Category Archives: Dance

90 years with Martha Graham

The Company that dancer and choreographer Martha Graham established 90 years ago celebrates its anniversary on the stage of Madrid’s Teatro Real. The Martha Graham Dance Company presents two programmes that feature some of this American choreographer’s most celebrated pieces, along with later additions to the group’s repertoire by contemporary choreographers. Graham, one of the pioneers of Modern Dance, left a choreographic heritage that, together with her teaching method, constitutes one of the 20th century’s most significant legacies; her work, deep and utterly striking, showcased unmistakable costume aesthetics and staging and represented a significant step forward in the creation of stage dancing that has had fundamental consequences in modern-day dance.

From the 8th to the 11th of June, Madrid’s public will be able to enjoy a few historic pieces from her repertoire including ChronicleDiversion of AngelsCave of the Heart or Maple Leaf Rag; and even a recreation of Ekstasis, a solo created by Graham over music by Catalan composer Ramón Humet, which had lain forgotten since 1933; the piece, recently brought to life by Virginie Mécène, represented a moment of inflection in the choreographer’s research of torsion, spiral and contraction work that her technique centres around. The public in Madrid will also have a chance to see Act II of her renowned masterwork Clytemnestra, one of the most celebrated of her Greek tragedy-inspired creations. The two programmes offered in Madrid by the MGDC also include Rust, by Nacho Duato, Mosaic, by Sidi Larbi Cheraoui and Woodland, by Pontus Lidberg.

Madrid’s Teatro Real dance season, with the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, closes after showcasing numerous high-quality programmes that have allowed the public to enjoy eclectic and international dance.

More information in www.teatro-real.com and at the theatre’s ticket office..

Photos: PeiJu Chien-Pott in Chronicle, Ben Schultz in Cave of the Heart and Xi Ying in Clytemnestra © Hibbard Nash Photography.

An Evening with Forsythe

Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza has just presented “An Evening with Forsythe” –a new programme dedicated to this renowned American choreographer– at Cantabria’s Palacio de Festivales and Madrid’s Teatro Real. The Vertiginous Thrill of ExactitudeArtifact Suite and Enemy in the Figure are the three pieces that the CND’s Director, José Carlos Martínez, chose to showcase the company’s eclecticism.

Coinciding with this premiere, and thanks to the support that the LOEWE Foundation provides, a new edition of the CND’s Educational Booklets is in the hands of those readers interested in acquiring a deeper understanding of Forsythe’s work and his ties to the CND; the company has, throughout the years, presented eight of the choreographer’s works, thus covering an incredibly wide range of pieces and styles. Forsythe uses an academic and classical technique to create very contemporary pieces with George Balanchine and Rudolf von Laban as the most important sources of inspiration. The three ballets that make up “An Evening with Forsythe” are incredibly demanding in terms of execution and staging and have meant a new challenge for the CND.

The William Forsythe Educational Booklet, which is available in two versions –one for younger readers and one for adults- focuses primarily on those Forsythe choreographies most recently performed by the Company and includes statements from the artistic directors in charge of their staging explaining how Forsythe works, how a dancer might handle the performance of these choreographies, and what it means to be responsible for transmitting this heritage to the newer generations. Elna Matamoros –Advisor to the LOEWE FOUNDATION and Ballet Master at the CND– is the author of the texts and the person in charge of choosing the accompanying images. The CND’s Educational Booklets are distributed free of charge during the company’s open rehearsals and can also be downloaded from the CND’s website or by clicking on the following links.

William Forsythe. CND Educational Booklets.

William Forsythe for younger readers. CND Educational Booklets.

Until 30th April 2017. More information at www.teatro-real.com and the theatre’s ticket office.

Photo Captions: Kayoko Everhart and Jean Philippe Dury inArtifact II © Jesús Vallinas for the CND, 2013. Cover design by William Forsythe. CND Educational Booklets. © Anabel Poveda for the CND, 2017. Helena Balla inThe Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude © Jesús Vallinas for the CND, 2016.

Aprendanza 2016: Dance & Education

This past October, and for the third year in a row, Aprendanza has brought teachers, artists and social workers together: agile minds who believe in education and yearn to increasingly add more dance into their lives. The event was held at the facilities of Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND), Matadero Madrid and the Ballet Nacional de España. José Carlos Martínez, Artistic Director of the CND, continues to be fully committed to the educational part of his artistic management responsibilities and thanks to the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, projects such as this one can become a reality.

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The CND’s artistic team welcomed more than 180 participants hailing from all over the country; among them, 65% were educators at primary schools, high schools or universities.

For three consecutive days, they took part in the many activities that had been organised including a number of workshops. They also got to enjoy a rehearsal of the Don Quijote ballet, which is repeating the successful run it enjoyed after last year’s premier at Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela (performances until 18th December).

The CND dancers, Elisabet Biosca, Agnès López Río, Antonio de Rosa and Mattia Russo, together with the company’s Ballet Master, Anael Martín, also lead some of the #Aprendanza activities.

Thanks to everyone who made this happen –the organisers and hosting companies, the professionals leading the activities and all the participants of this latest #Aprendanza edition– the interest in this activity continues to grow, by incorporating dance into the lives of the younger generations and thus making their education much richer.

Photographs: #Aprendanza 2016 workshops at the CND © Paco Gómez, 2016.

Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) grows

The Compañía Nacional de Danza (Spain´s National Dance Company) that José Carlos Martínez directs and whose official sponsor is the LOEWE FOUNDATION, begins a new and exciting season packed with projects.

Idq_jesus-vallinas-36n addition to welcoming new members, four dancers who had performed leading roles in previous seasons have been promoted. Isaac Montllor is now a CND principal dancer and three other members of the Corps de Ballet -Aída Badía, Lucie Barthélémy and Elisabet Biosca- are soloists.

Montllor, who was born in Alcoy (Spain), joined CND 2 in 2002 while it was under the direction of Nacho Duato and Tony Fabre and, since then, has only been away from the troupe during the year he spent in Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. “I am extremely grateful,” says the dancer regarding his promotion, “because it is a form of recognition of my dance and self-expression; of the way I tell a story.” Last season, the public saw this dancer perform in different leading roles, including Jose’s in Johan Inger’s Carmen and Don Quijote’s in the ballet of the same name, which the CND premiered in Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela in December 2015.

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Prior to joining the CND in 2012, French ballerina Lucie Barthélémy was a member of the Bavarian State Opera Ballet (Munich). Lucie beams when she says, “at 30, and after 11 years as a dancer, I can honestly say this is the most amazing thing to happen to me professionally… a reminder that there is no specific moment or age when one stops growing.” Lucie has performed the leading role in Raymonda and in Don Quijote –as Dulcinea– among many others.

Aída Badía, who comes from Santander (Spain), joined the CND in 2012. Prior to that, she participated in a number of projects with some of the most prestigious choreographers in the world. Her artistic versatility made it possible for her to participate, as an example, in two Carlos Saura films: Iberia and Fados. Worthy of mention, among many accomplishments, is Aida’s participation in José Carlos Martínez’s Don Quijote as Mercedes or in the Herman Schmermann pas de deux by William Forsythe. “I am very grateful for the recognition my work has received over the past four years. This is a career that forces all of us to give our best day in and day out and it is very motivating to see our work being recognised,” says the ballerina.

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Last season, Elisabet Biosca, who joined the CND in 2010, performed Lady Capulet in Goyo Montero’s Romeo & Juliet, the lead in Carmen, and other starring roles in pieces from the company’s repertoire. This ballerina, who hails from Barcelona (Spain), had previously performed with the IT Dansa Jove Companya de Catalunya, from L’Institut del Teatre. Independently, Elisabet has appeared in a number of short dance films and now, following this promotion, she is “motivated and extremely happy to begin this new adventure because of all the artistic challenges that will come my way”.

This season promises to be an exciting one for the CND and its dancers, who grow artistically by the day and who have Jose Carlos Martinez’s complete trust to carry out his vision. Slowly but surely, the public is getting to know the members of the company who are responsible for its success.

Photographs: Isaac Montllor as Don Quijote and Jesús Florencio as Sancho Panza, Lucie Barthélémy and Aída Badía in Don Quijote. Elisabet Biosca in In Transit © Jesús Vallinas for the CND.

Dance returns to the Teatro Real and the Gran Teatre del Liceu

The support that the LOEWE FOUNDATION gives dance has crystallised, once again, in the ballets that will be performed next season at Madrid’s Teatro Real and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. Two opera houses that have made space for a number of companies from all over the world so that they may showcase the best of their repertoires.

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In December, the ballet Coppélia, performed by the National Ballet of Uruguay (Ballet Nacional SODRE), will occupy the Barcelona stage with an emblematic Enrique Martínez version that is respectful of the choreographic tradition and the E.T.A. Hoffman original story it is based on. This dance company, under the direction of Argentinian dancer Julio Bocca will perform accompanied by the Liceu’s Resident Orchestra under the direction of conductor Martín García. Starting in January 2017, the Jove Companya de L’institut del Teatre will provide the counterpoint by putting its dancers to the test in a contemporary programme that includes Wad Ras by Montse Sánchez and Ramón Baeza, Un Ballo  by Jiří Kylián, and Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin.

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Shortly after, in February, the Prejocaj Ballet that the French choreographer by the same name directs, will visit the Barcelona stage for the first time and perform two ballets that are representative of the most committed and brave of their pieces. Spectral Evidence, with score by John Cage, envelops the stage in a ghost-like atmosphere while La Stravaganza, alternating between Vivaldi and contemporary composers, creates a mosaic of transitions on stage inspired by US immigration.

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In January, Le Corsair, choreographed by Frenchman Manuel Legris and based on Petipa’s original, will open the 2016-17 season at Madrid’s Teatro Real. The Wiener Staatsballett that Legris directs revisits this classic inspired by the famous Lord Byron poem with an almost traditional Russian vision that combines men’s virtuosity and strong feminine performances together with a dose of adventure and action. The costume designs and sets are by Luis Spinatelli and the Teatro Real Resident Orchestra will be led by Valery Ovsyanikov.

Moving into April, Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) will dedicate an entire evening to American choreographer William Forsythe. José Carlos Martínez, the CND’s director, has chosen three pieces that showcase Forsythe’s modern and eclectic vision as well as the profound respect Martínez has for the artistic roots of this American artist: The Vertiginous Thrill of the ExactitudArtifact Suite and Enemy in the Figure. In June, the Martha Graham Dance Company will celebrate its 90th anniversary with two programmes that include not only some of the most representative pieces of this American choreographer –such as Deaths & EntrancesCave of the Heart or Maple Leaf Rag– but also a piece by Nacho Duato titled Rust.

Together, these companies will provide a wide range of options to captivate the audience with first class performances throughout the season.

For more information, teatro-real.com and liceubarcelona.cat.

Photographs: Coppélia by the National Ballet of Uruguay/SODER ©Santiago Barreiro. Spectral Evidence by the Prejocaj Ballet ©JCCarbone. Le Corsair ©by the Wiener Staatsballett.

 

The Compañía Nacional de Danza pays homage to Enrique Granados

The Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) returns to the stage of Madrid’s Teatro Real to close a season that, with the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, has allowed this theatre to showcase some of today’s best ballet performances.

AnhelosTormentosCNDFrom 22nd to 25th July, the CND that José Carlos Martínez directs and whose official sponsor is the LOEWE FOUNDATION, will present 3 pieces that pay homage to composer Enrique Granados on the 100th anniversary of his death. The musical prism that ties the night together results in a heterogeneous ensemble of choreographers and styles of which only one piece, Raymonda Divertimento, has been presented previously in Madrid.

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In the Night, by Jerome Robbins, is set to a series of Chopin’s nocturnes to depict, through the performance of three different couples dancing under the stars, the varying shades of romantic love. CND pianist Carlos Faxas will play the nocturnes live.

Anhelos y Tormentos, especially choreographed by Dimo Kirilov for the CND, is the most contemporary of the evening’s pieces, putting the capacity of expression and restraint of the company’s dancers to the test. The Lab is in charge of the sound design and Rosa Torres-Pardo of playing, on stage, the hauntingly evocative Enrique Granados pieces to which this choreography is set.

Suite (trio), by choreographer Uwe Scholz is set to Serguéi Rajmáninov’s Suite number 2 for two pianos and gives us one of the most abstract and purest visions of what ballet was in the 20th century; two men and one woman take over the stage in a piece that is laden with emotion and simplicity.

The José Carlos Martínez version of Raymonda Divertimento, which recreates Marius Petipa’s original choreography and Nureyev’s later vision, is set to Glazunov’s score and fills the stage with classic dance steps and orientalist aromas. This ballet, already an emblematic piece for the CND, shines thanks to the work of the corps de ballet and the virtuosity of its soloists.

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CND, Homage to Enrique Granados. From 22nd to 25th July in Madrid’s Teatro Real.  More information at teatro-real.com.

Photographs: Anhelos y Tormentos & In the Night © Jesús Vallinas. Suite (trio) © José Jordan for the CND, 2016.

Don Quixote Dances On Paper

DonQCNDJovenesPortadaCoinciding with the 400th Anniversary of the Death of Cervantes, the Compañía Nacional de Danza that José Carlos Martínez directs has published a new Educational Booklet, a tool used to help disseminate the Company’s work.

The most recent title of this extraordinary series that distils the essence of the CND’s educational project, carried out with the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, features the José Carlos Martínez version of Don Quixote’s ballet, which premiered at Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela in December of 2015. In this Booklet’s versions – one for younger readers and one for adults– we learn about the secrets behind the staging of this ballet and its link to the Cervantes novel.

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Elna Matamoros –Ballet Master of the CND and Advisor to the LOEWE FOUNDATION– is, once again, the author of the texts and the person in charge of choosing the accompanying images, which in this case includes photos of the ballet performance as well as prints taken from the Don Quixote of la Mancha edition illustrated by Gustavo Doré and Carmen Granel costume designs.

The CND’s Educational Booklets, which are distributed during the Company’s open rehearsals, are the perfect tool to familiarise oneself with Don Quixote prior to enjoying the performance, as they open the doors to the chivalrous, burlesque and romantic world portrayed in the ballet, on tour throughout Spain for the next few months. These publications can also be downloaded at no charge through the CND’s website or by clicking on the following links.

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Photo Captions: front cover of the Don Quixote Booklet for younger readers. CND Educational Booklets. Illustration: “… the invention and fancy he read…”. Don Quixote of la Mancha. Illustration 1, Ch.1. by Gustavo Doré (1863). Layout by Anabel Poveda. El fandango. Costume by Carmen Granel for the CND, 2015.

 

María Pagés Dances for the Children

The Sala Roja, located in Madrid’s Teatros del Canal, lit up with excited little faces as they discovered the secrets hidden in Yo, Carmen, the latest production by flamenco dancer and choreographer María Pagés, which opened in April in this very same venue. The entire group of professionals who make up the María Pagés Dance Company captivated the attention of the children and the families in attendance with their inspired performance of their educational show La alegría de los niños.

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The younger audience members were not only allowed to personally ask the stage manager to raise the grand drape that separates the stage from the seating area, but they also met, one by one, all the dancers, musicians, and technicians who make it possible for this show to awe publics day in and day out in all corners of the world.
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María Pagés herself, taking an up close and personal approach, stood off the stage with microphone in hand and explained what palmas sordas are, how to best play the pitos and how to artfully open and close a fan. Meanwhile, the Company’s dancers took care of the youngest audience members, helping them move to the beat of the music whilst following the choreographer’s instructions.

With the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, María Pagés is showcasing flamenco around the world, and thanks to initiatives such as this one, the public interested in dance can now count with a new generation of fans. Thank you María!

Photographs: La alegría de los niños, María Pagés Compañía © Luis Sánchez de Pedro for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2016.

The CND Returns to Barcelona

With the support of the LOEWE Foundation, the 2015-2016 dance season of Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu closed with “Homenaje a Granados”, the latest work by the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) under the direction of José Carlos Martínez. The presence of the dance company in the city last week also brought about a most unique event: the performance of I want in LOEWE’s Paseo de Gracia store, which gave the general public the chance to experience and admire the piece and the dancers in a most intimate of settings, just a few centimetres from the performers.

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At the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the company paid homage to composer Enrique Granados in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his death. Accompanied by pianist Rosa Torres-Pardo, the CND staged a world premiere choreographed by Dimo Kirilov, a former dancer of the company. Anhelos y tormentos accompanies the public on a romantic journey and quest which concludes with a powerful climax that then brings about the inclusion of three other pieces, some of which the CND performs for the first time ever.

Raymonda Divertimento (foto Jesús Vallinas)

William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of the Exactitude, set to music by Schubert, together with the ballet In the Night, by Jerome Robbins, set to Chopin’s noctures –played live by pianist Carlos Faxas- were chosen by José Carlos Martínez as part of his vision to widen the CND’s repertoire. A Martínez version of Glazunov’s Raymonda, based on Pepita’s and Nureyev’s choreography and staging, was the last performance of the evening, enveloping all the musical pieces into a capsule of the time in history when Enrique Granados lived.

In addition, with their appearance at the LOEWE store, the CND dancers once again showed off their unorthodox capabilities, playing with the different spaces the location offers while mixing with the guests who stood in awe and admiration. As has happened on other occasions, no one was left feeling indifferent.

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Photo Captions: I want. Agnes López-Río, Mar Aguiló and Elisabet Biosca © Poncho Paradela for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2016. Raymonda by the CND © Jesús Vallinas for the CND, 2015. I want. Mattia Russo, Isaac Montllor and Mar Aguiló © Poncho Paradela for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2016.

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Sasha Waltz & Guests in Madrid’s Teatro Real

From 9th to 12th March, and with the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, Madrid’s Teatro Real will be staging three of the most recent works by powerful and emotional German Choreographer Sasha Waltz: SacreScène d’Amour and L’Après Midi d’un Faune.

Sasha Waltz & Guests L'Apres-midi d'un Faune

Sasha Waltz & Guests was founded in the 1990’s in response to Waltz’s spiritual curiosity and desire to interact more with a number of different artistic disciplines that she frequently included in her productions. Today, the company is made up of an international ensemble of rotating guest partners who create and perform pieces inspired by German neo-expressionism, leaving no member of the public feeling indifferent.

Sasha Waltz - Consagración (foto Bernd Uhlig)

The Madrid programme includes a version of Le Sacre du Printemps which Waltz created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the premier of Igor Stravinsky’s original masterpiece. Without completely losing sight of the focus with which the original ballet was conceived, the organic dance and group work result in a production with a primitive edge to it that perfectly conveys Waltz’s language. The programme’s triple bill is completed and balanced out by the romantic subtlety of Scène d’Amour and L’après Midi d’un Faune, whose original scores were written by two like-minded composers –Berlioz and Debussy respectively– who had much in common with Stravinsky. Scène d’Amour, an excerpt from Waltz’s full-length Romeo & Juliet, is shown as an independent piece featuring a duet, whilst L’après Midi d’un Faune portrays a sensual ambience inspired by the homonymous symphonic poem.

Sasha Waltz - Consagración - 2(foto Bernd Uhlig)

For these performances, Madrid’s Teatro Real Resident Orchestra –The Symphonic Orchestra of Madrid– directed by Titus Engel, will accompany a dance company that holds a prominent position in Europe’s creative scene. This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy contemporary dance of the highest quality, one that looks to the past without losing the freshness of the present.

Additional information at 915 060 660 (www.teatro-real.com)

Photo Captions: L’après Midi d’un Faune and Sacre © Bernd Uhlig.