The Essence of Time (2018)

It was premiered on May 14th, 2018 at the Ziedonis Hall at the Latvian National Library in Riga (Latvia). It was his second collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in Latvia that organized this performance to keep developing and strengthening the cultural connection between both countries. In this case, he created the two acts ballet The Essence of Time, his most ambitious work until now, in collaboration with Jolanta Lubeja and the musical arrangement by Almudena Curros, Joaquín Duran, Víctor Iglesias & Lāsma Neulāne, being a large success within the public.

Creative Team:

  • Libretto & Concept: Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza
  • Choreography: Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza, in collaboration with Jolanta Lubeja
  • Musical Arrangements: Almudena Curros, Joaquín Duran, Víctor Iglesias & Lāsma Neulāne


  • Soloists Dancers: Jolanta Lubeja & Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza
  • Chamber Orchestra: Quartet (Pianist & 3 Soloists: Lāsma Neulāne, Almudena Curros, Joaquín Duran & Víctor Iglesias)

About: What is Time? Perhaps this is one of the most difficult questions that the human being has ever asked himself. Like the Phoenix, always reborn and restarting a life from its own dust, Time is an eternal cycle composed by the Past, the Present and the Future. In this piece, the triad of time is represented by the Music (Past and memories), the Man (Present and life) and the Woman (Future and legacy). Their interactions reveal The Essence of Time, since starting from our past, we try to live the present while facing the future, but by living a moment that is already past and the future becomes the present itself.


Act I:
Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo (Adagio)
Gymnopedie No 1 by Erik Satie
Ballad en A minor by Jāzeps Mediņš
Nocturne in C sharp Minor N. 20 by Frederic Chopin
Interstellar Suite by Hans Zimmer

Act  II:
Ballad en A minor de Jāzeps Mediņš
Melanholiskais Valsis by Emīls Dārziņš
L´Arlessienne Suite No. 2 Farandole by Georges Bizet
Nocturne in E flat major Op. 9 N. 2 by Frederic Chopin
Asturias by Isaac Albeniz


End of Act I of The Essence of Time by Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza
(Photo: Embassy of Spain in Latvia)

Act I: The Music begins, progressively introducing us into the story. Suddenly a Man appears distressed to realize how quickly life passes and anguished due to the uncertainty about his own future. Then, a Woman enters observing his problems with curiosity. After a brief meeting, they start a dialogue, where she tries to explain to him that there is hope for the future and that he need not be so afraid about it. However, he does not believe her at all, further raising his fears towards the past, besides being extremely distrustful of her. At this moment, the Man is completely lost between the past and the future, not knowing how to move forward within his present, while the Woman is desolated by not being able to help him to face his own future. After having both meditated the situation, they meet again and the Woman tries to help him one last time by again showing him the way to the future. However, he returns to his own fears of the past refusing her help, which unleashes the anger of the Woman. This causes panic to the Man beyond his own fears, plunging him into the deepest despair unable to make a decision about his fate.

Moments during the Act II of The Essence of Time by Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza
(Photo: Embassy of Spain in Latvia)

Act II: Once again, the Music reminds us through the memories the story that took place previously between the Man and the Woman, the Present and the Future, in short, the story of Time. After his previous despair, the Man is completely lost within himself. Like a mother to a son, the Woman enters again determined to help him one more time, since they are often the ones who come to the rescue of their children, resolving the situations through dialogue and understanding. The Woman shows him again the way to the future and despite his initial reluctance, the Man finally understands the hope for the future and decides to take this path. Afterwards, they celebrate his decision and his courage to face it with integrity. However, the Future is unpredictable, we can only sense it and perceive small rays of hope but in the end, it will always remain a mystery that will have to wait until we can experience it. Nevertheless, until then we can only enjoy The Essence of Time, making the most of the Present, but always keeping in mind our Past to face the Future as well as possible.

* This piece has been dedicated to the late Fina García, aunt of Gonzalo Preciado-Azanza