Another New Ballet Company in Spain

Published in the April/May 2009 issue.

Classical ballet is finally taking off in Spain. Known for exporting some of the world’s top ballet dancers (such as Tamara Rojo, Lucia Lacarra and Angel Corella), it has been almost two decades since the country had a major classical company. Now, just months after Corella launched his company in Madrid, the Spanish government announced the creation of the National Classical Ballet, led by renowned teacher Victor Ullate. The company, expected to debut in September 2009, is the result of a collaboration between the city of Madrid and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

In a departure from Ullate’s current contemporary company, Victor Ullate Ballet, the repertoire of the National Ballet will be predominantly classical, with some neoclassical works. The dancers will work with several choreographers. Ullate says, “I want this to be a ballet for everyone, not an auteur ballet.

When asked how the creation of a national classical ballet might affect Corella’s new company, Ullate claims there would be no noticeable overlap. The National Ballet falls within a dance promotion plan organized by Spain’s National Institute of Stage Arts, which may also include a large grant for Corella Ballet.

The Victor Ullate Ballet will dissolve with the creation of the National Ballet, and become, in Ullate’s words, “the embryo of the new company.” Still unclear is how large the company will be, although Ullate has confirmed that there will be at least 60 company members. The search for dancers will begin as soon as the company has been officially founded. --Justine Bayod Espoz