The Compañía Nacional de Danza has been celebrating its 35th anniversary since last October, when the special commemorative Galas were performed at the Teatros del Canal, in Madrid. Eclectic, diverse and touching performances brought on stage the most relevant pieces of its repertoire, remembering some of the brightest moments of these last decades.
During the weekend of the great celebration, CND was not alone: Company Director José Carlos Martínez, linking both memories and collaboration, invited two dance companies that were bonded to the CND in the past: Ballet Nacional de España -pair company when María de Ávila led both ensembles together- and Víctor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid, in recognition to Ullate himself as the first director of the CND when it was founded, back in 1979. Moreover, a full set of costumes from the archives of the company was exhibited in the halls of the theatre.
Raymonda Divertimento, Le Corsaire, Flower Festival in Genzano, Violon… all the repertoire performed portrayed the history, past and future of the CND; as a statement to the wonders of dancing, Minus 16 closed the evening. These performances paid tribute to María de Ávila and Tony Fabre -former directors of the CND and CND2 respectively- who passed away recently. It was an intense weekend, full of emotions that have been distilling festive atmosphere over the next months. Tours and new stagings have filled the agenda of the CND. Last January, the latest addition to the repertoire of the CND appeared: Don Quijote Suite.
After the original ballet choreographed by Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorski, and a later version staged by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opera Ballet, José Carlos Martínez has built a truly Spanish version of the ballet Don Quixote. Toreros, gypsies, and a couple of main characters -performed by Yae Gee Park and Alessandro Riga- filled the stage of the Auditorium Víctor Villegas in Murcia (Spain). Gonzalo Berná conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica Región de Murcia. It meant a big challenge for the CND as the company faced a demanding work for all the members of the company. From the corps de ballet to soloists and principals, they were all involved in the moving story included by Cervantes in one of the chapters of his very famous novel. Another Spanish-scented ballet, Carmen, will be premiered by the CND next April in Madrid.
Past and future are still gathered at the CND, as seen during the open dialogue between Víctor Ullate and José Carlos Martínez at the big stage of the Teatros del Canal last October. Moderated by Elna Matamoros, Ballet Master at the CND and adviser of the Loewe Foundation, the meeting brought more than an hour of cheers and memories, hopes and difficulties. It was the perfect metaphor of the project that José Carlos Martínez has brought back to the Spanish company, to which the Loewe Foundation recognizes as a soulmate and supports as its official sponsor in its artistic activity.
Photographs: Kayoko Everhart, Lucio Vidal and Sara Fernández in Violon; Noëllie Conjeaud and Moisés Martín Cintas en Flower Festival in Genzano © Jesús Vallinas, 2014 for CND. Yae Gee Park in Don Quijote Suite © Patricio Valverde for CND, 2015. Corps de ballet in Don Quijote Suite © Jesús Vallinas for CND, 2015.