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The show Invocación, to be performed by the Ballet Nacional de España on 7 and 16 May in Zaragoza and Pamplona, includes one of the few escuela bolera choreographies created in the past few years. In Invocación bolera, the public company’s director, Rubén Olmo, updates the essence of the traditional escuela bolero style, in addition to paying tribute to the great masters who established the direction to be followed in this style: Mariemma, Ángel Pericet, and Antonio el Bailarín.

This Spanish dance style is also known as ‘danzas goyescas’ because the costumes, which consist of trousers down to the knee for male dancers and wide skirts and hairnets for female dancers, recalls the popular characters depicted by Goya in his paintings. The bolero dances are also from the 18th century when they were the popular dances people would dance in pilgrimages and open-air balls. With time they got more and more complex and included classical ballet techniques until they reached European theatres in the 19th century. At present, escuela bolera is one of the most difficult styles of Spanish dance because of its swift steps and the need to have a good command of castanets.

The music of Invocación bolera is an original contemporary composition commissioned by the Ballet Nacional de España to the young Sevillian composer and conductor Manuel Busto. The recording to be enjoyed in Zaragoza and Pamplona was made by the Orquesta de Extremadura conducted by the composer himself. Costumes were designed by Pedro Moreno for the Ballet Nacional de España’s Fandango del Padre Soler in 1988 and the designer adapted it for this show.

The performance of the Ballet Nacional de España at the Palacio de Congresos de Zaragoza on 7 May is part of the Música para Goya series. De salones, tonadillas y fandango. The Diputación de Zaragoza and the Government of Aragón have scheduled different concerts and dance shows inspired by Goya’s time to commemorate the 275th anniversary of the painter’s birth.  The BNE has not danced in Zaragoza since 2006. Pamplona did not have to wait so long. Although it is only three years since the last time the company performed in Navarra’s capital, the tickets are sold out for the performance in Baluarte on 16 May.

From escuela bolera to flamenco
Invocación bolera is part of the show Invocación, an overview of Spanish dance that includes most of its styles, which the Ballet Nacional de España premiered in March 2020 at the closing ceremony of the Festival de Jerez. After the pause due to the lockdown, the show travelled to Albacete, Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) and Terrassa (Barcelona). “It’s quite a comprehensive show to enjoy a flamenco that’s full of life and power on the stage, a ballet in the purest stylised dance and one of the few recent choreographies of escuela bolera”, Rubén Olmo stated.

Rubén Olmo has also penned Jauleña, with music by Manuel Busto. A solo performed by the BNE director that intertwines different dance styles with zapateado and granaína featuring prominently.

The first part of the show is rounded off with Antonio Najarro’s Eterna Iberia. First danced by the Ballet Nacional de España in 2019, it is a stylised dance choreography that makes a brilliant use of traditional elements of Spanish dance, like the cape and the Cordovan hat. The music was originally composed by Manuel Moreno Buendía for Antonio Ruiz Soler’s ballet Eterna Castilla and was later released as a suite with the title Celtiberia. Yaiza Pinillos’s sophisticated costumes represent the wealth of our territory through the use of blue, green, and crimson that refer to three of our riches: the sea, the olive tree, and the wine. 

Invocación is also the first time that the BNE includes in its repertoire a choreography by Mario Maya, bailaor, choreographer and master who died in 2008. Mario Maya is a leading figure in the world of Spanish dance because of his genius and sensitivity. He was a pioneer, penned bold, groundbreaking productions and was also a tireless researcher.

“With De lo flamenco, Mario Maya refreshed in 1994 the way flamenco is done and felt on the stage, particularly with a great dance company. This staging, first performed by Compañía Andaluza de Danza, current Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, of which he was its first director, was a turning point because of its stylisation, freshness, and movement. Even today it is still innovative and completely different from the rest” Rubén Olmo says.

The Ballet Nacional de España production of De lo flamenco includes the choreography Los cinco toreros de Manolo Marín plus two new pieces created by two regular collaborators of Mario Maya: Romance del emplazado by Rafaela Carrasco, and Taranto by Isabel Bayón in addition to the original show by Mario Maya, Milagros Menjíbar and A. Rueda ‘Toná’. Artists who were part of the original cast also feature in this production including repetiteur master Manuel Betanzos and musician Diego Carrasco. Costumes are a replica of the original and were hand-painted by Juan Andrés Amaya.  Ballet Nacional de España cuadro flamenco, accompanied by three guest cantaores, will play live the music composed by Diego Carrasco, Jesús Torres, Moraíto Chico, and Los del Río.

Ballet Nacional de España

Invocación bolera by Rubén Olmo
Jauleña by Rubén Olmo
Eterna Iberia by Antonio Najarro
De lo flamenco. Homenaje a Mario Maya by Mario Maya, Milagros Menjíbar, A. Rueda ‘Toná’, Manolo Marín, Isabel Bayón and Rafaela Carrasco.

Palacio de Congresos
7 May 2021, 8:00 pm

16 May 2021, 7:00 pm
Sold out