Founded by the Theatre and Entertainment General Direction of the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1978, with the name of Ballet Nacional Español and with Antonio Gades as its first Artistic Director (1978-1980), the BNE has been directed by Antonio (Ruiz Soler) (1980-1983), María de Ávila (1983-1986), José Antonio (1986-1992), Aurora Pons, Nana Lorca, Victoria Eugenia (1993-1997), Aída Gómez (1998-2001), Elvira Andrés (2001-2004), José Antonio (2004-2011) and currently Antonio Najarro.
The BNE is, among the projects of the National Institute for the Performing and Scenic Arts, one of the most known in the world, as ambassador of the Spanish culture. The Ballet has evolved in accordance with the new times and has known how to preserve its interest in all styles of Spanish dance, performing choreographies such as those of Escuela Bolera, flamenco and stylized Spanish dance. On the other hand, it has combined tradition and modernity, not forgetting other main aspects such as training and performing new projects.
During the past 30 years, it has performed in the most renowned theatres in the world and in emblematic works such as José Granero's Medea, Mariema's Danza y Tronío, Alberto Lorca's Ritmos, José Antonio's Fandango de Soler, Antonio's and José Antonio's versions of El Sombrero de Tres Picos, Pilar López's El Concierto de Aranjuez, and Antonio Gades's Bodas de Sangre and Fuenteovejuna. At this season, the BNE presents choreographies by José Antonio in La Leyenda, Aires de Villa y Corte, El Café de Chinitas, Golpes da la Vida y Elegía-Homenaje (a Antonio Ruiz Soler).
The Ballet Nacional de España has been internationally acclaimed by audience and critics, obtaining various awards, such as the Critics´ Prize for the Best Foreign Show during the 1988 season at the New York Metropolitan, the Japanese Critics´ Prize in 1991, the Critics´ Prize for the Best Spectacle at the Bellas Artes Theatre in Mexico City in 1994, a prize awarded by the Spanish newspaper, El País (Tentaciones), for Poeta, in 1999, and the Critics’ Prize as well as the Prize awarded by the audience at the VI Festival de Flamenco de Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) in 2002 for the choreography of Fuenteovejuna by Antonio Gades.
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