José Carlos Martínez, choreography of a dream

Proximity and a cheerful disposition characterised the LOEWE Talk Choreography of a dream, a conversation between José Carlos Martínez, Director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza and Elna Matamoros, Ballet Master of the CND and Advisor of the LOEWE Foundation, which was presented by Sheila Loewe, Director of the Foundation.


Martínez has developed a long and dazzling career as a dancer, culminating with an important position as choreographer before his arrival to the CND. He was Étoile at the Paris Opera Ballet and danced a large and diverse repertoire. As choreographer, Martínez was awarded with the Benois Prize for his ballet Les Enfants du Paradis. He won the Spanish National Award for Dance and the French Government named him Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. “I am Spanish, but I carry the French culture and everything I learned from France with me,” said the dancer.

EncuentroJCElna2Many anecdotes and memories appeared during the conversation, which led the audience to his native town, Cartagena. “When I was young”, said Martínez laughing, “I didn’t mind dancing at my parents’ kitchen or on the stage of the Paris Opera”. Elna Matamoros remarked the importance of early teachers for dancers and José Carlos Martinez said he had “learned how to dance before getting into the Paris Opera Ballet School”, where he studied only for one year. After his early years at his hometown, where he studied dance with Pilar Molina, he moved to Cannes (France) under the tutelage of Rosella Hightower and José Ferrán. There he received a personalised and wide dance training. “I learned to dance before I could speak French”, said the dancer.

For Martínez, his professional years at the Paris Opera went by without feeling “a prisoner of that great temple of dance. I never felt the need to leave the company to develop myself artistically.” Precisely for this reason, Martínez has tried to approach that same model of company when he arrived to the CND as Director. He wished to spread the repertoire of the company to a wide variety of choreographic styles. Martínez made the audience laugh when he explained that he believed that probably the main reason to have been chosen by the INAEM-Ministry of Culture as Director of the CND was that he was “the only fool who said he could do everything with so little budget”. Now he ackowledges both astonished and pleased, that “in three years we have met the goals I set for a minimum of five”. Next December 16th, the company will premiere the ballet Don Quixote, the first full-length classical ballet danced by the company in over twenty years.


During the LOEWE Talk, which took place at the flagship LOEWE store in Gran Vía, Madrid, José Carlos Martínez appreciated “the support of the LOEWE Foundation -Official Sponsor of the CND. We have been able to open the doors of dance and the company to a large audience, to people that neither dance nor will ever do, but we’ve piqued their curiosity”. The Educational Project of the CND, which includes visits from both adults and grade schoolers to see the company work, the publication of Educational Books and Aprendanza – which took place for the second year this past weekend in Madrid- have developed a strong commitment to the future. “One of the most exciting moments of these years at the CND happened when a group of three year-old children visited the company. Their feet did not even touch the ground from the bench they were sitting on, and at the end of our rehearsal, they all wanted to dance with us.”

In 2009, José Carlos Martínez participated, together with composer José Nieto, in the LOEWE Talk Dance-Music held at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. A summary of the Talk, moderated by Elna Matamoros, can be downloaded from the link at the end of this article [only in Spanish].


Photographs: José Carlos Martínez, choreography of a dream. LOEWE Talk between José Carlos Martínez and Elna Matamoros © Luis Sánchez de Pedro for LOEWE Foundation, 2015.

The 2015 LOEWE Poetry Prize, again in America

Cuban poet Víctor Rodriguez Núñez (Havana, 1955) has won the 28th LOEWE Foundation International Poetry Prize for his book despegue (take-off). The jury, integrated by Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Antonio Colinas, Óscar Hahn, Cristina Peri Rossi, Soledad Puértolas, Jaime Siles, Luis Antonio de Villena, and chaired by Victor Garcia de la Concha, has chosen a book which they found courageous, authentic, and able to link irrationalism with social immediacy. The LOEWE Young Poets Prize has been given to Carla Badillo Coronado from Ecuador (Quito, 1985) for her book El color de la granada (the colour of the pomegranate).

JoséManuelCaballero Bonald,JaimeSiles,SoledadPuértolas,VíctorGarcíadelaConcha,LuisAntoniodeVillena,EnriqueLoewe,JesúsGarcíaSánchez,SheilaLoewe,ÓscarHahn,FranciscoBrines,AntonioColinas-foto Álvaro ToméOn November 11, at the LOEWE Store in Gran Vía in Madrid, and after a few loving words remembering the recently deceased Carlos Bousoño, the names of the winners were made public in a ceremony attended by the members of the Jury and by Enrique and Sheila Loewe, Honorary President and Director of the LOEWE Foundation, respectively.

This year, 30 books have been finalists among the 801 entries submitted from 29 different countries, 27% of them from Latin America. The LOEWE Poetry Prize awards an unpublished work of 300 verses and a Young Poets Prize is given to a poet under 30.

Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Luis Antonio de Villena began his presentation of the awarded book, despegue, highlighting the importance of Cuba “as one of the most important creation places for the Spanish language”. He explained how the origin of Víctor Rodríguez Núñez -born in Havana and currently living in the United States- has influenced his “criticism towards Cuban reality from an outside point of view” and the “communicative and baroque protest in this book in face of a world that must ‘take-off’. His deep knowledge on poetic tradition allows him to renovate and “to play with the shadow of a sonnet”, in words of Luis Antonio de Villena.

Carla Badillo Coronado-foto Mark Alvarez

Poet Antonio Colinas emphasised the “maturity” of Carla Badillo Coronado and her poetry. To him, her verses mean a public defense addressing symbology in a quite complex perspective for her age. The struggle of the pairing life-death and a “subtle skepticism that shakes the reader both forcefully and directly”, creates “a book that makes us feel and think about the limits of life, always with an extraordinary expressive sobriety”.

Next March the members of the Jury will meet the poets at the Prize Ceremony and the presentation of their books, which will be published by Visor publishing house.

Photographs: José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Jaime Siles, Víctor García de la Concha, Soledad Puértolas, Luis Antonio de Villena, Enrique Loewe, Chus Visor, Sheila Loewe, Óscar Hahn, Francisco Brines and Antonio Colinas © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE Foundation, 2015. Víctor Rodríguez Núñez © Katherine M Hedeen and Carla Badillo Coronado © Mark Álvarez.

Goodbye Carlos Bousoño

Back in the spring of 1988, when Enrique Loewe and I were creating the Loewe Foundation International Poetry Award, we thought Carlos Bousoño would be a necessary and crucial member of the jury. Carlos accepted and went on to contribute first in an active and most brilliant manner and then taking on an honorary role – as President– when his deteriorating health prevented him from continuing on. Carlos Bousoño (1923-2015) has been, though sadly silent in the last years of his life, one of the most outstanding poets of the postwar generations – a description he liked to use himself – and an outstanding poetry theorist, upholding the most profound sense of irrationalism and surrealism, that is, that the magic of the irrational can be understood. What Freud believed, though in another field, was not much different. He was the author of award-winning books of such tall order as `Oda en la ceniza´ or `Las monedas contra la losa´, and we also think of him as the genius who wrote `Teoría de la expresión poética´ with its ramifications on irrationalism.…

Enrique Loewe, Luis Antonio de Villena y Carlos Bousoño

Discussing poetry with Carlos, whom I had met fifteen years before, was a veritable pleasure. He was not one for gossip or unnecessary criticism and liked nothing better than agreeing with others if their discourse was convincing. Carlos savoured and discussed the submitted books at length during the jury deliberations and was always clever, clearheaded and reasonable in equal measure. A staunch admirer of Aleixander’s superrealism, for example, he loved above all lucidity and clarity above all. Like Caillois when he explained Saint-John Perse. That’s how he explained Lorca or Aleixandre or the books that were seemingly more complex and that the jury couldn’t agree on… We’ve missed Carlos for the past few years. Saying goodbye now is easier or harder. He leaves us his immense knowledge, his cordial and open disposition and his need for light, more light, always reasoned and thoughtful. Such a gifted talent, my friend.

Luis Antonio de Villena
Poet. Jury member of the Loewe Foundation International Poetry Prize

Photographs: Enrique Loewe, Luis Antonio de Villena and Carlos Bousoño ©Loewe Foundation 1991

Brooches of Ramón Puig Cuyàs in Barcelona

PuigCuyàs1Jeweler Ramón Puig Cuyàs, accompanied by art critic and historian Daniel Giralt-Miracle, participated in the LOEWE Talk “The human factor in current creation” that took place last week in Loewe Barcelona. This store now houses Ramón Puig´s brooches, fostering a unique opportunity to admire and learn about the work of the Spanish jeweler and his link with the new LOEWE collection.

Ramón Puig explained that from the very beginning he has tried to “make jewelry that would appeal to people who do not like jewelry”. “The value of materials”, so important in this field, is not a priority for him. He believes in modernising jewelry which means “connecting the pieces with their origin, with their symbolism, and avoiding ostentation”. A true artistic “creation is the act of doing it all by yourself, of participating in the whole process”, and “doing things well really makes you happy”.


The jeweler says that “reviewing the past to build the future is key”. He insisted that “in order to transform something we must be aware of where we come from” and he defended the idea of ​​”recovering old traditions by inserting them in different time frames”.


That was precisely the goal of Jonathan Anderson in his collection created from these jewels. T-shirts feature abstract prints inspired by the work of Ramón Puig Cuyàs, a perfect metaphor for LOEWE’s creative spirit and philosophy.

Exhibition of brooches by Ramón Puig Cuyàs, throughout October 18 at the LOEWE Store in Paseo de Gracia, 35, Barcelona.

Photographs: Ramón Puig Cuyàs and Daniel Giralt-Miracle, brooch by Puig Cuyàs and T-shirt from the LOEWE Fall Winter Men’s Collection 2015 © Poncho Paradela for LOEWE, 2015.

Hay Festival in Segovia

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The LOEWE Foundation has returned last weekend to the Hay Festival in Segovia, “Imagine the World”, with reflections and poetry.

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In the Gardens of the Convent of los Padres Carmelitas, within the context of the V Centenary of Teresa de Jesús, there was a special remembrance of the prodigious meeting between her and Juan de la Cruz in the sixteenth century, a historic moment for spirituality and mystic creation. Antonio Colinas, Clara Janés, José María Muñoz Quirós, Luis Alberto de Cuenca and Carlos Aganzo, approached them from their own poetic thought.

Antonio Lucas -winner of the LOEWE Poetry Award- and journalist Jesús Ruiz Mantilla analysed at the Church of San Nicolás, together with the film director and screenwriter Fernando León de Aranoa, his film A perfect day. The emotions and relationship between international voluntary workers living critical and frightening situations -both unreal and dramatic- led their conversation. “I like reality, but not realistic forms”, said the filmmaker. In the movie, a well contaminated by a corpse thrown inside with the evil will to intoxicate the water, brings irrational situations to the protagonists. León de Aranoa wished to reflect in his film a “living and brilliant energy… not melancholic”. Voluntary workers frequently turn to humour to overcome difficult situations. The conversation inevitably led to the situation that currently refugees live. León de Aranoa remembered that unfortunately this is a “recurrent problem in History”. It is necessary to “look for the source of the problem” and not to fall, as Antonio Lucas said, “into a false sense of goodness in the distribution of refugee quotas”.

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In the last talk of the day supported by the LOEWE Foundation, also in the same Church, the journalist Manu Llorente spoke with Luis Antonio de Villena -man of letters and Jury of the LOEWE Poetry Award- about the situation of culture nowadays. Villena laments the current arid situation that has resulted “not from the lack of creation but from the absence of audience.” The poet believes that “only those with the best knowledge should go to university. It is not a place for everyone, only the best people from all economic levels should be able to attend university.” In his opinion, the lack of interest of young people in culture is a consequence of their precarious education and he insisted in culture as a fundamental condition in the formation of individuals. But he warns: “culture is a right for all and, if it is deficient, it will need the support of the government to survive.”

Photographs: Talk at the Gardens of the Convent of los Padres Carmelitas. Antonio Lucas, Fernando León de Aranoa y Jesús Ruiz Mantilla; Luis Antonio de Villena y Manu Llorente at the Church of San Nicolás © Javier Salcedo, 2015.

The Gran Teatre del Liceu welcomes the swans of the English National Ballet

The English National Ballet (ENB), directed by the Spanish dancer Tamara Rojo, will be dancing Swan Lake, perhaps the most popular title of the entire repertoire of classical ballet. With these performances, starting September 16, the Gran Teatre del Liceu opens a new dance season sponsored by the LOEWE FOUNDATION.

English National Ballet, Swan Lake in the round technical rehearsal

The version that ENB will be performing in Barcelona was staged by Derek Deane -former Director of the company- using the original score by Tchaikovsky. As Tamara Rojo explains, “it continues the British tradition based on Nicholas Sergeyev’s revival, from the notation written by Petipa and Ivanov for the original ballet; it was made for the Ninette de Valois’s Vic-Wells Ballet in 1934″. This production, she says, “emphasizes the virtuosity of both the corps de ballet and the soloists, holding until the end of the ballet all the dramatic tension.”

English National Ballet, Swan Lake in the round technical rehearsal

The company that Tamara Rojo leads has become very popular among the English people since its foundation in 1950. Rojo says it has been “honouring the great classical ballet without sacrificing modern works, and promoting the creativity of contemporary choreography”. ENB, during the past decades, has developed as a “travelling company, both in England and in the rest of the world” and for that reason, explains its Director, it has extended “the love for dance on the basis of artistic excellence and creativity.” Tamara Rojo says that being able to direct ENB is “the culmination of my artistic aspirations because it allows me to address important aspects about the practice of our art that would be impossible for me as a dancer.” She also admits to be interested in the “artistic challenges associated to the strategies that make possible to integrate the artistic, commercial and creative goals for our company and to achieve the purposes of artistic excellence, sustainability and commitment to social responsibility”.

TamaraRojoEncuentroLOEWEDanzaLiteraturaThe last time Rojo was on this same stage back in 2010, she was still Principal Dancer with London’s Royal Ballet. “I danced Sleeping Beauty about the time the Spanish football team won the World Cup,” she jokes. She returns to the Liceu to meet an audience that has always treated her “with love” and that she defines as “very enthusiastic”.
In 2008 Tamara Rojo participated, together with poet Luis Antonio de Villena in the LOEWE TALK Dance-Literature held at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. It was moderated by Elna Matamoros, adviser of the LOEWE FOUNDATION. Rojo remembers that event, on dance and literature, as “very satisfactory”. She emphasizes the importance of “linking dance with other arts such as poetry or painting, which are complementary”. A summary of the talk can be downloaded from the link at the end of this article [only in Spanish].


More information at 90253 33 53 (

Photographs: Swan Lake performed by the English National Ballet with Tamara Rojo and Matthew Golding © Arnaud Stephenson for ENB, 2013. Tamara Rojo at the LOEWE TALK Dance-Literature © Residencia de Estudiantes, 2008.


The Staatsballett Berlin opens the 2015-16 dance season at the Teatro Real in Madrid

After several years away from Spain, Nacho Duato -former Director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza for more than two decades- returns to Madrid, this time leading the Staatsballett Berlin.

Sleeping_BeautyYanRevazoThe dance season of the Teatro Real -with the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION- will raise the curtain up the 4th of September with the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. A new version created by Nacho Duato in 2011 for the Mikhailovsky Ballet -the company he directed for two years- will be performed in Madrid.

Duato created his ballet from the original score and script by Tchaikovsky and Vsevolozhsky. This new ballet is full of references to Marius Petipa, the first choreographer of the piece. The magnificent designs by Angelina Atjalić and the stage lighting by Brad Fields bring richness and historical evocation to this production. In these performances, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid will be conducted by Pedro Alcalde.

A very different program performed by the Statsballett Berlin gets to show the new course being taken by the company since the arrival of Duato. The ballet And the Sky on that Cloudy Old Day, with choreography by Marco Goecke and music by John Adams will be performed together with two pieces by Duato himself. With Static Time -his newest ballet- especially created for the Staatsballett Berlin, Duato offers a sign to farewells and memories. White Darkness, premiered by the CND in 2001, will be closing the evening.


It seems a very promising opening for the dance season at the Teatro Real de Madrid. Sasha Walz, in March, and our Compañía Nacional de Danza, in July, will also be dancing on that same stage.

More information at + 34 915 060 660 (

Photographs: The Sleeping Beauty © Yan Revazo. Static Time © Fernando Marcos.

Sol León & NDT in Madrid

SCHMETTERLING © Rahi Rezvani_online_6 @The last dance show of the 2014-15 Season at the Teatro Real in Madrid -sponsored by the LOEWE FOUNDATION- will be performed by the Nederlands Dans Theater. The company will present two ballets by Paul Lightfoot -Director of NDT- and Sol León, both house choreographers of the company since 2002.

Sol León has been working with Paul Lightfoot since 1989 and the couple is one of the leading names in European creation. The Spanish choreographer explains that Sehnsucht (2009) and Schmetterling (2010), the two pieces performed in Madrid, “complement each other.” With them, she says, “we created a continuous feeling between space and time; past, present and future build a continuous spiral”. These pieces were created a year apart but they have been performed together because, says León, “we really like to have this little trip: we create a bridge between these two parts”. Two works with music as different as Beethoven, in the first part, and Max Richter and The Magnetic Fields songs in the second part. But she warns: “The intermission also becomes part of the show.”

SolLeónEncuentrosLOEWEConLaDanzaLeón feels “very lucky to create.” After 25 years choreographing, she knows that “time is powerful. If you are not insecure and you feel free to express whatever you feel, it becomes a magical act that makes me feel inspired and creative. Dance can express through motion, as poetry does with words”. She looks at the present time and is excited with the fact of “showing this work in Spain because these ballets have been already touring around the world.” Shortly before coming to the Teatro Real, they will be shown at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Following the departure of choreographer Jiří Kylián from NDT “the company was needing the spirit of the artist”, says León. “Since the last visit of the company to Madrid, creativity is again palpable in the house with the arrival of Paul (Lightfoot) three years ago.”

In 2008, Sol León participated with the film-maker Carlos Saura in the LOEWE Dance Talks, integrating this discipline with cinema as two complementary and parallel activities. The choreographer remembers “with a smile, with real affection” the talk held at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid and moderated by Elna Matamoros, adviser of the LOEWE FOUNDATION. The reflections of Carlos Saura and Sol León, their own work and the stimulous given by the LOEWE Foundation to dance are compiled in the summary of that talk, which can be downloaded from the link at the end of this article [only in Spanish].



More information at + 34 915 060 660 (

Photographs: Schmetterling and Sehnsucht by Nederlands Dans Theater © Rezvani. Sol León in the LOEWE Talk Dance-Cinema  © Residencia de Estudiantes, 2008.

Carmen, the making of

CarmenJóvenesPortadaCNDCarmen, by Swedish choreographer Johan Inger, is the title chosen by the Compañía Nacional de Danza -José Carlos Martínez, Artistic Director- to publish a new Educational Book. This little publication explains in depth all the details regarding not only this version of the ballet but also those previously choreographed by other artists.

This book, easy to read, will allow audiences to enjoy and appreciate the many details that made this story one of the main works in the repertoire of most ballet companies worldwide.
Like the previous Educational Book published by CND, dedicated to the Russian-American choreographer George Balanchine, this publication is available in two versions; one for adults and another one for youngsters. Elna Matamoros, Ballet Master of the CND and advisor of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, is the author of both the text and the selection of images, which Anabel Poveda later designed.

This book delves into the origins of Carmen as a Spanish myth, starting from the novel written by Prosper Mérimée, through the opera composed by Georges Bizet and then through the multiple versions that have been choreographed. CND had two different versions in its repertoire in the previous decades, and they are also explained in the book.


The Educational Books of the CND are possible thanks to the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION and are distributed for free to the people who attend the open rehearsals of the company; moreover, this Carmen book is also available to download in PDF through the website of the CND, and includes an explanatory text about this collection. You can also download Carmen, Educational Book, by clicking on the following links. [Only in Spanish]



Photographs: Carmen para los más jóvenes, cover. Rehearsals of Carmen with Johan Inger at Compañía Nacional de Danza © Domingo Fernández for CND, 2015.

The voices of Elena Medel and María Gómez Lara

Elena Medel wore black. María Gómez Lara chose a dress full of colours and a big green flower decorated her hair. They both belong to the same generation but their poetic voices are as different as their clothes, perhaps because a full ocean separates these two women. Medel, from Córdoba (Spain), reads her verses with a meticulous voice, full of rhythm, keeping her eyes on the book. Colombian poet Gómez Lara sways on her chair as pouring her strong voice which brings some anxiety to the room and tries to reach the gaze of the audience. Both of them, as different as they may seem, have been awarded with the 26th and 27th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Award for Young Poets, respectively.

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The LOEWE store at Gran Vía Street, in Madrid, hosted an evening of poetry reading bringing together two different ways of understanding and writing poems. “Poetry as a gaze to the world, not as a literary genre”, explained Medel. Gómez Lara, as soon as she started to read her work, said: “I am very happy that we write so differently and still we can enjoy poetry together”. These two women arose as poets from different referents.

Elena Medel remembered the women who shaped her personality (mother and grandmother) and read some poems she wrote still in her teens -Mi primer bikini- and also, among others, those written after her reflections on death. “My book Tara changed after my grandmother died”, explained Elena as she recited her poems on the multiple faces of love and loss.

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Poets like Emily Dickinson, the many heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa, her many changes of address and other personal experiences came out in the verses of María Gómez Lara. She read an unpublished poem recently inspired by the unpleasant weather of Boston, where she lives now. “I am from the Tropics: cold weather makes me sad”, she said. Years ago, when hurricane Sandy kept her hidden in her bathroom overnight, María wrote a poem titled “Conjuro”, which she also read.

“A poem -said Elena Medel- can be inside a novel, an essay, or a stage play”. Poems go beyond words and reach the readers. For María Gómez Lara, “To know that whatever you write alone has an impact on other people, is very nice”.

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Photographs: Elena Medel and María Gómez Lara with Sheila Loewe © Daniel Mordzinski para FUNDACIÓN LOEWE, 2015.