CARMEN AMAYA | Lucinda Riley
I always knew I would set parts of The Moon Sister in Spain. I also knew that flamenco would be at the very heart of Tiggy’s story.
Carmen Amaya was one of the most famous and passionate flamenco dancers of her generation. She was a gitano, a Spanish gypsy, and I decided to base my fictional character, Lucía Amaya-Albaycín, on her. I used Carmen’s long-time lover, Agustín Castellón, known as ‘Sabicas’, as the basis for the character of Meñique.
Carmen was born to a desperately poor gypsy family in 1913 in Barcelona. Later in her life, she claimed to have been born in the Seven Sacred Caves of Sacromonte in Granada, the heart of the flamenco world.
Carmen learned to dance from her mother, Micaela, and her aunt, Juana la Faraona (who also appears in The Moon Sister). Her father was the famous guitarist known as ‘El Chino’, and it was he who encouraged her to begin dancing professionally at only four years old. Her reputation quickly grew, and she was soon christened ‘La Capitana’ (The Captain, our Leader) by her fans.
When Carmen was ten years old, she met the great love of her life, ‘Sabicas’. The first time he saw Carmen dance, he was captivated: “It seemed like something supernatural to me … I never saw anyone dance like her. I don’t know how she did it, I just don’t know!’
Sabicas and Carmen recorded albums together – although famous for dancing, Carmen also had a soulful voice.
Carmen was tiny, barely 4’10” tall, but with a wiry, powerful body. Although her feet were child-sized, her stamping was so powerful that she once broke through the floorboards on stage. Carmen’s dancing was unique, hypnotic and dazzling – she embodied the ‘duende’, the soul of flamenco.
Carmen’s fortunes grew as she began performing throughout Europe with her cuadro – her troupe of musicians, singers, and dancers.
In 1936, Carmen and her cuadro were performing in Madrid when the Nationalists attempted to take control of the city and the Spanish Civil War began. There are various stories about how they escaped to Portugal, and I have adapted one of them in The Moon Sister.
Throughout her career, Carmen was criticised for wearing trousers – when she danced they gave her physical freedom and made her extraordinary footwork visible.
After conquering, South America, Carmen set her sights on the United States, where her great rival, the dancer La Argentinita, had found fame.
The constant travelling and close quarters wore down the relationship between Carmen and Sabicas. Although she was desperate to marry him, he never proposed. They even fought on stage, with Carmen storming off in the middle of a performance in Mexico City. In 1945, Sabicas left her and remained in Mexico.
In 1950, Carmen returned to Spain, where she married the payo (non-gypsy) guitarist Juan Antonio Agüero. She continued to tour the world, record albums and make films, while smoking several packs of cigarettes a day and barely eating (except for her beloved sardines).
Carmen and husband Juan Antonio Agüero.
A film poster of one of Carmen’s films ‘Los Tarantos’, 1963. Carmen never got to see it on screen before she died.
In 1963, she collapsed on stage in Mexico City. Juan Antonio convinced her to return to Spain, where she was diagnosed with kidney failure. A few months later, she died holding Juan Antonio’s hand at her home in the town of Bagur. There was nationwide grief and thousands made the pilgrimage up the steep mountain paths to the place where Carmen had died.
Five flamenco artists that you can’t miss
Flamenco is an art that is widespread in the world and one of the reasons is the admiration that flamenco artists arouse abroad, an artist that is, without a doubt, one of the foundations on which this musical genre is based.
This discipline has a long history that begins in the eighteenth century, at which time the origin of flamenco is dated. Since then, its evolution has been constant, so much so that, over time, it has been adding new elements and styles, always retaining the hallmarks of an artistic expression of such caliber.
The smooth and elegant movements of the flamenco dancers, accompanied by the special sound of the guitar and by the characteristic complain of the singer, make flamenco artists the creators of endless emotions on stage.
Flamenco artists you must have to see
At present, the pages of flamenco dance continue to be written by large and renowned figures worldwide who, each with their own hallmark, have made this art a way of life. As it is impossible to cite everyone, in this article, we have made a selection that includes five contemporary flamenco artists that you cannot miss because they have been and are references to current flamenco dance, for different reasons. Do you want to know who they are? Ahead!
Photo from wikipedia
The Cordoba dancer and choreographer has played a fundamental role in flamenco dance. Since its inception, its efforts to ensure that this art cal in a wider audience have been more than remarkable, reaching for this to collaborate in films like Flamenco, by Carlos Saura.
His popularity has crossed borders, so much so that in Tokyo, New York and Moscow they have been able to enjoy his spectacular movements, thanks to the flamenco shows he has performed in different corners of the world.
Among the awards he has garnered throughout his artistic career, it is worth noting that in October 1999, UNESCO named him Artist for Peace for his contribution to the preservation and promotion of the folk and artistic heritage of the gypsy people.
In 2009, this same body named its legacy as Intangible Heritage of Humanity, even before this appointment was granted to flamenco art.
Photo from Flickr
With a long career, Sara Baras debuted at eighteen. Since then, the success of this flamenco dancer has not stopped growing, thanks to her way of understanding flamenco dancing.
The passion he places in each of his performances is more than a sign of identity of the Cadiz who, like Joaquín Cortés, peaks the qualities of this discipline abroad.
In 1998, he opened his own company, Flamenco Ballet Sara Baras. Since then and to date, this artist has presented thirteen shows, all choreographed by her. He has taken his shows to the best theaters in the world, becoming one of the most recognized ambassadors of Spanish culture.
The success and acceptance that their representations have among the public, has allowed their shows to remain for long periods in the cartel of cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, London and Paris, mainly. She is an artist, what can you not miss!
Being a descendant of a family of artists can mark the life and career of a person. This happened to Antonio Canales, who after seeing how art flooded his life, decided to focus his career on dance.
After taking his first steps as a dancer in the National Ballet, he began his solo career traveling through different points of European geography, participating in numerous creations as the first dancer and countless international galas.
This artist has made his passion, his profession creating his own company, and today he is one of the most renowned flamenco artists on the national scene.
During his career, he has received numerous awards such as the National Dance Award in 1995; He has been an Outstanding Member of the UNESCO CID since 2013; and in 2017 he received the Silver Shoe of the Indanza Association.
Photo from http://www.evayerbabuena.com
The appearances of this artist in shows as important as the Seville Flamenco Biennial do not cease for the flamenco dancer Eva Yerbabuena.
Thanks to their eagerness to incorporate new trends into traditional dance without taking it away or stop drinking from its purity, they consecrate the choreographer as an essential figure and also necessary to keep innovating within this genre.
This artist formed her own Company in 1998, with only 28 years. Since then he has choreographed a dozen shows awarded with different awards.
He has traveled all over the world, performing in the most prestigious and important stages and in the main theaters in the United States, Chile, Lima or Tokyo, among others.
Yerbabuena’s work, recognized with numerous and prestigious awards, drinks from the teachings of teachers such as: Enrique “El Canastero”, Angustillas “La Mona”, Mariquilla, Mario Maya and Juan García, who taught him choreography and movement in Cuba.
If you have the chance to see it live, do not miss it! It is a luxury to attend a show of this flamenco dancer.
Photo from https://www.shojikojima.com
The immeasurable love of the Japanese towards the folklore of our country has served so that today we can enjoy artists like Shoji Kojima. At 80, Kojima understands flamenco as more than a feeling.
That was precisely what led him to leave the Japanese country in the mid-sixties to move to Spain to become a flamenco dancer.
He was recognized by the singer Rafael Farina and danced with great flamenco figures like María Martín. Today, it is a reference for many flamenco artists and continues to debut with his own company as a dancer, choreographer and director.
He has participated in numerous shows and flamenco festivals and his career has been recognized with numerous awards.
As you can see, flamenco dancing is still latent in only in Spain, but also in a large number of world map points. Enjoying this art with capital letters and live is a real pleasure, which you can not miss. These flamenco artists are referents, but there are many other flamenco dancers who make this art great every day.
At El Palacio Andaluz, we invite you to enjoy our flamenco artists. If you visit Seville, attend our live flamenco show, a unique experience that you cannot miss. And we also invite you to discover our flamenco shows online so that you can enjoy this art from anywhere.
The most famous flamenco dancer in the world comes to St. Petersburg | Events | KULTURA
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
From personal archive
St. Petersburg, March 25 – AiF-Petersburg.
Joaquin Cortes, the world’s most famous flamenco dancer, will present his new show “Gitano” on the stage of the Oktyabrsky Concert Hall on April 8th.
Joaquín Cortes creates events that are as emotionally charged as the performances of today’s rock and pop stars. He doesn’t feel like he’s breaking the rules by artfully mixing flamenco with contemporary ballet.
“King of Flamenco” is known and loved in Russia. After a three-year hiatus, Joaquin Cortes returns to the stage with a new program “Gitano”. Together with eight of the best Spanish dancers, two flamenco dancers, seventeen musicians and eight flamenco vocalists, accompanied by vibrant audio-visual effects, Joaquín Cortés will once again “ignite the fire” in the hearts of the audience.
Gitano is the story of my life, I will tell you about my roots, introduce you to the rich gypsy culture and its representatives. In this show, my dance merges with music and light, and, merging, vividly shows the only important emotion – passion! – talks about the show Cortez
- Petersburg is waiting in April XIII International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN →
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Flamenco dancers and performers at Tablao Cordobés Barcelona
This article is about the flamenco dancers and performers at the Tablao Cordobés on Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
All photos in this article were taken by us with permission from Tablao Flamenco Cordobés during our last visit.
Click to book tickets online for the Tablao Cordobés flamenco show, which includes an evening dinner or welcome drink. Luis studied violin at the Madrid Conservatory, and Irene studied classical dance. Both loved flamenco and became great guitarists and dancers respectively.
Over time, they organized their own troupe and began to tour around the world.
In 1970, Matias Colsada, the famous show business entrepreneur, was so inspired by their flamenco performance that he asked them to become managers of a new establishment on Las Ramblas. The result of this collaboration was the creation of Tablao Cordobés.
|Sara Barrero in Tablao Cordobes.|
One of the criteria for choosing a place to see real flamenco is whether the managers are former or current flamenco performers. If the answer is yes, then you can be sure that good flamenco is waiting for you.
The tradition of authentic flamenco Tablao Cordobés is now preserved by Maria Rosa Pérez, flamenco dancer, lawyer and daughter of Luis Adame.
Each show at Tablao Cordobés has about 15 performers. There is no fixed list of performers in this institution. The point of constantly changing performers is to keep the show fresh and alive. In flamenco, the main thing is improvisation, and it is better if the conditions for improvisation are always changing.
The show at Tablao Cordobés changes almost every month. However, the presence of flamenco stars in the show is a very important factor for Tablao Cordobés.
As an example of the level of performers in this tablao, here are some well-known flamenco artists who have performed at Tablao Cordobés:
José Maya, Belen López, Carime Amaya, Pastora Galvan, El Junco, Susana Casas, La Tana, Maria Carmona, Amador Rojas, David and Israel Serreduela, Manuel Tania, Antonio Villar, Morenito de Iyora, El Coco.
|Sara Barrero on stage at Tablao Cordobés. Flamenco is famous for expressing intense passion and emotion that can touch anyone to the core.|
At Tablao Cordobés, the brightest flamenco stars perform at the same time, which is sure to leave a lasting impression in your memory, no matter which performance you attend. Below you can read a short biography of some of the artists from Tablao Cordobés.
Amador was born in Seville in 1980. He did not attend special schools, but achieved his mastery by constant training on professional stages. He received many accolades from viewers and critics. He joined the troupe of Salvador Tamora when he was 16 years old. He then performed solo until he joined Eva La Erbabuena’s company, where he began working with Antonio Canales. He was awarded the prize for “Best Discovery Artist” in 2008 at the Seville Biennale. He has performed at famous flamenco venues around the world.
|Juan Jose Jaen aka “El Junco”|
Juan José Jaen Arroyo, known as El Junco, was born in Cadiz, Andalusia. For twelve years he was in the troupe of Christina Hoyos as a dancer and choreographer. In 2008 he was awarded the Max Award as the best dancer. He took part in many wonderful shows. He started working at Tablao Cordobes when he moved to Barcelona.
Ivan is a flamenco dancer from Barcelona. He started dancing at the age of five. He studied with some of the best artists at the School of Theater Arts and at the Conservatory. He has performed in major shows such as Penélope, Somorrostro, Volver a empezar, etc. This is one of the best dancers of our time, he received the Mario Maya award in the VIII competition for young talents in flamenco dance.
Mercedes de Cordoba
Mercedes Ruiz Muñoz, known as Mercedes de Córdoba, was born in Córdoba at 1980 She started dancing at the age of four. Her teacher was Ana Maria Lopez. In Córdoba she studied Spanish dance and drama, and at the Seville Conservatory she studied ballet. She has performed with the companies of Manuel Morao, Javier Barón, Antonio el Pipa, Eva La Erbabuena and the Andalusian Ballet of José Antonio. Her clean style has earned her many awards.
|Susana Casas on stage at Tablao Cordobes.|
She started dancing at the age of 8. Her teacher was José Galvan. She has performed with the Mario Maya Company, the Cristina Hoyos Ballet Company and the Flamenco Ballet Company of Andalusia. He received accolades from viewers and critics.
Sarah Barrero was born in Barcelona in 1979. She was taught by Ana Marquez, La Tani, La Chana and Antonio El Toleo. Her career began at the age of 16, she performed at popular flamenco venues in Spain and Japan. She has participated in many local and international flamenco festivals such as the Mont de Marsans in Tokyo, the Grec Festival in Barcelona, etc. She has taught dance schools and won the Carmen Amaya award at the Hospitalet Young Talent Festival.
|Belen Lopez on stage at Tablao Cordobés.|
Ana Belen López Ruiz, known as Belen López, was born in Tarragona in 1986. At the age of eleven, she entered the Madrid Dance Conservatory. She represented Spain a couple of times at Intrufest, the International Tourism Fair in Russia. In 1999 she moved to Madrid and entered the dance conservatory, plus she performed in many tablaos. She was the principal dancer in the Arena di Verona and in the troupe La Corrala. She received the Mario Maya award and the title of best opening artist from Corral de la Pacheca. In 2005, she founded her own troupe, with which she had great success in various theaters.
Carime Amaya was born in Mexico in 1985. She is Carmen Amaya’s great-niece and her family’s art is in her blood. She has performed in the most famous tablaos around the world, with the most famous artists: Juan de Juan, Mario Maya, Antonio El Pipa, the Farruco family, Antonio Canales, Pastora Galván, Paloma Fantova, Farruquito, Israel Galván, etc.
She has participated in many shows such as Desde la Orilla, with Carmen Amaya in Memory, Abolengo…etc.
She starred in Eva Villa’s documentary “Bajarí” and participated in many local and international festivals.
This guitarist started his career at the age of 6, working with brother Rafael Campallo and sister Adela Campallo. He has played for many dancers such as Pastora Galvan, Antonio Canales, Mershe Esmeralda, etc.
He participated in various concerts such as Horizonte, Solera 87, Tiempo Pasado, Gala Andalucía. He took part in the Seville Biennale in 2004 and 2006, and his talent was recognized several times.
|David Serreduela on stage|
David Serreduela is a very talented guitarist from Madrid, son of El Nani. He has performed for famous artists such as Lola Flores, Merche Esmeralda, Guadiana, etc. He has worked with the Antonio Canales Company, the National Ballet Company and the Tablao Flamenco Cordobés, among other places.
Israel, son of David Serraduel, born in Madrid. He has worked with great artists such as Antonio Canales, Enrique Morente and Sara Barras. He has a fresh and subtle style that is considered promising in the flamenco world. He played in famous theaters, and also participated in the recording of albums.
Maria Carmona was born in Madrid. She was born into a family of flamenco performers. She is a solo singer, with an authentic and exceptional voice. She has worked with famous artists, as well as in the troupe of Rafael Amargo. She participated in the “Flamenco Cycle of the XXI Century” in Barcelona.
|Victoria Santiago Borja, known as La Tana, on stage at Tablao Flamenco Cordobés.|
Victoria Santiago Borja, known as La Tana, was born in Seville. She performed in the troupes of Joaquín Cortes and Farruquito. Her manner of singing was praised by Paco de Lucia. As a solo singer, in 2005 she recorded her first album entitled “Tú ven a mí”, produced by Paco de Lucía. She has taken part in many flamenco festivals.
|Antonio Villar sings in Tablao Cordobés.|
Antonio Villar was born in Seville. He began singing in 1996 with the Farruco troupe. He later joined the tablao El Flamenco in Tokyo and was in the companies of Cristina Hoyos, Joaquín Cortes, Manuela Carrasco, Farruquito and Tomatito. He took part in studio recordings with Vicente Amigo and Nina Pastori.
Manuel Tanier was born in Cadiz, in a family of flamenco performers. He studied with Luis Moneo, Enrique El Estremeno and Juan Parilla. He started performing at the age of 16 in many tablaos, especially El Arena and Tablao Cordobés. He traveled the world with the troupe of Antonio el Pipa. He has a successful career and many artists have praised his voice. He has participated in many local and international festivals.
El Coco was born in Badalona. He performed on stage with such eminent artists as Remedios Amaya, Montse Cortes, La Tana. He toured all over the world. He starred in Eva Villa’s documentary “Bajari” along with Karime Amaya and other artists. He has participated in many flamenco festivals such as La Villette, the Madrid Summer Festival and the Alburquerque Festival.
Booking tickets for a flamenco evening at Tablao Cordobés.
Tablao only accommodates 150 people. Therefore, it is recommended to book tickets in advance. After paying for your tickets online, you will need to print out a special voucher to take with you to the show.
Click to book tickets online for the Tablao Cordobés flamenco show which includes an evening dinner or welcome drink
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned more about the flamenco performers who perform at Tablao Cordobés. If you want to know more about the flamenco evening at Tablao Cordobés, then read our article about the famous flamenco evening at Tablao Cordobés on Las Ramblas, where we describe in detail why this particular show is an example of authentic flamenco.