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CND2 - Jardí Tancat. Nacho Duato


Jardí Tancat. Bailarines: Catherine Allard y  Patrick de Bana
  • Choreography: Nacho Duato
  • Music: María del Mar Bonet
  • Set and Costumes: Nacho Duato
  • Light Design: Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.) (according to the original design by Joop Caboort)
  • World premiered by the Nederlands Dans Theater 2 in Hoorn, December 19th, 1983. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro Albéniz, Madrid, April 3rd, 1992.

Jardí Tancat was Nacho Duato´s first choreography. It was originally made during a workshop at Nederlands Dans Theater. Jardí tancat - Catalonian for Closed Garden - is a collection of folk songs, based on ancient Spanish folk tales. In these songs, the Spaniards direct a supplication to God.

Choreographer Nacho Duato has portrayed this appeal in the powerful movements of three couples, who are occupied with the sowing, planting and threshing of the barren Catalonian land. They grieve about the lack of rain but try to keep high spirits in spite of this. Desperately but proudly they continue with their work, which is translated into a dynamic and expressive, yet wonderfully naive piece of dance.


Nacho Duato portrait

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 Theater 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/Segio Caballero, 2007), "O domina nostra“ (Henryk Górecki, 2008) and "Cobalto“ (Pedro Alcalde/Segio 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“ (Serge 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 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 1st 2011. 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".

His newest production "Depakine“ was created for the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2014. 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 Bolschoi 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 Theater 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.

Since 2014 to 2018, Nacho Duato became Artistic Director of the Staatsballett Berlin. After staging his choreographies "Sleeping Beauty", "Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness", "White Darkness", "Herrumbre", "Castrati" and a new piece called "Static Time", he presented “The Nutcracker".

CND2 - Concierto Madrigal. Nacho Duato


Concierto Madrigal. Dance partner
  • Choreography: Nacho Duato
  • Music: Joaquín Rodrigo
  • Sets: Walter Nobbe
  • Costumes: Nacho Duato Light Desing: Edward Effron
  • World premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at the Teatro Romea, Murcia, October 6, 1990.

Concierto Madrigal was the first choreography created by Nacho Duato for Compañía Nacional de Danza. The music used for this ballet is the Concierto Madrigal for two guitars and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. This composition has inspired Nacho Duato to make a choreographic illustration of eight of the ten short movements of which the concerto consists. As a matter of fact, Duato has followed the concerto's musical guideline to reflect, with eight pairs of dancers -distributed in pas de deux, pas de trois, solo, pas de six ..., a succession of splendid scenes within an intimist context. The dominating atmosphere of the choreography suggests landscapes which are typically Spanish. On his part, Joaquín Rodrigo has based his work on an anonymous Spanish madrigal dating back to the Renaissance period, titled Felices ojos míos.

The composer has made the following comment on his work: "This concerto has freed itself of the classical melodic architectures and, the established dialogue and the concerto style adopted in its composition notwithstanding, it resembles more a suite, even though the supporting element is the variation. Each of the variations or episodes are described by their respective titles, which give a score is characterized by a delicate poetical sketch. Occasionally, and due to the theme's origin, the episodes are of a modal or archaic nature; in other episodes, the melody acting as a filament all through the work is inundated by a more popular feeling". Nacho Duato's interest and tendency to use his roots is a constantly recurring feature of his work. The music, the popular feeling, the colour of the land, are values employed by Duato to establish, in his own style, a mutual relationship between all the elements, where the movement merges with the environment that has been created. In Concierto Madrigal, far from basing himself on a specific line of argument, Nacho Duato has let himself become envelopped by the colour of nature, allowing us to discover a poetical feeling: the song of the people.



    • Auditions. Jardín Infinito. Nacho Duato

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    • Texts: CND