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CND2 Archive. Duato Repertoire 90/10

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    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 It was originally made during a workshop at Nederlands Dans Theater.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.


    Gnawa. Dance Partner
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Hassan Hakmoun/Adam Rudolph (Gift of the Gnawa, “Ma’Bud Allah”); Juan Alberto Arteche and Javier Paxariño (Finis Africae, “Carauari”); Rabih Abou-Khalil, Velez, Kusur y Sarkissian (Nafas, “Window”).
    • Costumes: Luis Devota and Modesto Lomba
    • Lighting Design: Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.)
    • Premiere performance by the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, March 2005. Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at the Teatro Gran Vía, Madrid, the 18th of April 2007.

    In 1992 in his home city of Valencia, Nacho Duato premiered Mediterrania, searching deeper into his roots and those of his forebears, and his sense of complicity with the Mediterranean Sea.

    In Gnawa, premiered by the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, the renowned choreographer has continued along the path he set out on with Mediterrania, seeking to transmit, through the medium of movement, the sensuality of the landscape, the true nature of its peoples. With a suggestive musical score replete with Spanish and North African sounds, Gnawa captivates its audience through its all-encompassing power and its sensual elegance, combining the spirituality and organic rhythm of the Mediterranean.

    Gnawa is the name that receives in Morocco and other parts of the Maghreb the members of different mystic Muslim brotherhoods characterized by their sub-saharan origin and the use of song, dances and syncretic rituals as a mean to reach ecstasy. This term also refers to a musical style of sub-saharian reminiscences practised by these brotherhoods or by musicians inspired by them. It is considered one of the main Moroccan Folklore genres.


    Duende. Pareja de danza en escena
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Claude Debussy : Pastoral, first part from the Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1916). Syrinx, solo for flute (1912/1913). Final, last part from the Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1916). Danse sacrée et danse profane for harp and string orchestra (1904).
    • Sets: Walter Nobbe
    • Costumes: Susan Unger
    • Lighting Design: Nicolás Fischtel
    • World premiere by the Nederlands Dans Theater at the AT&T Danstheater, The Hague, November 21st, 1991.Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza at the Teatro Lírico Nacional La Zarzuela, December 11th, 1992.

    Duato's ‘ideas' for choreography are almost always preceded by his choice of music, which characterises his working method. Maybe this applies to Duende in particular, because the music was the only source of inspiration for this ballet. Long ago, Duato fell in love with Debussy, especially with the way the composer makes nature sound in music. When he listens to this music, Duato visualises shapes, not people, relationships or events. This is why he considers Duende as an almost sculptural work: a body, a movement, that goes with the tune.

    Duende literally means elf or fairy, like the ones who tidy upchildren's toys at night, but it can also mean rascal, a naughty child. One can also possess ‘duende’, when radiating energy and great charm, almost having a magical attraction. In Andalusia flamenco is said to have duende, which can hardly be translated into another language. Flamenco has a touch of spell, one might say, like the way black music has 'soul'.

    At the beginning of the twentieth century Debussy was an unknown composer, and the public was suddenly listening to absolutely different sounds. Strange, beautiful and magical, as they must have been, these sounds have identified his complex cultural roots. Debussy’s music reveals classical and romantic origins, apart from connections with lay music, folk songs, Arab, eastern and slave cultures, and even with jazz.

    Classicism may simply be explained as consecrated to form. In this sense, Romanticism is usually defined as the expression of emotions. However, the relationship between Debussy and these two concepts is not always so simple. Form and emotion are always present in his music, but more as the result of a process of insinuation than one of definition. In one of his rules for composers, Debussy wrote: “Discipline must be looked for in freedom”. This could be considered his first command.

    Debussy is frequently identified with the impressionist artistic movement: but whereas painters like Monet gave great importance to light, Debussy was mainly interested in the quality and effect of sound. Comments of Debussy about Stravinsky were that “he was widening the borders of what is allowed in the empire of sound”, and this could undoubtedly be applied to his own work.


    Cor Perdut. Bailarines: Nacho Duato y Catherine Allard
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: María del Mar Bonet
    • Costumes and Light Design: Nacho Duato
    • World premiered by the Nederlands Dans Theater at the Nederlands Dans Theater, The Hague, April 27th, 1989. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at the Centro Cultural de la Villa, Madrid, June 30th, 1990.

    Cor perdut is a pas de deux inspired by the Catalan version of the song Bir Demet Ysemen by Mª del Mar Bonet. This particular interpretation is based upon a theme with traditional nuances composed by the Armenian M.J. Berberian. “It's no use crying/it’s no use dying/desire is stronger/it goes its own way”, laments the impressive voice of Mª del Mar Bonet. Her hypnotic power over Duato - who created Cor Perdut as a birthday present for the Majorcan singer - is unquestionable, considering that two of the Valencian’s most brilliant choreographies are Jardí Tancat (1983) and Arenal (1988), both to music by this interpreter. To the syncopatic and hypnotic rhythm of the Tunisian percussion instrument, the two dancers bring to life this choreographer’s dynamic corporal and expressive language with the same anxious fluency transmitted by the voice of Mª del Mar Bonet.

    Patricia García Ríos


    Coming Together. Dancer: Catherine Allard
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Frederic Rzewski (Coming Together)
    • Sets and Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Light Design: Nicolás Fischtel
    • World premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, December 23th, 1991.

    The turbulent repetition of musical structures and recited text from Frederic Rzewski’s frantic composition provides the accompaniment and counterpoint to an abstract work by Nacho Duato, who uses his effervescence both to bring us closer to frenzy and hysterics, and as a contrast in his creation of oniric atmospheres. Both phenomena appear alternately as well as simultaneously as could happen with the rhythms and sensations of a big city.

    The result, of an obvious contemporary style, forces the spectator to focus his attention on the multiple changes of the choreographic process as well as on the system and structure of steps, rather than on the ordinary descriptive and narrative elements.

    Frederic Rzewski’s piece entitled Coming Together and Attica, written for narrator and instruments, to be performed ad libitum in two parts, is of crucial importance in the history of repetitive music and not only because of its obvious influence on later pieces. Here the repetitive techniques and structuring are not an end in themselves, but the means of creating a coherent musical, dramatic world. While this piece, just like Rzewski’s other works, makes use of improvisation and repetition, it is also a committed work both in the social and the political sense. Rzewski managed to combine the political, ideological meaning of the text and the musical structure into a homogeneous whole by means of an original “minimal” idea.

    The eight sentences from a letter by Sam Melville (a political prisoner killed in the 1971 Attica prison riots) are first narrated in an additive then in a deductive progression. The title of the piece is a reference to a sentence of the letter and to the technique of musical improvisation.


    • Dancer partnerChoreography: 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 Lighting Design: Edward Effron
    • World premiere by the Nederlands Dans Theater at the Muziektheatre, Amsterdam on January 26, 1988. Premiere by the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at Teatro El Bosque in Móstoles, Spain, on February 7, 2004.

    Arenal was choreographed by Nacho Duato, inspired by the songs of María del Mar Bonet. In this ballet, the choreographer’s purpose is to show the uninhibited cheerfulness of the Mediterranean personality contrasting with the everyday struggle of life.

    Duato makes this contrast very obvious. On one hand, there is the dancing of a group of men and women motivated by the pure joy 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 female dancer stands apart, dancing alone to four songs which are performed a capella. These songs are 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 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 Arenal as an extension of his first work, Jardí Tancat. “It is more vital, more lively, more faithful to the inner rhythm of the songs themselves, without abandoning the worlds of people and of work”.


    Alone, for a second. Bailarina en escena
    • 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, 9th September, 1993. Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at Teatro de la Maestranza, Seville, 14th November, 2002.

    In Alone for a Second, Nacho Duato consciously breaks down 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.


    Kol NIdre. Pareja de danza en escena
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: John Tavener, Arvo Pärt and John Zorn
    • Scenography and Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Lighting Design: Joop Caboort
    • Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at the Teatro de Madrid, on 22nd January 2009.

    Kol Nidre is the name of the declaration recited in the synagogue, prior to commencement of the evening service of Yom Kippur. Its name is taken from the initial letters of the declaration and it is a time to reflect and forgive.

    These are the building blocks taken by Duato in his new creation for the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2. It is a more introspective, spiritual work that reflects on the situation of the youngest during armed conflict: those known as “war children”.


    L'Amoroso. Dance partner
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Venetian & Neapolitan music (XVI and XVII centuries)
    • Sets: Walter Nobbe
    • Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Light design: Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.)
    • World premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at Teatro de Madrid on May 21, 2004.

    L’Amoroso is Nacho Duato’s first piece created expressly for the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2.

    The choreographer uses a selection of concerts of viola da gamba from the Italian baroque. The soft, artful music and the freshness and youth of the dancers inspire Duato to create a dynamic and vital atmosphere on stage.


    Na Floresta. Dancer: Marina Jiménez
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Heitor Villa-Lobos/Wagner Tisso
    • Scenery: Walter Nobbe
    • Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Light Design: Nicolás Fischtel
    • World premiered by the Netherlands Dans Theater 2 at the AT&T Danstheater in Den Hague, 15th February, 1990. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at the Teatro del Generalife, in Granada, 24th June, 1993.

    Na Floresta a magnificent triptych praising the beauty of the Amazonian rain forest, draws the very essence of its splendour from folklore. A passionate energy circulates within this work made up of sequences full of both substance and fluidity. Its success at its 1990 premiere was phenomenal. A plotless work to Villa-Lobos music intended to communicate an intimacy and a feeling for nature that is greater than our contact with other beings. "Nacho Duato has that rare quality that consists of being able to express things through the voices of simplicity, restraint and circumspection when it comes to expressing emotion".


    Rassemblement. Dancer: Randy Castillo
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Toto Bissainthe (Rasambléman)
    • Sets: Walter Nobbe
    • Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Light Design: Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.) according to the original design by Dick Limdsctröm.
    • Staging: Lena Wennergren Juras
    • World premiere by Cullberg Ballet at Hjalmar Bergman Theater, Orebro, Sweden, February 27th, 1990. Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, December 13th, 1991.

    This time Duato has turned to Haiti and the music of Toto Bissainthe, with drive and sway. It has inspired Duato in the crisp, clear-cut style of Jardí Tancat. Four couples, in shades of grey working clothes, start calmly and build upto an arresting finish, with the word “liberté” repeated in the song.

    Rassemblement is a creation which gradually, through the liberating powers of music and dance, proves to be an impressive, thrilling and audience affecting appeal for human rights. These songs are mostly slaves’ songs from the Voodoo cult. They express the daily life of the slaves, their longing for Africa, not as a geographical reality, but as a mythical land of freedom. They express their resistance and their refusal: resistance to the colonist, rejection of his politics, his religion, his culture and his language.

    During the history of Haiti, the face of the master has often changed. Capitalism, developing in Haiti, has transformed the sense of Voodoo. The ethnographer came first, and then the tourist for whom folklore was produced with revived exotic excitement. Voodoo, which for the poor exploited peasants, had been a celebration of the African roots of their increasingly more unbearable way of life, became a “religion”, one of the tools of power.

    The birth of Voodoo in a land of exile, the first common language among slaves of different ethnic backgrounds, was a vital creative moment, a cultural unification which was to transform the world: an opening for the confined. That is the moment we sing about. Using the traditional music of Haiti we meet with other musical forms to open a way towards a contemporary music that knows no frontiers.

    Toto Bissainthe

    Remansos. One dancer
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Enrique Granados
    • Sets and Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Lighting: Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.) (Danza Oriental, Minueto, Danza Villanesca),
    • Brad Fields (Valses Poéticos)
    • First staged by the American Ballet Theater at the City Center of New York on November 5th 1997. Staged by the National Dance Company at the Theatre of Madrid, June 5th 1998.

    Remansos, on the Poetic Waltzes of Granados, first staged in New York by the American Ballet Theater in November 1997, received the greatest praise from the specialist critics. Expressive strength, geometric lines, dynamic use of space and forms, were some of the remarks on the work by Duato. On the basis of that first version, the choreographer lengthened the work for Compañía Nacional de Danza, choreographing three of the most beautiful popular dances by the composer on this occasion to create this Remansos.

    Set to the piano music by Enrique Granados and inspired by the world of Lorca, Remansos is an outpouring of ingenuity, continually flirting with the audience in its perspicacious movement.

    Enrique Granados was born in Lérida on 27th July 1867. He studied piano in Barcelona and Paris. Throughout his life he was a composer, teacher and soloist. His works are mainly for the piano and vocal music. Even his earliest works show a new trend in Spanish music. Inclined toward popular tastes, all his music is of an exceptional quality and has an original style. Granados died young. The ship he was travelling in was torpedoed by a German submarine and sank. Although he managed to reach a lifeboat, he saw his wife drowning and jumped back into the sea: they both died.


    Sinfonía India. Dancers group
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Carlos Chávez (Sinfonía India, 1936)
    • Sets: Walter Nobbe
    • Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Light Design: Nicolás Fischtel
    • World premiered by Nederlands Dans Theater at Circus Theater in Scheveningen, 7th June, 1984. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, 8th October, 1987.

    Sinfonía India is composed upon the play equally titled by the Mexican music composer Carlos Chávez, who had premiered it in 1936, conducting the Columbia Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, in New York. Although Chávez, who passed away in 1978 at 79 years of age, belonged to the nacionalist school, he rarely used Mexican folklore elements in his compositions. Nevertheless, Sinfonía India, shows an exceptional display of autochthonous sounds especially in the field of percussion, originally written by Chávez for a group of Indian primitive instruments. The choreograph has maintained the folklore origins which inspired the musical score and has poured them into his ballet, neither in the structure nor in the movement, but in the generating idea of the work and more evidently in the scenography and costumes. "The ballet contains a reference to the ritual dance of of the Mexican indians - Duato explains-, in which a person was sacrificed and his heart was offered to the Sun. This reference appears in the ballet as something symbolic, abstract, as although movements shows an archaic air, the style is absolutely contemporary".


    Uccelli. Stage picture
    • Choreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Ottorino Respighi
    • Set design: Tom Schenk
    • Costumes: Tom Schenk
    • Lighting Design: Joop Caboort
    • Premiered by the Nederland Dans Theater II at the Muziektheater, Amsterdam, on the 21st of November 1985. Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at the Teatro de Madrid, on the 25th of May 2000.

    Uccelli was inspired by the musically colourful piece Gli Uccelli by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, in five parts: the Prelude, The Dove, The Hen, The Nightingale and The Cuckoo.

    This was one of Nacho Duato’s first pieces of work as a choreographer and was created for the Nederland Dans Theater II. Duato and the dancers from the Dutch company had just visited the zoo to observe the birds there. Nevertheless, Uccelli is in no way a study of the movements and behaviour of birds but rather looks at people who try to imitate them. The piece speaks of a group of dancers that find themselves by chance in a tailor's cutting room, where they discover a sack full of old clothes and start to dance, dressed in worn out tutus and ridiculous dinner jackets.

    This is a flighty, fast and playful ballet with plenty of variation. Some parts are decidedly poetic, whilst others are fleeting and angular. The movement in the piece is often inspired by the behaviour of birds: the way that chickens scratch in the dirt, the graceful flight of a nightingale, the fluttering of doves and the typical movements of a cuckoo.


    Synaphai. Dance partner
    • Choreography: Amaury Lebrun
    • Music: Einstürzende Neubauten, Anouar Brahem, Ossur Johanessen, John Zorn, Melancholy Accordion, 16 Horsepower
    • Sets and costumes: Amaury Lebrun
    • Lighting Design: David Pérez
    • Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 at Teatro de Madrid, on 4th February 2010

    Ewes means water in Langue d’oil, an old French language.

    The work arose “from a need to reflect on our world and its future. Water as life, flowing, grandness, strength, joy, purity …, but also as drought, luxury, sweat …”. Scarcity of water affects all continents and more than 40 per cent of the population on the planet. In the not too distant future, two thirds of the world population could find itself faced with a shortage of this liquid element.

    If we do not have water, if it does not rain … Would water prices rise? Would it become such a luxury as champagne? What could one offer a thirsty person if there is no water?.


    • Without Words. Dance PartnersChoreography: Nacho Duato
    • Music: Franz Schubert
    • Sets and Costumes: Nacho Duato
    • Light Design: Brad Fields (based on the original idea of Nacho Duato)
    • Premiered by American Ballet Theater at City Center in New York, October 29th, 1998. Premiered by Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, December 9th, 1998.

    Without Words is Nacho Duato’s second work for the prestigious American Ballet Theater company. The title refers to Schubert’s songs scores, which are instrumental music, music without words. Mischa Malsky transcribed for cello the composition’s voices in a recording in which the pianist Daria Hovora also participated. As in the songs, the choreographer strips the dancing of any evident romantic atmosphere. Love and death appear as the central subjects derived from the music, but through Duato the work is presented with a contemporary contribution to the 19th century's obsession, so present in Schubert’s creations. A new world, with all its possibilities, is revealed in a dark existential scenographic space typical of the 20th century. Duato shows a universal vital cycle in all its spontaneity, free of unnecessary alignments and ornaments.

  • 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".


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