Portrait

The whole variety of ballet

The Staatsballett Berlin celebrates its 10thanniversary in 2014. The tradition though goes far beyond these ten years as the company was founded by a merger of the former ballet ensembles of Berlin’s three opera houses in 2004. Eversince, the Staatsballett has become one of the world’s leading ballet companies.

As Germany’s largest company to date and Berlin’s only classically trained ballet ensemble, the dancers excel in the whole variety of the ballet repertory: deeply rooted in the classical repertory, neo-classical and contemporary works are presented, too.

Performance venues are the stages of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater. In addition to these regular locations, the company also seizes opportunities to dance on other stages of the city, for example at the Tempodrom Berlin in the 2014/2015 season.

Since 2011, the Staatsballett Berlin has its home at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The opera’s former paint workshops have now become modern ballet studios that offer excellent working conditions.

Temperament and experience

With the start of the 2014/2015 season, Nacho Duato has become the artistic director of the Staatsballett Berlin. The renowned choreographer and ballet director brings the broad variety of his worldwide creations into the work of the company.

Born in Valencia/Spain, Nacho Duato began his professional dance training at the Rambert School in London. He then studied at the Mudra School of Maurice Béjart and eventually completed his education at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. In 1980, Nacho Duato signed his first contract with the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm. Only one year later, Jiři Kylián hired him for the Nederlands Dans Theater in Den Haag.

His talent soon led Nacho Duato beyond the borders of being a dancer to also devoting himself to choreography. In 1986, he was appointed one of the three house choreographers at the Nederlands Dans Theater. In 1990, the Culture Ministry in Madrid invited Nacho Duato to return to Spain and offered him the direction of the Compania Nacional de Danza. Here he created an extensive oeuvre there and gained worldwide attention.

One year after his 20thanniversary at the Compania Nacional de Danza, on 01.January 2011, he was appointed as artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg.

Gentle start into a new era

As a choreographer, it is important to Nacho Duato to work closely with his company and to get to know the dancers. He therefore wants to take time until he will create a new choreography, uniquely designed for the company of the Staatsballett Berlin. The creation’s world premiere is scheduled for the end of Nacho Duato’s first season as part of a triple bill ballet on 14.May 2015.

However, the audience will have a chance to familiarize itself with Duato’s style much earlier: Nacho Duato’s “Sleeping Beauty”, created during his tenure in St. Petersburg, will be performed in Berlin in February 2015. The two classical pieces “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker” are already included in the repertory, making the Tchaikovsky triology complete.

Also new in the schedule and set for March 2015, is Nacho Duato’s signature piece “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness”, a homage to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Repertory works of various styles complete the program. Two guest performances, strongly connected to Nacho Duato’s biography, are notable highlights for this season: the Béjart Ballet Lausanne will present itself to Berlin’s audience in October 2014 as well as the newly founded ensemble of Jiři Kylián in March 2015.