"Return. Change. Aspire. Roots. Homeland. Spain. Friends. Memories. Moving. Pride. Ambassador. Effort. Work. Projects. Challenges. Ideas. Longing. Reciprocate. Contribute. Thoroughness. Quality. Dreams. Drive. Emotion. Respect. Responsibility. Zest. Come back. Home."
- Joaquín De Luz
He started his ballet studies at the Víctor Ullate school of ballet. In 1992, he joined Ullate’s dance company, where he remained for three years. During his time there, he performed choreographies by Ullate, Duardo Lao, Nils Christie, Hans van Manen, Maurice Bejart, Rudy van Dancing, Misha van Hoeke and George Balanchine. In 1995, he joined the Ballet Mediterráneo at the request of Fernando Bujones.
In September 1996, Pennsylvania Ballet invited him to join the company as soloist. There, he performed leading roles in classics such as Diana and Actaeon, Coppelia and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as pieces by Lynne Taylor-Corbette, Hans van Manen and Matthew Neenan, not to mention George Balanchine’s, Nutcraker, Tarantella and Who Cares.
In December 1997, he joined the corps de ballet at New York’s American Ballet Theatre (ABT) becoming soloist a year later. During his seven years at ABT, he performed key parts, such as The Bronze Idol and Solor in La Bayadère (Natalia Makarova, after Marius Petipa), Red Cowboy in Billy the Kid, Champion Roper in Rodeo (A. Demille), Blue Boy in Le Patineurs (Ashton), first sailor in Fancy Free (Jerome Robbins), Birbanto in Le Corsaire (A. M. Holmes), Turning Boy in Etudes (H. Lander), Yellow Couple in Diversions of Angels and Benno in Swan Lake (Kevin McKenzie, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov). He also danced in Clear (Stanton Welch), Black Tuesday (Paul Taylor), Symphonieta, Stepping Stones (J. Kylián) Known by Heart (T. Tharp), Smile with my Heart (Lar Lubobitch), Gong (Mark Morris), Sin and Tonic (James Kudelka), Spring and Fall (John Neumier) Gaite Parisienne (L. Massine) (M. Graham), La Fille mal Gardee and Midsummernight’s Dream (Ashton), Variations for Four (A. Dolin), Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (Clark Tippet) and Symphony in C, Theme and Variations (George Balanchine).
In 2003, he jumped aboard New York City Ballet as soloist to become principal dancer two years later, in 2005. With that company, his experience includes dancing at New York’s Lincoln Center as well as many other of the world’s most emblematic theatres. With NYC Ballet he interpreted some of dance history’s most important parts and roles. That includes many Balanchine pieces, such as: Ballo della Regina, Coppelia, the Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée’, Donizetti Variations, The Nutcracker, Harlequinade (Harlequin, Pierrot), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Rubies from Jewels, La Source, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Theme and Variations, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Union Jack, Valse-Fantaisie, Vienna Waltzes and Sonatine. He also danced many Peter Martins choreographies, such as Fearful Symmetries, A Fool for You, Jeu de Cartes, The Magic Flute, Naïve and Sentimental Music, Octet, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Todos Buenos Aires and Zakousky. Similarly, he performed many Jerome Robbins pieces, including Andantino, Brandenburg, The Concert, Dances at a Gathering, Dybbuk, Fancy Free, Four Bagatelles, Interplay, The Four Seasons, The Goldberg Variations, Other Dances and Piano Pieces.
Other performances include Makin’ Whoopee, from Double Feature, by Broadway’s star choreographer, Susan Stroman, and Mercurial Manouvers, by Cristopher Wheeldon.
Some of the roles created for him include: Slice to Sharp, by Jorma Elo; Bal de Couture and Romeo & Juliet, by Peter Martins; Outlier, by Wayne McGregor; Year of the Rabbit, by Justin Peck; Concerto DSCH and Odessa, by Alexei Ratmansky and DGV—Danse à Grande Vitesse and Shambards, by C. Wheeldon.
Joaquín De Luz has appeared as guest artist with numerous international companies, such as Compañía Nacional de Danza de España (CND), American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Stanivslasky Theatre in Moscú, Ballet del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, among others.
His many performances in international galas and special events include: Stars of the 21st Century, in París and New York; Intensio, José Carreño and Friends and The World of Diana Vishneva, in Tokio; Tribute to Nureyev in Rome. Additionally, he has appeared in a number of festivals, including the Ravel, Spoletto, Perelada, Santander, Madrid, Vail, Atenas and Miami festivals.
He represented Spain in the Lisbon Expo of 1998 and formed part of the tour Kings of Dance 2007-2011, touring across Russia and USA, to great critical acclaim.
Indeed, his career has received widespread acclaim and recognition, including prizes such as: the Gold Medal in Nureyev international contest in Budapest, 2006; the best male dancer prize in the Benois de la Danse in Moscow, 2009; the Madrid Region Culture Prize, 2010, and the Premio Nacional de Danza (Spain) for interpretation, 2016.
He has taken part in a range of TV appearances and events in USA, including: the Freixenet Christmas campaign 1999–2000; the NBC’s Today Show and Live from The Lincoln Center, on PBS. He also performed in Romeo and Juliette and The Nutcracker, with the latter being broadcast to over 600 cinemas across USA. Similarly, he danced in recorded performances of Le Corsaire with both the ABT and NYC Ballet in Paris.
Since 2008, he has worked as artistic director at the Estrellas ballet company in New York, with whom he has carried out tours in Europe, Asia, USA and South Africa.
In May 2013, he debuted in the main role of the Broadway show On your Toes, New York, to great critical acclaim.
In 2017, he was commissioned as artistic director for the Menorca Danse Gala.
Since 2018, he has combined his roles as choreographer and artistic director with that of teacher and is under high demand to give courses and master classes at a wide range of institutions internationally. Currently, he is giving classes at the School of American Ballet in New York, at both the ABT’s JKO school and its Studio Company, at the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet in Los Angeles and at Philadelphia’s Rock School.
On 28 March 2019, Spain’s INAEM, Ministry of Culture and central government jointly announced his appointment, as of September 2019, as director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND), succeeding José Carlos Martínez.
Pictures: Sergio de Luz