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Ballet and dance in Spain

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#16 Helene



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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:28 AM

In April Duato did not renew his contract to lead Compania Nacional de Danza. According to this article, which was published in Links on 17 April, "Observers say that Duato has only included contemporary choreography, while the National Institute for the Scenic Arts and Music, INAEM, also wanted to see classical ballet performance."

In yesterday's Links, dirac posted an article about an upcoming CNdD performance in Montreal, for which the Montreal Gazette interviewed Duato. Among the quotes,

"We ended on very bad terms," said Duato, 53, referring to the company administrators in a telephone interview from his home in Madrid on the day after Spain won the World Cup...

"I offered to stay as artistic adviser so they'd continue doing my work, but they said no. They wanted to change completely."

"They're really destroying a company that was really very important."

"I've been having a hard year. There've been many disappointments."

Considering how dismissive he was of the classical ballet company run by Plitsetskaya and its dancers when he took the helm of the Company, replacing them with his own dancers and choreography, it's hard for me to shed tears that it's possible that everything's come full circle.

After years of having the top dancers in Spain leave the country to enrich companies elsewhere, it's also hard not to note that until Angel Corella established his company, The Powers That Be did not start a pizza parlor across the street from the existing one.

#17 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:15 AM

omshanti, what an interesting thought.

Spain has always been -- despite the centralizing efforts of Castille-based monarchy and the Franco dictatorship -- a country of deep and intense regionalism. Some of it is definitely connected to the long Moorish presence, but some of it has developed and defined itself as resistance and in opposition to Moorish influence.

How does this affect ballet? I guess I had always thought of classical ballet as a cultural imposition on Spain from the French-oriented court society, especially after Louis XIV's grandson became King early in the 18th century. This may explain why, in the present, Spanish dance seems to be fragmenting, throwing off classical (imported?) forms, and either returning to folk roots or embracing new, "modern" forms of movement from from other parts of the world.

I hope there are readers more knowledgeable about Spanish dance culture today who might help us out on this!

I've always been curious about Petipa's Spanish period. I read that in 1843 he was offered the position Premier danseur at the King's Theatre in Madrid, where he stayed for three years before leaving for good after being challenged to a duel by the French Marquis de Chateaubriand, whose wife was he having an affair with at the time. What happened to all those works he created...? Carmen et son toréro (Carmen and the Bullfighter), La Perle de Séville (The Pearl of Seville), L’Aventure d’une fille de Madrid (The Adventures of a Madrileña), La Fleur de Grenade (The Flower of Grenada) and Départ pour la course des taureaux (Leaving for the Bull Races). It is hard to believe that he left no balletic trace behind whatsoever.

#18 CarolinaM


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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:12 AM

One has to recognize that the CND got a great recognition worldwide. Duato created very good works and his dancer are very good and committed to him and his way of movement. But it is also true that he always said that he didn’t like the classical ballet and destroyed anything ballet related that could have been in the company he inheritated.

Now, I remember a recent interview of Duato for Dance Europe (I think) when he compared Corella Ballet as a pizza and said that they had had very bad reviews, etc… while in the very same magazine there was a very good review of CB in NY. The interviewer said that the CND also had bad reviews and then he said that he didn’t trust critics much… He was quite pathetic there… :blushing:

Later on at the same speech, he said that Spain had no culture, no tradition about ballet and that the classical Spanish dancers were only virtuosos, nothing else…

I liked the CND very much and found Nacho Duato first works really beautiful, but I do not like the way he has evolved, too dark, without that beauty, joy and musicality of the beginning. Anyway I think it’s a pity he leaves in such a bad terms with everybody.

On the other hand, the aim of the government to convert the CND in a company able to dance also classic, only demonstrate the poor knowledge about dance our responsible for culture have :wallbash:

I think it would had been better to leave the CND as a contemporary company, dancing Duato and also more Ek, Kyllian, etc… and giving more support to Corella for his to be our classical ballet company.

And if one day there is more money for dance, then maybe they could think about creating a National Classical Ballet Company.

But will see how all this evolves :unsure:

#19 innopac


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Posted 17 December 2010 - 01:23 PM

Google Translation:

Jose Carlos Martinez, the new director of the National Dance Company

Rosana Torres / Roger Salas - Madrid - 17/12/2010

. . . José Carlos Martinez has been named today by the Minister of Culture, Ángeles González-Sinde, artistic director of Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND). . .

article in Spanish

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