José Martinez to replace Nacho Duato in Spain

French and Spanish newspapers reported this weekend that José Martinez, an etoile at the Paris Opera Ballet, will become artistic director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España in September.

He takes over from Nacho Duato, who was appointed artistic director of the ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg early this year.

Martinez, 42, born in Cartagena, Spain, was inspired by Anthony Dowell.

In 1997, when he was promoted to the rank of etoile, he told the dance writer for Culturekiosque, Patricia Boccadoro: “I saw Dowell dance The Sleeping Beauty on a video and it marked me for life. I was told that I had a similar way of dancing to him which made me feel very flattered and happy. It seemed to give me the assurance I lacked”.

I recall his impeccable performance as Siegfried in Sydney when the Paris Opera Ballet toured to Australia in 2007.

Here he is in his own choreography: Delibes pas de deux, with Agnès Letestu.

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José Martinez in Swan Lake, photo © Anne Deniau, Opéra de Paris