It was founded in 1978 when the Spanish Ministry of Culture asked Antonio Gades to form Spain's first national dance company, Ballet Nacional Español. The following year however Victor Ullate was invited to form the classically based Ballet Nacional Clásico and after Gades resigned his post in 1980 (briefly succeeded by Antonio) the two companies were jointly run by one director, María de Avila (1983–86). From 1987 they were separate again. The classical ballet company was run by Maya Plisetskaya from 1987 to 1990 but when she was replaced by Nacho Duato in 1990 it was renamed Compañía Nacional de Danza and assumed a more contemporary style and repertory. Ballet Nacional Español, meanwhile, had a succession of directors, most recently Elvira Andrés (appointed 2001) and has continued to focus on the traditional Spanish dance heritage, although some element of classical ballet is evident in its mix of flamenco and national styles. It maintains a policy of commissioning new work, for example Manuel Santiago's El Estampío (2002) and Joaquin Grito's Tiempo (2004).
http://www.esflamenco.com Website for information on flamenco-based dance companies in Spain