One of the finest DVD dance performances I've seen
J. Lizzi | Costa Mesa, CA | 04/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of Nacho Duato or the Compañia Nacional de Danza before, but I love all kinds of ballet, so I picked this up on pure impulse. What a find! Mr. Duato's choreography is absolutely wonderful and the performances on this DVD are incredible. From beginning to end I just just couldn't take my eyes off the TV screen. This is modern dance at it's best: full of energy, fullness of movement, and passionate physical expression. Each of the three ballet pieces is introduced by brief discussions with Mr. Duato (Artistic Director and Choreographer) and several of the dancers, so one gets an idea about Duato's efforts to direct the company, as well as the inspiration behind the dances."Arenal" features music from Spanish folklore highlighting a single female voice, sometimes a cappella, but also with traditional melodies from Spain's Mediterranean regions. The solo dancing is very energetic, and the ensemble demonstrates some noteworthy partnering that employs lifts that catch the dancer in midair and redirect the movement. There's even a double pas de deux that is extremely well coordinated. The mood alternates from somber to vibrant, and, of the three ballets this one shows the most facial emotion. Excellent."Duende" (Elf) matches fluid movement with meoldies made more airy by Claude Debussy's composition featuring strings, woodwinds and harp. In this ballet, Mr. Duato conveys a mysterious, woodsy feel on stage (note the lighting and costumes), and demonstrates an incredible knack for imagery using the shapes formed by the dancers' lifts, holds and positioning in close quarters. Very impressive."Por Vos Muero" (For Thee I Die) was inspired by poetry, and has the most diversity of mood, costume and movement. The spoken verse is a nice touch that doesn't distract one from the minstrel-like music or the activity on stage. This ballet has seven scenes which showcase some of the most accomplished, versatile, and just plain gorgeous dancing I've ever seen.Aside from the performances, I have to applaud the camera direction and editing: perfect! The primary dancers are always highlighted, but the occasional flash to a full-stage view results in an ideal blend of perspective and focus, and is a great complement to the choreography. If you're a dance aficionado, you MUST get this for your collection. I'll even say that this DVD is so good that it would be a fantastic introduction to those wanting to try watching modern ballet for the first time."
Beautiful and lively piece of works
masontan | Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia | 07/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD features three modern ballets choregraphed by Nacho Duato which fully demonstrated his ingenuity in correlating music and dance in a subtle way. His exquisite sensitivity and exuberant imagination towards music has made his choregraphy lyrical, musical and emotive. "Arenal" - A ballet which danced along beautiful spanish folk songs has moved me deeply so much so that I wanted to dance as the dancers danced and let myself completely immersed in the music. "Duende" - A highly imaginative and grotesque piece with many stricking arobatic-like postures which is delighted to watch. "Por Vos Muero" - A mix of classical and modern which shown dancing is part of human life that run beyond time. Watching these three ballets have made me felt uplifting and refreshing. I liked it not only the stylish choregraphy but also the passion of life it conveyed."