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Meet the team


Elna Matamoros combines her work as Ballet Mistress with her contributions to the Theory and History of Dance, as well as with different activities to popularize the Arts.

She has a PhD in Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts from Madrid’s Universidad Autónoma where she got first class cum laude and an International Mention; she gained a Master of Arts in Dance Education from New York University as a Fulbright intern and has a degree in Classical Ballet. In addition, she got distinction in the exams of the Real Conservatorio Superior de Arte Dramático y Danza in Madrid, which she sat as an external student.

As a dancer, she trained mainly with her mother, Carmina Ocaña, following the Danish Ballet School that was established by August Bournonville in the 19th century. She continued her training with Wilhelm Burmann and David Howard in New York. She has taught at the Víctor Ullate Ballet Dresden Semperoper, New York’s Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, Conservatorio Superior de Danza María de Ávila in Madrid, Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma and Escuela de Ballet Carmina Ocaña, among other institutions. Elna Matamoros was part of the Ballet Nacional de España in the capacity of Mistress of the company from 2002 to 2012, when at the request of José Carlos Martínez, she joined the Compañía Nacional de Danza as Repetiteur Mistress. 
At the CND she was in charge of ballets from very different periods and styles that were penned by José Carlos Martínez, George Balanchine, Tony Fabre, Itzik Galili, William Forsythe or Léonide Massine, among others. For the commemorative galas for the 35th anniversary of the CND, she staged Bournonville’s Flower Festival in Genzano, and in 2016 she revived for dancer Elena Vostrotina, the version that Mikhail Fokine created of its emblematic solo The dying Swan for Elna Ørnberg in Denmark in 1925. She has also been the author and coordinator of the collection of the CND educational booklets about authors, styles, ballets, and topics that are directly related to dancing on stage.

She wrote Augusto Bournonville, Historia y estilo (Madrid, Akal, 2008, with a prologue by Tamara Rojo), and was commissioned by the Fundación Antonio Gades, the publication of Carmen/Gades 25 Años (Madrid, Fundación Autor, 2008). Her blog Once Upon a Chácena ( gives an insight into the performing arts from the point of view of the artist. Also, she has regularly published articles in specialised publications; she has contributed articles to El Cultural since 2012. She took part in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the premiere of El sombrero de tres picos by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1919 with her research article “Léonide Massine y la modernidad española” [Léonide Massine and Spanish Modernity] which appeared in the catalogue of the exhibition organised by the Patronato de la Alhambra y el Generalife. She also participated along with Lorca Massine and José Carlos Martínez in the International Conference that was held in parallel at the Palacio de la Madraza in Granada.

She has been an advisor for the Fundación Juan March, Comisión Fulbright (The Fulbrigh Program), FWF Austrian Science Fund and Fundación Loewe; for the latter, for whom she has collaborated since 2006, she has programmed and coordinated the Encuentros Loewe scheme with the Danza series as well as in the debate “La Escuela Bolera hoy” [The escuela bolera today] (Teatro Real, 2009). She often reads papers at conferences and has given courses in Anthropology and History of Dance, Analysis of the 20th century repertoire and Ballet Methodology; since 2016 she has been guest teacher at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste where she teaches academic technique and specific subjects for master students. Since 2019 she teaches in the Master in Educational Dance of Madrid’s Universidad Autónoma. 

In 2019 she returned to the Ballet Nacional de España as Ballet Mistress under the directorship of Rubén Olmo.



Place of birth