The work of the famous Spanish choreographer and dancer Nacho Duato seems to touch different strings of the spectators' souls: some in his performances experience feelings of inspiration and awe, others, on the contrary, tend to succumb to sad memories and thoughts.
And all thanks to the maestro's non-standard approach to classical and modern ballet and the originality of the dance production.
The future choreographer was born in Valencia in 1957. From an early age, he did nothing but dance. Parents did not attach particular importance to this interest of their son, since the Duato family was conservative and patriarchal. In addition, the head of the family was an important official in the government and could not allow Nacho to seriously engage in "dancing". He saw in him a future doctor, lawyer or politician.
The son did not listen to his parents and went to London, to the famous choreographic school. The first serious lessons were easy for him, because he had great natural abilities. When Duato learned that the world famous Maurice Béjart was recruiting students, he immediately went to Brussels and enrolled in the class of a ballet legend.
Nacho loved what he was doing so much that he was ready to learn more and more new techniques and methods in order to master everything that is in modern world ballet. Therefore, from Brussels, he went to America, to the dance theater of Alvin Eiley. There he underwent practice and was trained as a choreographer.
Duato began acting as an actor in the ballet theater at the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden. At first he performed as a guest dancer, but after a short time he was contracted and he began to work officially in the theater. It was early 1980 when Nacho was only twenty-two years old. In this theater, he became a real professional, danced many parts. And then he began to think about how to develop further.
And then fate brought him to the Dutch dance theater to the famous choreographer Jiri Kilian. And here Duato's life changed dramatically: the head of the theater suggested that he try to stage the play on his own. It was unexpected, caused various fears and at the same time opened new horizons for the dancer.
After a short period of time, inspired by the confidence of the master, the young dancer presented the play "The Fenced Garden" to the public. To the surprise of Duato's mentors, the ballet received the highest ratings from the public and critics, it delighted the most demanding balletomanes. It was a triumph for the young choreographer, and from that moment he stood on a par with the famous stage directors.
Critics and connoisseurs of ballet art, and after the following productions of Nacho, noted the filigree in the selection of dancers and music, and also the non-triviality of the production. This is how the star Duato rose - the star of Spanish choreography.
Simultaneously with the performances, the choreographer honed the dancer's art in the same Dutch dance theater. This work brought him great satisfaction, because at any of the rehearsals he himself could show the troupe how to do this or that scene.
Gradually, Duato gained world fame, and they began to invite him to other groups to stage performances in other cities. He was invited by the American Ballet Theater, London Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Milan La Scala Opera House and others.
Having traveled the world, the choreographer returned to his homeland, and he was immediately invited to head the troupe of the National Ballet of Spain. He signed a contract and was going to contribute to the Italian ballet, but he was invited to Russia - to the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg. This was another confirmation of Duato's skill as a stage director.
In 2011 he started working at the Mikhailovsky Theater.Nacho's inherent sociability helped him quickly find a common language with the troupe and start creating his own performances. At first it was a series of one-act performances, which included the ballet "Without Words", which was already ranked among the classical productions. Although the master was still working on it - he wanted to bring it to perfection.
In addition, Duato has shown himself to be a talented organizer. He watched performances of other theaters and noticed dancers and ballerinas who would fit this or that performance, and invited them to dance in Mikhailovsky. And once he even lured Natalia Osipova, who at that time was a prima ballerina, and Nikolai Vasiliev, a great celebrity, from the Bolshoi Theater. Thanks to Nacho, Natalia and Nikolai, the audience was able to see the incomparable ballet Romeo and Juliet.
For him, his stay at the St. Petersburg theater was a time of classics and great experience in this direction of ballet, and this was also very valuable.
In 2014, Nacho was invited to the State Ballet of Berlin, and he worked in this theater for five years. And in 2019 he returned to the Mikhailovsky Theater and began working as an artistic director.
Dancer and choreographer Duato has received numerous awards. He was awarded for his talent as a dancer, skill as a choreographer and excellent organizational skills. The list of his awards includes:
- "Golden Dance Prize" - 1987 - Schouburg;
- Prize for the first place at the International Choreographic in Cologne - 1987;
- Title of Chevalier of the French Order of Literature and Arts in Paris - 1995;
- Personal medal of the Italian government - 1998;
- International Ballet Prize Benois de la Danse - 2000;
- Nomination for the Spanish Dance Award - 2003;
- "Golden Mask" in Chile - 2010;
- "Golden Soffit" - 2011.