Ballet Nacional de España. Director: Rubén Olmo
The Ballet Nacional de España (BNE), directed by Rubén Olmo since September 2019, is a public company that has set the benchmark of Spanish dance ever since it was founded in 1978 under the name of Ballet Nacional Español, having Antonio Gades as its first director. It is one of the production units of the Instituto Nacional de la Artes Escénicas y de la Música (INAEM) [National Institute of the Performing Arts and Music], under the Ministry of Culture and Sport.
The purpose of the BNE it to preserve, spread and convey Spain’s rich choreographic heritage, including its diverse styles and traditions, which are represented by different forms: academic, stylised, folklore, bolera, and flamenco. It also works to attract new audiences and boost its national and international scope while being fully independent artistically and creatively.
One of the main lines of the current Master Plan is to have a programme that combines creation and preservation of the traditional repertoire of Spanish dance with the continued addition of new creations. In this regard, the BNE has started a new creative line that is open to avant-garde and new trends, inviting international choreographers and new creators to collaborate with the BNE. In this learning context, the BNE also carries out workshops to encourage the specialisation and improvement of dance professionals in the fields of performance and creation.
To promote the dissemination of Spanish dance, the BNE promotes both national and international mobility, alternating large shows with smaller productions that are open to experimentation. It encourages sustainable economic management of all its productions and favours the co-operation between the different production units at the INAEM and other public institutions of all the Spanish autonomous regions, as well as public-private collaboration at national and international level.
In the past years, the BNE has carried out initiatives and collaborations with the world of fashion and has encouraged conservatoires and schools from all over Spain to attend its rehearsals. As part of its learning project, it has arranged different master classes with groups of children of different abilities publishing the first book and videogame of Spanish dance for children, titled Bailando unTesoro. The BNE has also set up a Círculo de Amigos [Friends of the BNE] and has an online shop to sell its products and merchandising since 2015.
The BNE has received different national and international awards including the Critics Award for Best Foreign Show (1988) from New York’s Metropolitan; the Japanese Critics Award (1991); Critics Award for Best Show (1994) at the Teatro Bellas Artes de México; Diario El País Award (1999) for the show Poeta; Critics and Audience Award (2002) for the choreography Fuenteovejuna, by Antonio Gades, at the VI Festival de Jerez; Audience Award (2018) at the Festival de Jerez; Premio Cerinos (2018) del Festival International de Teatro Clásico de Mérida; Audience Award at the Teatro de Rojas (Toledo) for the Best Dance Show in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014; and in 2010, the Festival International del Cante de las Minas awarded the BNE the Performing Arts Extraordinary Award for its “wonderful contribution to preserve and disseminate the best flamenco”.