VICTOR ULLATE BALLET
El Amor Brujo
"International dance extraordinaire Víctor Ullate founded a company with his name in 1988, which has recently celebrated 25 years of success. The words ‘Comunidad de Madrid’ were added to the Company’s name in 1997. Víctor Ullate acts as Director, aided by Eduardo Lao as Art Director since 2001. The talent and hard work of these two artists are the key to this exceptional company’s survival and prosperity.
Ever since its inception, the Víctor Ullate Ballet became Spain’s top private company of international renown and an acknowledged source of great dancers, as well as an emblem for Spanish dance. Over the course of the last twenty-five years, its thorough methods and high standards have allowed it to select and train dancers, choose and design choreographies, and define the creativity and complexity of its shows. This has enabled it to uphold high levels of quality throughout. Today, the Víctor Ullate Ballet guarantees audiences the same excitement, beauty and quality in dance as it did over two decades ago.
Since it is the only Spanish company associated with a dance school – and also thanks to Víctor Ullate’s worldwide renown – this Ballet has produced a great number of wonderful dancers, which is why it always boasts the very best performers on its team. Over its twenty-five year history, the Company has worked with elite dancers who are now important figures on the international dance scene. Eduardo Lao has played some of the most important roles in his career with this Company. The Company has hosted guest stars such as Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Carole Arbo, Joan Boada and flamenco dancer Antonio Márquez. Intellectuals of such calibre as Francisco Nieva or Vicente Molina Foix have written ballet librettos exclusively for Víctor Ullate’s creations. Furthermore, the Company has had the privilege of special collaborations with avant-garde Spanish composers such as Luis Delgado, actors such as Francisco Valladares and singers such as Enrique Morente, Estrella Morente and Carmen Linares.
The repertoire of the Víctor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid has covered all aspects of ballet during the last quarter of a century. Some of the Company’s performances have become a benchmark for other Spanish firms. Such is the case of Giselle or Don Quijote – with a fresh take by Víctor Ullate – which dazzled critics the world over and which are still, to this day, the only Spanish references in classical ballet. New York’s critic Clive Barnes even said: “It works. Just look at these dancers. From a Spain that is no longer just the home of flamenco”.
In terms of international choreographies, the Víctor Ullate Ballet’s repertoire includes performances of emblematic pieces by artists such as George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Hans Van Manen, Jan Linkens, Nils Christie, William Forsythe and Micha Van Hoecke. Maurice Béjart expressly handed over to the Company the pieces The Firebird, Webern Opus 5, 7 Greek Dances, Nomos Alpha and Bakthi, a list of masterpieces which, outside Béjart’s own company, have only ever been performed by the Víctor Ullate Ballet, the Paris Opera and the Tokyo Ballet.
The work produced jointly by Víctor Ullate and Eduardo Lao deserves its own chapter. As a choreographer, Víctor Ullate has reached a level to rival his own talent as a dancer and teacher, making him a complete, all-round artist who has devoted the finest samples of his choreographic abilities to his own dance company. The Víctor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid treasures some of today’s greatest dance masterpieces, such as Jaleos, Arrayán Daraxa, De Triana a Sevilla, El Amor Brujo, Seguiriya, Volar hacia la Luz, Arraigo, Après Toi, Pastoral, El Sur, Samsara, Wonderland and Bolero.
And he is not alone. Eduardo Lao has also greatly contributed to the Company’s good name with wonderful choreographies: Coppélia, Go up, Llanto de luna, Tierra Madre, Burka, Tres andY. The Company’s Art Director has proven to be a highly sensitive and talented choreographer, having already risen to stand among the best Spanish choreographers of all times. By joining forces, these two great artists have produced such memorable performances as 2 You Maestro and El Arte de la Danza.
The Víctor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid has represented Spain on several occasions, such as during the Seville World Fair in 1992 and on the show Los Divinos, which was broadcast by Spain’s major audiovisual group RTVE and Italy’s RAI, with an audience of one hundred thousand viewers. Among its most memorable performances was the open air show at Plaza del Zócalo in México D.F. in front of tens of thousands of viewers. Its performances have been filmed by Italy’s RAI, France’s ORTF and the Mezzo channel. The Company has toured around the globe earning generous applause from the audience and critics alike. Its performances have received no end of accolades, including the Premio MAX (the most prestigious award on Spain’s theatre scene) for its work Wonderland as the best dance performance 2011.
As with all of the world’s great dance companies, the pleasure of witnessing a performance by the Víctor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid should be experienced at least once in life. The Company is living proof of the unfading talent of Víctor Ullate and Eduardo Lao, Spain’s honorary ambassadors in the rest of the dance world."