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Ballet in Spain


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Lovebird

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 12:03 PM

I would like to know what opinions people have of the ballet in spain. To me it is remarkable that a country with almost no classical trdition has stars like Angel Corella and Lucia Lacarra.Also, what about the Victor Ullate ballet ? It is a major part of the current ballet boom in Spain.I find it surprising that there isnt a major company in Spain yet since there is obviously so much talent.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 12:49 PM

It is amazing. It's often said that Spain has no classical ballet tradition because it has such a richly developed classical tradition of its own. But that also means that dancing is respected there, and children grow up dancing, so there's a huge "talent pool" for a ballet company to draw on.

I'm going to move this topic to Anything Goes for ease of finding later. (We have forums dedicated to different things, like aisles in the supermarket, for ease of finding. Recent performances is generally for reviews or comments on performances people have just seen.)

#3 colwill

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 02:24 PM

This is going back some time, but on the 18 July 1991 I watched a performance by the Ballet National de Espana at the London Coliseum. This was a stunning performance and featured pure ballet and flamenco style dancing (not the usual heal stamping flamenco for want of a better description). I have scanned the press for further performances but have heard nothing of the company since. I wonder if other members have seen or know any more details of this outstanding company.

#4 Helena

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 02:51 PM

Tamara Rojo, who is becoming a big star with the Royal Ballet, is also Spanish.

#5 Terry

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 06:37 PM

Some big stars who are Spanish:

Jose Martinez (Paris Opera Ballet)
Lucia Lacarra (San Francisco Ballet)
Angel Corella (American Ballet Theater)
Tamara Rojo (Royal Ballet)

Others who are not quite as famous as the dancers listed above, but are extremely talented:

Joaquin De Luz (ABT)
Gonzalo Garcia (SFB)
Clara Blanco (SFB)
Antonio Carmena (NYCB)
Victor Alvarez (RB)

Have I forgotten anyone else?

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 07:08 PM

I can't add any, Terry, and thanks for posting that list, but I've been told in the past by someone who covers the Paris Opera that Jose Martinez is French; Spanish heritage (I don't know how far back), but born in France.

#7 Lovebird

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 10:09 AM

Jose Martinez was born in Cartagena, Spain. In an interview with he that when he arrived in France he spoke almost no french, so I doubt that he has any french heritage.

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 12:02 PM

I'll take your word for it, then :) My friend's source was an interview he did with another Paris Opera dancer (not Martinez). I think it was just a question asked in passing, about whether or not there were any foreigners in the company.

#9 Natalia

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 01:33 PM

Just a couple of thoughts on this theme:

(1) I've always found it incredible that there is a huge audience for classical theatrical ballet in the former colonies of Spain & Portugal (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, etc.), yet seemingly little interest in the Mother Lands. The Spanish public is far more interested in lyric theater (zarzuelas or operas) or in folk-based dance (flamenco, etc.), than it is in the art of ballet, although that is hopefully changing with the recent plethora of young talent from their shores. This is a bit similar to Italy's overwhelming interest in opera, at the expense of ballet, with the big exception that the Italian Ballet School (style) was once a leader of the art.

(2) Spain has unwittingly played a major role in the development of classical ballet - through the influence of Spanish folk dance and port-de-bras in the compositions of Romantic-era Paris Opera Ballet choreographers and, later, Marius Petipa in Russia. I am referring the general incorporation of Spanish inflections in port-de-bras, leg positions, etc...not just the obvious Spanish-themed ballets (PAQUITA, DON Q, etc).

Ballet, as we know it today, owes a lot to Spain.

[ 05-25-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

#10 Lovebird

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 09:27 PM

It is true,Jeannie,that if it werent for Spain ballet would have lost its most favorite theme.Imagine! No Don Q.,Paquita!But I must disagree when you say that ballet is paid no attention to in Spain.Spaniards are enthusiastic balletomanes and are very respectful of this profession.

#11 Terry

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 10:20 PM

Lovebird, do you know if there are any plans to establish a national ballet company with a more classical ballet-based repertory? Or are there some companies like that already? The ones that I'm a little familiar with, including the National Dance Company and Ullate's Company seem to be mostly contemporary ballet companies. If one thinks of a national company in Spain that had all the stars and dancers that I've listed above -- it would definitely be one of the best companies in the world!!

#12 Lovebird

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Posted 26 May 2001 - 11:56 AM

Terry:
Almost all of the dancers listed above have all said in their respective interviews that after their retirement from the stage they would like to direct and found a company in their homeland strictly for classical ballet.Right now,though,their is no such goings-on in spain.I know that Alicia Alonso has also made efforts toward this cause.Ullate has recently introduced many classical ballets in the repertoire and his company is the closest thing to a classical ballet company right now.Another company is the Zaragoza ballet.

#13 Estelle

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Posted 28 May 2001 - 10:42 AM

Originally posted by alexandra: I'll take your word for it,
then  :)  My friend's source was an interview he did with another Paris
Opera dancer (not Martinez). I think it was just a question asked in
passing, about whether or not there were any foreigners in the
company.


As Lovebird, I've read that Jose Martinez was born
and raised in Spain (and he still has a light Spanish accent), he came to
France to study at Rosella Hightower's school in Cannes. He might have
acquired the French nationality since then, I don't know (I don't think
that there are conditions of nationality to dance with the POB, as there
has already been principals from many countries: Marjorie Tallchief,
Flemming Flindt, etc.)

I often read "Ballet 2000", which is the French version of the Italian magazine "Balletto Oggi". It also has a Spanish
version (also called "Ballet 2000") and so often includes some articles
about Spain (and some of its reviewers are Spanish). But most of the
articles about Spain deal with either Spanish ballet dancers dancing with
foreign companies, or non-ballet dance (modern, flamenco...), or
non-Spanish companies touring to Spain.

The most active Spanish companies
seem to be the Compania Nacional de Danza and Victor Ullate's company. The
Compania Nacional de Danza is directed by Nacho Duato, and its repertory
includes mostly works by Duato himself, Kylian, and a few other choreographers (Ek, Van Manen...). Before Duato's arrival, it had been directed by Maia Plisetskaya for a short while, but it doesn't seem to
have been successful. As Lovebird wrote, Ullate's company has included
some classical ballets in its repertory recently. I've seen them once in
Lyon a few years ago, and while I liked the dancers, I really didn't care
for their repertory (three Ullate works which focused only on virtuosity
and speed).

Terry, she's not very active now, but I'd add Trinidad Sevillano to your list. Some other names I remember are Amaya Iglesias and
Arantxa Arguelles.

It seems that many of the Spanish ballet dancers who
have became famous recently (Lacarra, Corella...) come from Ullate's
school. Also I remember reading that a very famous Spanish ballet teacher
was Maria de Avila had trained most Spanish ballet dancers (including Ullate himself).

#14 Lovebird

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Posted 28 May 2001 - 11:42 AM

Estelle,Arantxa Arguelles is a wonderful dancer.She directed the Zaragoza Ballet a few years ago.She and Trinidad Sevillano belong to a different generation of spanish dancers than Lacarra and Rojo.I don't know why the Zaragoza ballet is'nt as famous as Ullate's it has a more classical repertory and its dancers are good.

#15 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 28 May 2001 - 02:42 PM

however trinidad sevillano is only 32 years old. isn't rojo 26 or 27? the difference isn't that great, but sometimes it seems as though someone ought to be older because one's heard about them for so long!


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