'The Captain', Carmen Amaya
Hello, #flamencofans! Today we want to talk to you about a very important woman in the flamenco world that we are sure you know… She is Carmen Amaya, the most universal flamenco dancer there has ever been. She was born in Barcelona on the 2nd of November of 1918. Apart from being a spectacular flamenco dancer she was also a very talented singer. Her family was very close to the flamenco art. She was known as “The Captain”, because of her generous, arrogant and determined nature and also because of her great sense of loyalty.
As a little girl, she used to go with his father to many bars at night and so people would talk about a “little gypsy” who was full of talent and self-confidence. “The tablao incredibly vibrated with brutality and precision”, confirms Sebastián Gasch, a critic who discovered her. “As all the gypsy, she must has been born dancing”.
She became famous and successful in Spain and when the Civil War started (she was only 25) she travelled around many european and american countries. She became a real universal star in America, but she never forgot where she came from.
She died the 19th of November of 1963 shortly after 9:00 am, because of a renal illness. She died accompanied by her husband Juan Antonio Agüero and some familiars and friends in her house of Begur (Girona). That day, the spanish dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades was in Barcelona when he received the fatal news. He went around all the tablaos and when he arrived to the old vedette Bella Dorita, which was open, he shouted “You are shameless! Carmen Amaya is dead and no tablao must be open!” And he closed every flamenco local in Barcelona like that.
The centenary of her birth and the 50th anniversay were commemorated in Barcelona during 2013 with a lot of different shows and acts. This year was named “Carmen Amaya’s year” by the local government from the Condal City. The National Theatre of Catalonia, for exemple, presented a show named “The Captain” in honor to the artist. You can also see a a sculpture of Carmen Amaya in the Gardens of Joan Brossa in Barcelona, a permanent tribute to the Spanish dancer.
Hope to see you soon going for a walk there! And maybe we can meet for dinner and watch the show at Palacio del Flamenco!