Music: Songs based on Catalonian folk tales, composed and sung by Maria del Mar Bonet (1981)
Choreography: Nacho Duato
Staging: Hilde Koch
Costume Design: Nacho Duato
Lighting Design: Nicolas Fischtel
Duration: 19 minutes
Premiere: December 19, 1983; Nederlands Dans Theater
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: February 27, 1996
Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato created his first work, Jardí Tancat, in 1983 while he was a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater. Now artistic director of Madrid’s Compañía Nacional de Danza, he is deeply committed to creating a distinctive profilea soul of its ownfor his national company.
Of his inspiration and personal style, Duato has asserted (in a 1994 interview with Dance Magazine): “[I must create] pieces that involved a Mediterranean way of seeing life and movement. …I was born in Valencia, and so many cultures came or went through there and left an influenceGreek, Tunisian, West African, Jewish…it’s very earthy.”
Jardí Tancat (Catalan for “Closed Garden”) is based on Catalonian folk tales collected and sung by Maria del Mar Bonet. With a sweet, yet passionate, melancholy, these folksongs and their dance portrayal tell the story of the people who work the barren land, praying to God for the rain that does not come and enduring with great spirit in the face of hardship:
Water, we have asked for water
And You, Oh Lord, You gave us wind
And You turn Your back on us
As though You will not listen to us
Though Jardí Tancat was choreographed for classically trained dancers, its movement vocabulary is strikingly individualand an exciting challenge for the PNB artists charged with communicating the work’s powerful feeling.
Notes by Jeanie Thomas; edited by Doug Fullington, 2007.