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Home Culture Alicante welcomes Nacho Duato’s new dance company standing (and with a long ovation) | Culture

Alicante welcomes Nacho Duato’s new dance company standing (and with a long ovation) | Culture

by News Room
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This Wednesday, Alicante’s Principal Theater hosted the world premiere of a new dance company founded by Nacho Duato (Valencia, 67 years old). Hours before the event, the prestigious choreographer, current director of the ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg and before that of the Staatsballett of Berlin and the Spanish National Dance Company, told this newspaper by telephone that premiering in this city and in this theater has It was the result of chance: “However, as I am from the Mediterranean and have lived in Alicante, I am happy and I can’t think of a better place.”

Duato sounded happy and close, and his joy would last until the end of the evening, when, excited, he came out to greet the performers and received a standing ovation from a standing theater. The show, which premiered with sold out tickets and a long queue that went around the venue, had just ended and left a couple of ideas in the air: that Nacho Duato continues to be a creator expected by the public and that this young company, which was born with a packed agenda of performances until the end of the year, seems to have more than notable success awaiting it.

The creator and director has named it CND, Compañía Nacho Duato, and the acronym coincides with those of the National Dance Company, a group attached to the National Institute of Performing Arts (Inaem) of the Ministry of Culture, which he directed for 20 years. (from 1990 to 2010). “It was funny to call this new company that and I didn’t think about it,” he says. “I think the ministry is a little upset, but I changed the name of that company when I started managing it and I also registered it for 400 euros.” Until Duato took the reins, the state collective founded in 1979 was called the National Classical Ballet. A spokesperson for the current Inaem team has assured this newspaper that there is no concern in the ministry about this issue: “The identity of the National Dance Company is very clear and we do not believe that there will be any confusion between the two groups. Beyond that, we do not make assessments on private company names.”

A moment from ‘Duende’, by Nacho Duato’s company.Fernando Marcos

For the premiere of this CND in Alicante, the choreographer has chosen three of his first works: Enclosed garden (1983), Elf (1991) y In the forest (1990). In that order. And this structure works harmoniously due to the states and rhythms that the three choreographies go through: of the poetic melancholy and calm of Enclosed Garden to the dynamism and intrepid play of Elfto finish with the mixture of all this in In the forest. With this same program the group will perform in the coming months in Tenerife, Burgos, the Sagunt a Escena festival and Cantabria. And already in November, at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, a moment that will undoubtedly be emotional because most of Duato’s works were premiered in this coliseum when he was director of the National Dance Company.

The dancers are very young students from the Nacho Duato Academy (a training center created by the choreographer together with former dancers from the National Dance Company) who are stepping on stage for the first time. “I want to do something similar to what the National Dance Company 2 that I founded was. Give first opportunities and encourage the breadth of dance. Every two years the cast will be changed and those who leave will be able to access auditions for large international companies without much problem,” explains the choreographer.

A 'Enclosed Garden' moment.
A ‘Enclosed Garden’ moment.Fernando Marcos

Precisely, this youth and inexperience of the dancers became somewhat evident in the first minutes of Enclosed garden. They seemed nervous, somewhat insecure. Nothing serious or strange, on the other hand and given the profile of the premiere. The cadence of this choreography requires greater amplitude in the dance and a deeper and more extensive interpretation in the body, which the dancers did not achieve. However, perhaps because of the course of the evening that made them gain confidence or because of the more energetic vocabulary of the other two choreographies, the cast of this CND became more forceful until resulting in a convincing and decisive package that never ceases to be surprising by how young they are. The music of Maria del Mar Bonet on sung centuries-old texts, which refer to the work of the fields and the sea, is key in Enclosed gardenas music always is in the choreographer’s works, often a source of inspiration.

They arrived later Elfwith music by Debussy, and In the forest, with a soundtrack by Heitor Villa-Lobos and the Brazilian Wagner Tiso; and with them the explosion, the game and the interpretive power. The dancers took over the works and it was clear that Duato has always been a master composing pas de deux and managing, choreographically, the dance and spatial possibilities of the dancers. The Valencian has always been a creator of a very rich vocabulary. Also very much his own, with a strong identity. And to see again these choreographies that belong to his youngest, brightest and luminary stage (still under the influence of the Nederlands Dans Theater, where he established himself as a dancer and creator) is to see that the passage of time has ended up turning them into classics of the recent history of dance.

'In the forest', by Nacho Duato.
‘In the forest’, by Nacho Duato.Fernando Marcos

In some ways, it was an evening that concentrated past and future. The memory of that National Dance Company that Duato placed at the highest levels internationally during the two decades that he directed it, a milestone that has not been achieved again in such an overwhelming way (due to lack of time or lack of a line clear in those who directed it later); and a new life for those choreographies performed by renewed and young casts.

Currently, Inaem has opened the process of presenting projects to direct the National Dance Company after not renewing Joaquín de Luz’s contract. Asked about this, Duato is clear when it comes to sharing what he considers good management in the state company must have: “It is important that he is a good choreographer and has a track record to be able to give an identity to the company, with his works or with others. May he understand the meaning of creating. And have contacts with the best theaters and companies in the world.” And will more of your works be seen soon at the National Dance Company? “I will be happy to premiere new choreographies if they call me.”

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