Without Words

Nacho Duato

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.

  • World premiere by: American Ballet Theater at City Center, New York (USA), October 29th 1998
  • Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza: at Teatro Arriaga, Bilbao (Spain), December 10th 1998
  • Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza 2: at Teatro de Madrid, Madrid (Spain), May 1st 2008

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.


  • Choreography:
    Nacho Duato
  • Music:
    Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
  • Staging:
    Tony Fabre
  • Costume and set design:
    Nacho Duato
  • Lighting Design:
    Brad Fields
  • Costume made by:
    CND wardrobe
  • Running time:
    21 minutes
  • Premiere cast CND1:
    África Guzmán, Sebastien Mari, Yolanda Martín, Thomas Klein, Iratxe Ansa, Kim McCarthy, Cristina Hortigüela, Jesús Pastor
  • Premiere cast CND2:
    Sara Fernández, Quentin Roger, Heejae Choi, Aleix Mañé, Mar Aguiló, Álvaro Prieto, Macarena González, Daan Vervoort