In July 1984 a young Nacho Duato, a dancer from Valencia who worked in the Nederlands Dans Theatre, the official company of the Hague, won the prestigious Cologne Prize with his choreography, which he did with the music of Maria del Mar Bonet. Neither artist knew each other. Nacho Duato said of the singer and her music: I decided on the music of Maria del Mar Bonet because I love the Catalan language and because my movement goes really well with her music and with what I wanted to say: the land, work. Maria del Mar Bonet saw this choreography years later and was really impressed. She herself explained: I didn’t see Jardí tancat until years later in Terrassa. I went with Lautaro Rosas, one of the composers of the music, and we both crying with emotion at how beautiful it was. We were really keen on meeting Nacho. I really understood the true rhythm of my songs when I saw them danced by Nacho and the other dancers that made up the Nederlands company.
A year later they met each other in person in a theatre in Madrid where Duato was directing some rehearsals, and Maria del Mar Bonet gave him her latest record, Gavines i Dragons. Months later she received the suggestion of Nacho Duato to create choreographies of the new record calling it “Arenal” and went to Amsterdam to rehearse this new choreography with the Dutch company with which in January 1988 toured the Low Countries, in the cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, as well as in France and Germany, in Cologne. The musicians who accompanied her on this tour were Feliu Gassul, who joined the froup at this time and would remain many years alongside the singer, Javier Mas, Jordi Rallo, Steve De Swardt and Joan Figueras. In June of the same year they performed in the Festival Grec of Barcelona, in the Teatre Grec. In this period Nacho Duato was by now the stable choreographer of the Nederlands Dans Theatre.
In 1989, coinciding with one of their joint tours, Nacho Duato surprised Maria del Mar Bonet with a birthday present, the choreography for two of Cor perdut, based on an Armenian song Bir Demen Yesemen with a poem by Maria del Mar Bonet about desire, which he and Caterine Allard danced.
The contemporary dance public thus discovered the voice and music of Maria del Mar Bonet, so that this Coreografies was issued, which moreover was testimony of one of the singer’s most fruitful collaborations.
In December 1990, Nacho Duato was by now the Artistic Director of the Ballet Lírico Nacional of Madrid. Arenal came to Moscow and Leningrad with the accompaniment of Maria del Mar Bonet and her musicians, and was very successful. Whenever they could and whenever their contractual obligations and agendas allowed, they performed together: in 1991 they did a tour of the Spanish State, in the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, in Palma, in Santander and San Sebastian. In the Festival Grec in 1991 Nacho Duato presented the new chorography Cor perdut.
Together again in 1992 they presented Arenal in Granada and Seville, and at the end of the year in Tokyo. They also played in 1995 in the outskirts of Paris, in Saint Quentin-en-Yvellines, also with great success.
They were years in which Nacho Duato took the choreography of Arenal around the world. These choreographies of songs by Maria del Mar Bonet were so popular that many companies represented them to the point that it was known that on every day of the year in one or other theatre in the world, they were being performed.
In 1996 Catherine Allard went on to direct the new dance company of the Institut de Teatre in Barcelona, the I.T. Dansa and once again represented these choreographies accompanied by the voice of Maria del Mar Bonet on diverse occasions. In 1997 Catherine Allard was one of the guests at the concert El Cor del temps, which celebrated 30 years of the professional career of Maria del Mar Bonet, and they both offered a fragment of these sung-to choreographies to the Barcelona public.