Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nacho Duato

Nacho Duato, Spanish dancer, choreographer, and company director was born in Valencia in 1957. Duato was very young when he left Spain to be trained in several schools as diverse as Rambert School in London, Mudra School in Brussels, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. He joined the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm in 1980 and the next year was brought to Nederlands Dans Theatre by Jiri Kylian with whom he worked closely as well as the painter and designer Walter Nobbe. Duato became resident choreographer and then director, and in 1988 he was appointed director of Compania Nacional de Danza by the Ministry of Culture of Spain. He has been a free lance choreographer since 1996 and has continued to earn medals and awards for his work.

Nacho Duato is considered to have played a significant role in building up choreographic modernity in Spain. He has frequently broken the limits of musical Eurocentrism with large spectacles using non-European music as in Cor Pedut, Rassemblement or Mediterrania and is thought to be a universal choreographer. He is quoted to have said "I like the audience to recieve energy through the body of the dancer. I try to abstain from using any kind of superficial adorments in the costumes and the sets. I feel the need to express sensations with movements, without the help of ostentatious set designs. When the company comes out on stage, I like the audience to recieve a considerable charge of energy and sensitivity through the dancer's body. Dance must incorporate a bit of joint celebration and participation; it's not something that leaves the audience out, but permits it to take part in what is happening."

Duato frequently incorporates political statements into his dances, and as a member of culture where values require a solid presentation and defense, his commitment to entertainment has been a key to his success. The plunge of Spain into modernity through its transition into democracy after the death of the Dictator Franco, was mirrored in milestones in almost every social field. In dance it was Nacho Duato that played a large role by cooperating firmly and decisively move dance forward.

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