Highly Recommended Dance: COMPAÑÍA NACIONAL DE DANZA, SPAIN (Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA)

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by Tony Frankel on February 12, 2024

in Dance,Theater-Los Angeles,Tours


The Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA is hosting Compañía Nacional de Danza in their Luckman debut, the last stop in the U.S. as part of an International Tour. The Madrid-based “National Dance Company” will perform a mixed repertory program featuring varied and representative styles, recognizable inside and outside Spain, including classical, neoclassical, and contemporary dance. The one night only performance is Thursday February 15 at 8 pm.

 Compañía Nacional de Danza's Passengers Within (2022) Photos by Alba Murie

CND is led by Artistic Director Joaquín De Luz, a past soloist with American Ballet Theatre and principal dancer with New York City Ballet. His is the first piece on the program: Passengers Within (2022), a new work by De Luz. The idea of Passengers Within is inspired by today’s society. We live in a paradigm where we are slaves to the system. Technology, the media, and consumerism have the population asleep and we wander like zombies at the incessant pace they set for us. From the moment you wake up you are bombarded, without pause, by incessant waves of information like the music of Philip Glass. We also live subjected and judged by what this society expects of us. Stereotypes and morals commit us to follow a script that is too generic for us to be individuals. The main couple represents people who are waking up, who are questioning things. They do not want to be passengers, but rather dictate their own life based on their essence and their presence.

The program also includes Sad Case (1998) choreographed by former Nederlands Dans Theater dancers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot showcasing the surprising and earthy movements on mambo music, showing a continuous search for the tension between satirical and classic moments; Sad Case was originally created for NDT 2 in 1998 when León was seven months pregnant with their daughter, and acts as one of the main pillars of León and Lightfoot’s work.

White Darkness (2001) is by acclaimed Spanish modern ballet dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato, former CND director and current artistic director of the Berlin State Ballet. With White Darkness, created in 2001 for the Compañía Nacional de Danza, the choreographer makes an intense reflection on drug addiction, a situation that he experienced closely and that led to the premature death of his sister, in whose tribute the piece was created.

Compañía Nacional de Danza's Sad Case (1998) Photos by Alba Murie

Celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2024, the mission of CND is to promote and disseminate the art of dance and its repertoire, open to all styles, choreographic languages ​​and movement arts in general, both of Spanish and international creation. The company was founded in 1979 with the name of Ballet Clásico Nacional under director Víctor Ullate. In June 1990, Nacho Duato was appointed artistic director of the newly-named Compañía Nacional de Danza, a position he held for twenty years, until July 2010. His incorporation represented an innovative change in the history of the training, including it in the company’s repertoire, creating original choreographies. Joaquín De Luz has served as the company’s director since 2019.

Compañía Nacional de Danza's White Darkness (2022) Photos by Fernando Marcos.

Compañía Nacional de Danza
Passengers Within (Joaquín De Luz)
Sad Case (Sol León and Paul Lightfoot)
White Darkness (Nacho Duato)
Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA, 5151 State University Dr
paid parking near the theater
for tickets, ($35 – $195; discounts for students/faculty)
call 323.343.6600 or visit Ticketmaster

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