One more year of dance at Madrid’s Teatro Real and Barcelona’s Liceu

Dance returns to the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona for a season that will have the public enjoying the performances of some of the world’s most prestigious dance companies. Thanks to the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, Spain’s National Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet and the Ballet at the Great Theatre of Geneva will be performing in these two cities.

In November, the Teatro Real will be hosting the National Ballet of Spain that Antonio Najarro directs with Sorolla, a choreography rooted in Spain’s folklore and inspired by Visión de España, the famous collection of works by this renowned Spanish painter that the Hispanic Society commissioned; a most colourful piece during which the company’s corps de ballet assumes the spotlight. In April, it will be the Dresden-Frankfurt Dance Company that Jacopo Godani directs that will be visiting Spain’s capital. Four pieces created by Godani himself that showcase the personal and demanding language of his choreographies; MetamorphersEchoes from a Restless Soul, Postgenoma and Moto Perpetuo feature a Godani who is not only a choreographer but also a stage and costume designer as well as a lighting master. Finally, in July, London’s Royal Ballet will present its new Swan Lake. Based on Marius Petipa’s and Lev Ivanoc timeless masterpiece with score by Piotr I. Tchaikovksy, the choreographers Frederick Ashton first and Liam Scarlett later, have incorporated some additional dance sections throughout the piece.

Another well-known piece opens up the Dance Season of Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu: Roméo & Juliette will be performed by the ballet of Le Grand Théâtre de Genève in its Joëlle Bouvier version, which transforms Prokofiev’s celebrated music into a contemporary piece. The Orquesta Sinfónica del Liceu, under the direction of Manuel Coves, will accompany the dance. In December, the Eifmann Ballet will be staging Anna Karenina, a piece by Boris Eifmann -one of the most acclaimed choreographers in Russia today- who, using Tchaikovsky’s and Tolstoi’s work as his starting point, has created what many consider his masterpiece; Conrad van Alphen will direct the Teatre’s resident orchestra. To end the season, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo will return in May to Barcelona with Le Songe, a choreography by the company’s director Jean-Christophe Maillot based on William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, whose score is a musical collage by various composers.

More information at, teatro-real.com and liceubarcelona.cat

Photo Captions: Sorolla by the National Ballet of Spain © Stanislav Belyaevsky, Dresden-Frankfurt Dance Company © Paolo Porto. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in Le Songe © Alice Blangero.

Sergio García Zamora, condemned to be talented

“I was in my home town, a place called Esperanza, which in English means Hope. I was at my mom’s and I had just finished reading her a poem; a poem I had dedicated to her, or rather to her solitude; a poem that is included in El frío de vivir. And then they called. I laughed and she cried. Then we had coffee. My mom forgot to add sugar, but I found it sweet. Everything became alarmingly sweet.”

That is how poet Sergio García Zamora remembers the moment he found out that his book of poems El frío de vivir had won the 29th edition of the LOEWE FOUNDATION Young Poets Award.

Born in Cuba in 1986, García Zamora has a B.A. in Spanish language, has published over a dozen books, and has received numerous prizes, including the Rubén Darío International Poetry Prize and the Gaceta de Cuba Prize. “I submitted my application because the LOEWE Poetry Prize has everything: a prestige that its organisers have never betrayed; a very generous prize disbursement (even the Cid Campeador needed money); beautiful books; an unquestionable jury that has allowed us to believe in literary justice once again. An honourable prize, even if not everyone remembers the value of that adjective.” He explains that his relationship with the jury is distant. “The truth is, I only know them because I’ve read their books, which are magnificent. It’s like having siblings you haven’t met. I have lived without ever hearing them speak; but every day I rehearse possible conversations because I trust that one day we will sit at the same table.”

A Jury that highlighted, among other qualities, the expressive resources of a book that even its own author describes using a competitive metaphor: “If I were a chess player (what author isn’t one), I would declare El frío de vivir the first move of the middle game, when one cannot afford to make the mistakes of the opening rounds, call them my previous books, if we are to beat eternity at its game.”

García Zamora says this prize has changed his life “in an enchantingly horrible way: it has condemned me to be talented. I had hoped to live out my days as a poet, as a simple shepherd; however, the time to kill giants has arrived.”

Photo captions: Sergio García Zamora at the award ceremony of the LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize in its 29th edition ©Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2016.

‘Minor White: Metaphors’

The LOEWE FOUNDATION presents, within the framework of PHotoEspaña, the first solo exhibition devoted to Minor White, one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century.

The exhibition, titled ‘Minor White: Metaphors’ will be on display at the LOEWE Gallery until 25th August. Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE’s Creative Director, explains that “Minor White’s modernity is a perfect fit for the House because his photographs work on multiple levels. At LOEWE, we believe in multifunctionality.” This will be the 7th PHotoEspaña edition LOEWE participates in and, with this exhibit, the Spanish firm aims to raise the international profile of an artist whose work was instrumental in shaping the aesthetics of post-war photography.

Carefully curated by María Millán, the exhibition presents 40 of White’s photographs, which are in Madrid on loan from Howard Greenberg, Michael Shapiro and other private collections. Minor White’s photographs reveal both his vision as well as his use of composition and light to evoke a contemplative state of mind.  White reproduced his work in a rich spectrum of blacks and whites, while employing close-ups and cropping to express what couldn’t be shown. He led an introspective life and hid his homosexuality for fear of the repercussions it could have on his teaching career. Photography allowed him to show and develop his real self.

In 1952, White co-founded photography magazine Aperture and went on to serve as its editor for two decades. He encouraged critical discussions and elevated the value of creative photography as an art form while using the magazine as a platform to espouse ideas on how to take and read photographs

‘Minor White: Metaphors’. Until 25th August 2017 at the LOEWE Gallery (Gran Vía, 8, Madrid)

Photographs: Minor White. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, 1959. Gelatin silver print, 8.89 x 11.4 cm. (4 ½ x 5 ¾  in), courtesy of Michael Shapiro Photographs. 72 N. Union Street, Rochester, 1958. Courtesy of the Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY. Nude Foot, San Francisco, 23rd March 1947. Gelatin Silver Print. 9,36 x 11,74 cm. (8 ½ x 10 ½ in).

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.

José Ramón Ripoll: poetry and memory

“During these days of literary hustle and bustle, I have asked myself if people are really still interested in poetry and its true substance,” wonders José Ramón Ripoll (Cádiz, 1952), who recently won the 29th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The poet went on to explain that his book, La lengua de los otros, “is an attempt at hearing in a vacuum, at listening to the echo of those words which emerge outside of the realms of space and time, a music that shapes us before we are born, before the possibility of existing is even possible.”

This trip has led him, as he himself explains, to “use different syntactic resources and a music that is not part of my usual discourse. The result is a stylistic consequence of everything I write, although, in this book, I believe I use a more naked language, perhaps because I delve deeper into that vacuum I was referring to before and I try to listen the echo of a primitive word which, paradoxically, emerges out of nowhere.”

Ripoll, who is a writer, a musicologist and a journalist, also directs, from the time it was founded, the poetry magazine RevistAtlántica. The experience he has gained has taught him that “each poem is different and shines in its own right, regardless of theme or style, generation or origin. And, from the outset, the LOEWE prize, inits two categories, has been showcasing just that,
allowing us to discover young and previously unknown poets, and recognising books of poems written by established Spanish or Latin-American authors.” Among the jury members, he identifies most with Caballero Bonald and has even said that his own voice depends upon Bonald’s. “As I read his latest pieces, each increasingly surprising, I am more convinced of this fact,” he declares.

Ripoll, who’s in love with language, sound and memory, reflects upon the present and says that “there is a tendency towards wanting to make language more uniform, towards stripping it of its natural beauty, its depth, its evocative and metaphoric capacity. This leads to a growing vulgarisation and ultimately results in the manipulation of thoughts, and therefore, of the individual. For this reason, when people show up at a poetry reading or show interest in a recently published book, hope shines through, and I begin to think that this prize is worth it and goes beyond satisfying the winner’s personal interests and aspirations.”

PIctures: José Ramón Ripoll © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2017.

Winners LOEWE Craft Prize 2017

On April 10th, the winner of the first edition of the LOEWE Craft Prize was announced at COAM (Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid). The piece ‘Tree of Life 2’ by Ernst Gamperl, born in Germany in 1965, was selected as the winning entry among 26 finalists evaluated by a distinguished jury composed of leading figures from the worlds of design, architecture, journalism and museum curatorship.

Ernst Gamperl, Tree of Life 2 (2016), Germany

Ernst Gamperl, Tree of Life 2 (2016), Germany

The Jury also agreed upon giving two special mentions.

One special mention to Yoshiaki Kojiro: ‘The jury recognised the exercise of research, embracing risk and innovation by mixing materials to achieve a shape that is ultimately a structure of experimentation.’

Yoshiaki Kojiro, Structural Blue (2015), Japan

Yoshiaki Kojiro, Structural Blue (2015), Japan

Another special mention to Artesanías Panikua. The statement from the jury explains: ‘The second special mention is for a piece capable of arousing feelings before one even begins to rationalise it. Apart from its emotional impact, the piece speaks of a collective cultural legacy, demonstrating that craftsmanship with artistic ambition should have no material limits; straw can be just as important as gold.’

Artesanias Panikua, TATA CURIATA (2016), Mexico

Artesanias Panikua, TATA CURIATA (2016), Mexico

All 26 finalists of the LOEWE Craft Prize are being featured in an exhibition held at the COAM in Madrid. Exhibition open from April 11 to May 9, 12:00 to 20:00. More information on loewecraftprize.com. Follow us on instagram @loewefoundation

Wisdom and Beauty at the 29th LOEWE Poetry Prize Award Ceremony

The LOEWE FOUNDATION has, once again, been responsible for the gathering of a large number of representatives from the world of culture at the LOEWE Poetry Prize award ceremony and the presentation of the winning books, held in Madrid’s Palace Hotel. A party and a celebration where the excitement felt by the winners and the joy of celebrating yet another of the Prize’s editions were both palpable.

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“As our 30-year anniversary draws near,” said the Foundation’s Honorary President, Enrique Loewe, during the presentations, “I am reminded of the excitement and fear we felt when we first set upon this path. We believed we had a mission, that being in close contact with beauty was worthwhile and would benefit us all, but mostly LOEWE, because it would make us better and more important, although those we really wanted to make more important were the poets.” Joined by his daughter Sheila Loewe, the LOEWE FOUNDATION’S Director, who was in charge of delivering the welcome speech, Enrique Loewe remembered that his biggest hope and source of excitement came from thinking that “this Prize will have another 30 years of life”.

Sergio&CaballeroBonaldEl frío de vivir by Sergio García Zamora, winner of the LOEWE Young Poet’s Award, was presented by last year’s Poetry Prize winner –who is also Cuban- the Poet Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, who praised the young poet’s “particular view of the world” and “his command over poetry, in both prose and verse formats.” A poetry that the previous year’s winner described as “muscular, sometimes osseous”, a reflection of what is known as “generation 0”, precisely the one this young poet belongs to. A poet whom Rodríguez Núñez visited “in his humble home in Santa Clara” where he lives “with no internet access and with travel restrictions”, a testament to “his incredible drive and need for self-expression, which brings to the forefront the extraordinary resilience of the Cuban family.”

José Manuel Caballero Bonald presented the winner of the 29th LOEWE Poetry Prize: La lengua de los otros by José Ramón Ripoll. “An interiorised book of thoughts and reflections that revolve around being and existing,” said Caballero Bonald, and show Ripoll’s “luminous lucidity” as well as how “he gets to know himself better as he delves into his life experiences.” Caballero Bonald also highlighted the extraordinary “aesthetic significance of the silence” that Ripoll affords his poems. The Prize winner thanked his teacher’s “wise words”, which are like “the roots of poetry because they touch one’s substance.”

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A reading of the winning books of poems, which are now a part of the Colección Visor de Poesía, will take place this upcoming Monday, 27th March at Madrid’s Casa de América.

Pictures: Sergio García Zamora, Sheila Loewe and José Ramón Ripoll, Sergio García Zamora with José Manuel Caballero Bonald, and José Ramón Ripoll © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2017.