëns
  • Sets and Costumes: Karin Ek
  • Light: Göram Westrup
  • Mask Maker: Arne Högsander
  • Staging: Anna Diehl and Ana Laguna
  • World premiered by Cullberg Ballet at The City Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden 29th November 1989. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela, in Madrid, 9th December 1994.

Old Children is a work based on the music. Ten short pieces, from the romantic trains to Saint Saëns to the contemporary sounds of the Fläsk Quartet, gave rise to characters with funny names, like "Speedy" and "Dirty Grey", and to scenes such as that with Beauty and the Beast, starring the "Monkey" and the "Self": she is so jealous that, in Karin Ek's ingenious costume with a black bandage over her eyes, she shoots her rival.
In this ballet, Mats Ek does not shrink from the bleak or tragic aspects of the story, although the characters seem to have been taken from a sandpit or a children's book: here are both a quick version of the ladder of life its various stages, from birth to maturity and old age and a solo with "Bird", a little girl who suddenly sprouts metre long white hair and dances a last, frenetic dance. Old Children is dedicated to Birgit Cullberg, since when he was deep in work Mats Ek realised that his mother was present in the ballet in various ways, but he insists that it is not a form of illustrated biography. Here, there are not ciphers for the audience to decode, no riddles to solve. The ballet emphasise the often complex relationships of the adult world in a form that is now deliberately naive, now symbolic.

Solo For Two. Mats Ek 1996

CND ARCHIVE REPERTOIRE 90/10. GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS

Solo For Two. Bailarín: Thomas Klein
  • Choreography: Mats Ek
  • Music: Arvo Pärt (Für Alina, For Arinushka, Spiegel im Spiegel)
  • Sets and Costumes: Peder Freiij
  • Light Design: J. Erik O. Berglund
  • Staging: Ana Laguna
  • World premiered by Cullberg Ballet at Ljusdal, Sweden, March 29th 1996. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, October 3rd, 2002.

Originally, and under the title of Smoke, this ballet was created for Swedish Television. Revamped and adapted later for stage, Solo For Two is a melancholic love duet, mysterious and strict, considered one of the most admirable examples of the meeting between classical and contemporary dance. This work, premiered now by CND in Spain, describes de very intense communication between a man and a woman with all its emotional and psychological complexity. Both dancers explore human existence and its contradictions. Solo For Two is also an example of the daring creative style of Mats Ek, combining the use of psychological dilemmas with a very subtle sense of humor. The choreographer considers that movement is the best form of individual expression and refuses to accept the aesthetics as a first priority.

NICOLO FONTE BIOGRAPHY

CND ARCHIVE REPERTOIRE 90/10. GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS

Portrait Nicolo FonteHe was born in New York where he started to dance at 14 years of age. He received grants to study at the Joffrey Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet and the New York City Ballet, finishing and completing his studies in the Suny Purchase University in New York. In 1988 he joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal where he danced works by George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, James Kudelka and Nacho Duato. He became a soloist in 1991 and danced classical and neoclassical ballets.

In 1994 he joined Compañía Nacional de Danza where he has danced many ballets by his artistic director, Nacho Duato, as well as works by other prestigious choreographers of contemporary dance.

Nicolo also has an enormous interest in developing his choreographic side. Les Grands Ballets, La Bande Apart (Montreal) and the Ballet Jorgen (Toronto) have works by him. His ballet Oh, Come On was performed at the Festival International de Nouvelle Danse in 1993. He has also created four ballets for the choreographic.

Child's Play. Nicolo Fonte 1998

CND ARCHIVE REPERTOIRE 90/10. GUEST CHOREOGRAPHERS

Child's Play. Contemporary Dancer Partners
  • Choreography: Nicolo Fonte
  • Music: Ira Mowitz (Kol Aharon)
  • Sets: Nicolo Fonte
  • Costumes: Nicolo Fonte (with the collaboration of Ismael Aznar)
  • Light Design: Miguel Ángel Camacho
  • Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de Madrid, June 5th, 1998
  • At the beginning there was a forest
  • and inside the forest, a clearing
  • and inside the clearing, a cabin
  • and inside the cabin, a mother
  • and inside the mother, a child
  • and inside the child, a mountain.
  • Jeannette Winterson

The metaphor suggested by the above text unmistakably reflects the spirit of Nicolo Fonte's first work for the Compañía Nacional de Danza. Child's Play presents a world full of risk and adventure without end, bursting with energy, a child's world. The scenography and the lighting accentuate that particular point of view, for which attention is constantly being demanded, but if the attention is too great it could turn against the character. Forte also explores the parallelism between the behaviour of children and the feeling of the stage artist. Child's Play music is based on a violin solo and the composer's child's taped voice: the child and his scream, which represents an early personal identity.

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