The Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arqués describes himself as an artist who combines the idiom of modern dance with influences from new media, mythology, literature, architecture and sculptural forms. In 2014, Arqués was nominated for the Nederlandse Dansdagen Award, and in 2016 he received two nominations for a Golden Mask in Moscow for best choreographic work and best choreographer, for his ballet Minos. In 2017, the German publication Tanz Magazine voted him ‘most promising choreographer’ for his creation Homo Ludens. Arqués received a nomination for the prestigious Benois de la Danse in 2019, for Ignite.
Before moving to the Netherlands, Arqués danced with Ballet Victor Ullate, in Spain, and with English National Ballet. In 2004, he joined Dutch National Ballet, where he was promoted to soloist three years later. In this rank, he performed works by leading choreographers such as Hans van Manen, David Dawson, William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon. In 2012, Arqués ended his dancing career to focus exclusively on choreography.
Arqués has created most of his ballets for Dutch National Ballet – where he was a Young Creative Associate from 2017 to 2021 – and for the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. His works for Dutch National Ballet include Consequence (2012), Roulette (2014), Rewind (2014), Homo Ludens (2017), Ignite (2018, in co-production with Birmingham Royal Ballet), Manoeuvre (2020) and Biomimicry (2020). To date, he has created Blink (2015), Fresas (2016) and Fingers in the Air (2018) for the Junior Company.
He also created the choreography for Dutch National Opera’s production of Haydn’s opera Missa in Tempore Belli, which premiered in September 2021.
In recent years, Arqués has created works for international ballet companies and festivals such as Birmingham Royal Ballet, Theatre Ballet Moscow, Compañia Nacional de Danza, NRW Junior Ballet Dortmund, Acosta Danza, New York Choreographic Institute, Origen Cultural Festival, Whim W’him and Continuum Contemporary Ballet. In 2014, he also collaborated on the staging of the theatre production Vaslav, based on Arthur Japin’s novel of the same name, and on Performing Gender, a European dance project about identity and sexual inclination, at the Mambo Museum in Bologna. In 2016, at the invitation of film directors Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway, he created the choreography for a video installation at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, inspired by the paintings of Matisse.