Ballet Nacional de España

Teatro Regio, Wednesday 5 November 2008 - Sunday 9 November 2008


Part I

Elegía-Homenaje (a Antonio Ruiz Soler)

L’Homenaje that José Antonio has devotedly dedicated to Antonio Ruiz Soler a decade after his death is full of moments of bravura and emotion. It is choreographed to the music of Joaquín Turina (Seville 1882-Madrid 1949), composer of classical music who lived in Paris at the beginning of the 1900s, where he met Ravel e Debussy and spent time with his friend and fellow countryman Manuel de Falla. In this work, the influence of Andalusian folklore is present - Antonio even wrote a book on this theme in 1982 – and among his titles, Danzas fantásticas and La oración del torero are noteworthy.
José Antonio wrote: «my acknowledgement of the work of Antonio Ruiz Soler and of his person is present in the choreography Elegía-Homenaje, in which, with the music of Joaquín Turina, I propose a personal reinterpretation of one of the most symbolic moments of Spanish dance abroad: the triumph in the United States of the couple Rosario and Antonio. It represents my most heartfelt thanks to their memory».

The first section of Elegía is entitled Ritmos, in five movements, while the second, Danzas Fantásticas, recreates the golden age of Spanish dance.

Part II

El Café de Chinitas

El Café de Chinitas, created in the centenary year of Salvador Dalí’s birth (2004), refers to the art, at the same time spontaneous and refined, of Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), of whom José Antonio has staged eight songs, but also of the brotherhood of the poet with Dalí, the painter with the famous thin upturned moustache, of whom Jordi Castells has reconstructed the original backdrops.

This is a new version of Lorca’s title that does not refer to the celebrated version by Encarnación López, the famous “Argentinita”, but proceeds in sections with the use of video that enlarges some of the more typically recognisable elements of Dalí and his visionary surrealism: eyes, melting clocks, nudes. Among the furnishings, there is also the large mouth-sofa, the unmistakable sofa of 1936 inspired by Mae West’s lips.

Adding to the passion of a dance that lives between sun and shade are the arrangements by Chano Domínguez, the voice of the singer from Seville, Esperanza Fernández, and the contemporary-folk costumes by Yvonne Blake. It is in the words of the choreographer himself that we find the key to understanding how he wanted to dramatise Lorca’s eight songs (En el Café de Chinitas, Zorongo gitano, Sevillanas, Nana, Los cuatro muleros, Las tres hojas, La Tarara, and Anda Jaleo): «This world of symbols, together with the profundity and simplicity of Lorca’s popular songs, constitutes the appropriate vehicle for creating a show that presents itself as an invocation to Art, Beauty and Pain to reunite once again, in the future, with Salvador e Federico. ‘Completely flamenco’, this café evokes the reuniting of Dalí and Lorca even after death».