Friday, November 5, 2010

Contemporary Workshop

Nacho Duato Workshop with Africa Guzman

Juan Ignacio Duato Barcia, also known as Nacho Duato, is an acclaimed Spanish dancer and choreographer. He began his dance career with the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm and has received multiple awards in recognition of his achievements as a dancer and choreographer. In 1990, he was invited to become the Artistic Director of Compañía Nacional de Danza by the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música of the Spanish Ministry of Culture. In July of 2010, he left the Compañía Nacional de Danza after twenty years. This January, he will become the Artistic Director of Russia’s Mikhailovsky Ballet.

This move represents an exciting step for both Mr. Duato and Russian ballet. He will be the first foreigner to direct a Russian ballet company in over a century, the last was France’s Marius Petipa. For Mr. Duato, it will be his first time leading a large classical repertory company. Russian ballet is not known for its malleability and has had a history of ignoring modern dance influences like Mr. Duato’s, in favor of preserving tradition. Vladimir Kekhman, the businessman who took over as Mikahailovsky’s general director in 2007, feels that a strong contemporary influence is exactly what the company and Russian ballet needs.

Peridance’s Nacho Duato Workshop will be taught by Africa Guzman, another Spanish native. Ms. Guzman trained at the “Escuela de Ballet y Danza Española Africa Guzmán” and at the “Escuela del Ballet Nacional de España.” She became a member of Compañía Nacional de Danza in 1988, two years before Duato became the director. She has received many awards for her achievements as a dancer, has also danced with Netherland Das Theater, and has worked with many of the world’s highly acclaimed choreographers. For 20 years, she has been involved in Nacho’s choreographic and creative process. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to both take from a very accomplished dancer and to learn the style and repertory of one of today’s most celebrated dancer/choreographers and possibly the new face of Russian Ballet.

Preregistration for the Workshop is encouraged. Click here to register.

To learn more about Mr. Duato’s move to the Mikhailovsky Ballet read the New York Times article.

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